In Handy Tips, we find ways to improve your life and make it easier and explain why these tips work. Today, we will tell you how to distinguish constructive criticism from stupid hate.

Here’s a small tip: Before giving a response to criticism, figure out what exactly the person criticizing you is trying to achieve.

How does it work?

The circle of people evaluating your actions is not limited to your boss alone. You are evaluated by colleagues, friends, relatives, and even complete strangers, such as your followers on social media. Surrounded by so many value judgments, it is difficult to distinguish constructive criticism from simple hate.

Ann Friedman, a journalist from California, thought about this and created The Disapproval Matrix. This coordinate scale that will help you to correctly sort feedback about you. The Y-axis is responsible for the rationality of what you are told, and the X-axis is for the degree of how much you know the person. The end result is four categories of people: critics, lovers, pseudo-friends or frenemies, and haters.

The Disapproval Matrix by Ann Friedman
The Disapproval Matrix by Ann Friedman

Since critics are very familiar with your work, their criticism is useful, they can give good advice, and it is better to listen to them. Fans or lovers spend a lot of time with you, and they care about your success, so their comments are also valuable.

Pseudo-friends or frenemies know you very well, but they don't treat you very well, so their comments aim to highlight your shortcomings. Haters don't know anything about you and are not interested in your work, so interaction with them will not bring any benefit.

Handy Tips: How to Resolve Any Conflict
Many things that can potentially lead to a conflict. But by learning the rule of five questions, you can keep your professional and personal relationships healthy and strong.

Do not get discouraged, and don’t think that all critics are haters. It's not like that at all! If you're getting negative feedback from people who want you to grow professionally, it's worth listening. Their words will help you perform better. But also, don't underestimate the contribution of haters to your motivation.