this has two questions with subtle difference and i think they both need answers in our profession as well as in life. Critics and Criticism- we need to learn to separate both.
Our first reaction when we hear someone say something else than what we want to hear, is to take it personally. We start looking at the motive of the critic and somehow prove that this person had a biased reason to show you down. We feel hurt and rejected. Creative people feel this often. and it leads to depression.
I believe we need a more healthy view of the whole situation. You can put critics in 3 baskets- People you like, people you dont like and people you have no view of. Now if someone who likes you criticises something about you…listen to it carefully. The person knows he is taking a risk but perhaps values you too much to lie to you. Appreciate that. Let him know you didnt like his/her view but you value it, and that you are infact a friend.
When someone you dont like (or you think that person doesnt like you) says something about you or your work…listen carefully again. Dont show your displeasure, thank that person and best is not to react at all. Be genuinely thankful that you now know what is it that, that person doesnt like. (may be you can repeat it to annoy them). Many of these could be your consistent critics, it is healthy to become deaf towards them. But dont lose the smile.
Now the neutral critic, it is important to know that person, his background, his context and the reason. you should listen to him carefully, and perhaps ask him questions. Now if you hear similar things from any two of the above types..take corrective action. Keep ego aside and do what you need to correct it. If all three tell you three different things..forget them..have confidence that what you know is the best.
In any case, be thankful that there is some reaction..some response..thats much better than having no response at all.
Criticism is good. 🙂