Mastering the Art of Feedback:

How to Accept Constructive Criticism Without Getting Defensive

Accepting constructive criticism gracefully is a valuable skill that can significantly enhance your personal and professional growth. It’s natural to feel defensive when receiving feedback, but learning to embrace it can lead to better relationships and improved performance. Here are some techniques to help you listen effectively before responding.

1. Pause and Breathe

When you receive criticism, your initial reaction might be to defend yourself. To avoid this, take a moment to pause and breathe. This brief pause allows you to manage any immediate emotional reactions and prepares you to listen more effectively.


  • Take a deep breath and count to five before saying anything. This helps in calming your nerves and gives you a moment to collect your thoughts.

2. Listen Actively

Active listening means fully concentrating on what the other person is saying rather than just passively hearing the message. It involves understanding the words and the underlying emotions or intentions.


  • Maintain eye contact and nod occasionally to show that you are engaged.

  • Avoid interrupting the speaker. Let them finish their point before you start forming your response.

3. Ask for Clarification

If the feedback isn’t clear, don’t hesitate to ask for more details. This shows that you are genuinely interested in understanding and improving.


  • Use phrases like, “Can you give me an example of what you mean?” or “Could you explain a bit more about that?”

  • Summarize what you heard and ask, “Is that what you meant?” to ensure you understood correctly.

4. Avoid Personalizing the Feedback

Remember that constructive criticism is about your work or behavior, not about you as a person. Separating your self-worth from the feedback can help you to accept it more objectively.


  • Focus on the specific actions or outcomes being discussed rather than taking it as a personal attack.

  • Mentally repeat to yourself, “This feedback is to help me improve, not to hurt me.”

5. Stay Open-Minded

Approach feedback with a mindset of learning and growth. Being open to criticism can lead to new insights and opportunities for improvement.


  • Remind yourself that everyone has areas they can improve on and that feedback is a valuable tool for personal development.

  • Think about how the feedback can help you achieve your goals rather than focusing on the discomfort it might cause.

6. Acknowledge the Feedback

A simple acknowledgment shows that you have listened and appreciated the input. This doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything, but it does show respect for the person offering the feedback.


  • Use phrases like, “Thank you for your feedback,” or “I appreciate you bringing this to my attention.”

  • If appropriate, mention how you plan to address the feedback.

7. Reflect and Take Action

After receiving feedback, take some time to reflect on it. Consider how you can implement the suggestions and create an action plan.


  • Write down the key points of the feedback and think about concrete steps you can take to improve.

  • Set specific, achievable goals based on the feedback and track your progress over time.

Accepting constructive criticism without becoming defensive is a skill that can be developed with practice. By pausing before responding, listening actively, asking for clarification, avoiding personalization, staying open-minded, acknowledging the feedback, and reflecting on it, you can turn potentially uncomfortable moments into opportunities for growth. Embracing feedback as a tool for improvement will not only enhance your performance but also strengthen your relationships with others. ~RS

Good Evening. It's Tuesday, May 28, and we're covering a fatal landslide in an island nation, the death of an NBA legend, and much more.

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South Pacific Landslide

At least 2,000 people are feared to have been buried alive in a landslide in the South Pacific island nation of Papua New Guinea. The unverified estimate from the nation's government, reported yesterday, is roughly triple the UN's estimate of 670 people killed in the landslide since Friday. At least 150 homes have been buried in debris, and five bodies have been recovered so far.

Louisiana Abortion Pill Law

Louisiana has become the first US state to criminalize possession of abortion medication under certain circumstances after Gov. Jeff Landry (R) Friday signed into law a bill reclassifying abortion medication as controlled substances. 

"If we are bold, love strikes away the chains of fear from our souls."

- Maya Angelou

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