Thursday, September 18, 2014

Five Things To Keep in Mind When Accepting Constructive Criticism

Sometimes, things end up a little crooked.

Constructive criticism (often abbreviated as “concrit” or “con-crit”) is one of those things everyone should be aware of. Whether it’s editorial comments in writing or suggestions for how to make an outfit better, constructive criticism is something we will all have to face at some point in time. In the world of fashion blogging, that goes double.

I have seen a lot of Lolita ladies recently that don’t seem to accept constructive criticism, even in communities that are explicitly for giving and receiving constructive criticism. They shoot down all suggestions, use vague reasoning as to why they know better, or otherwise give reasons when kindly meant suggestions will not even be considered.

That is a problem.

That is not to say that  you shouldn't ignore people who are being jerks. They're out there, they are obnoxious, and they are not worth listening to. There is a difference between suggestions and someone ranting about how you're an ita.

But constructive criticism is an important part of improving, and I wanted to collect a few tips for accepting it and putting it into practice.

1) Listen. Constructive criticism doesn’t do you any good if you’re not willing to hear it! Likewise, it's hard to tell the difference between someone being a jerk and someone offering advice if you're not listening.

2) You don’t have to take everyone’s advice. If there are a lot of suggestions, you’re allowed to pick and choose the ones that suit your style and your outfit. Once you’ve listened to their suggestions and, hopefully, they’ve offered reasoning as to why they think it would make an outfit better, pick the ones that best suit you.

3) Experience is not expertise. Yes, if you’ve been participating in a fashion for longer than someone else, you may well have more knowledge than they do. You’ve also had time to develop bad habits that are harder to break. Listening to constructive criticism can help you learn no matter how much experience you have and no matter who that constructive criticism comes from. Everyone can learn more.

4) Know that criticism isn’t an attack. This one is hard because many comments may seem negative at first. It’s not about saying your outfit is bad, though; it’s about how awesome it could be. Unless someone is being directly rude or insulting, they don’t mean to attack you, your outfit, or your ability to coordinate. Think of constructive criticism more like playing dress-up with a friend: pull things out of an imaginary closet and try them on until it’s as close to perfect as you can make it.

5) We can all improve. This is the biggest thing to keep in mind. Even experts can improve. We’re all at different stages in our journey, but it’s a journey for all of us.

Do you seek out constructive criticism? Do you have any tips for people who have a hard time with criticism?

1 comment:

  1. I don't seen con-crit often because half of my outfits are put on with the awareness that I'm experimenting and not everything is going to work. That being said, if there's an outfit that I really love and wouldn't change for the world (and this is a known fact) then receiving criticism when I'm not actively seeking it is kind of a mood damper.