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  • Hey everyone, it's Hadar.

  • Thank you so much for joining me.

  • Today I want to talk about receiving criticism.

  • Criticism is one of the hardest things to handle.

  • Because we want to be liked, we want to be accepted.

  • We want to be loved.

  • We want to please people.

  • And we don't like to feel like we are not good enough.

  • And usually, when we receive criticism - and it doesn't matter if there is a

  • source of truth in it or not - a lot of times it hits us deep in a place

  • that sort of confirms our preconceived notion of us not being good enough.

  • Now I'm not saying that it is true.

  • This is a psychological pattern that hits most of the population

  • called the impostor syndrome.

  • In fact, I talk a lot about the imposter syndrome on my podcast, and

  • I'm going to link to the episode below if you want to hear more about that.

  • So when we receive criticism, instead of just objectively considering it and

  • thinking whether or not it's right or what can you learn from it, it immediately

  • confirms our deepest fears and thoughts and feelings about not being good enough.

  • And especially when it comes to English, we're feeling like anyway our English

  • is not good enough cause we always compare it to our native language.

  • And of course, it's not going to feel good enough if you compare

  • it to your first language.

  • Because you know, for most people, the first language is, you know,

  • so deeply rooted in them, and it's a part of their personality and

  • being that the second language will never be able to live up to it.

  • And that is okay.

  • We don't need it to be, we need to create new space for the second language,

  • and appreciate it for what it is.

  • Now, I decided to make this video because a few days ago one of my students

  • shared something that happened to her.

  • And I wanted to share it with you, and what I said to her, one piece of advice.

  • I said a lot of things, but one thing that I said to her and to

  • other students, and I think a really great way to handle such situations.

  • So, what happened was that she received a comment from a native speaker, telling

  • her that based on the amount of work that she's investing in her English and

  • the time she has lived in the US, she should sound or speak better by now.

  • First of all, I categorize it as microaggression and a mild case

  • of discrimination and even racism.

  • Because, you know, when you don't understand someone's journey and where

  • they come from, and you compare them to yourself - where you are the person

  • in power and you have the privilege of being born into English - and

  • you expect something from someone without having the experience of

  • having it yourself, I think it's very much detached and discriminatory.

  • Because you don't understand that people have different experiences,

  • different sounds, different Englishes, different colors, different

  • backgrounds, different cultures.

  • Not everyone is like you and not everyone needs to be and sound like you.

  • So that comment is irrelevant and insensitive.

  • And again, people with privilege don't know what it's like for people to learn a

  • second language, and to immerse themselves in a culture and in a language and in

  • a country that they weren't born into.

  • So let's begin with the fact that if you haven't mastered a second language

  • and you're able to speak fluently in that language and clearly, you have

  • no right to criticize or comment on someone else's accent, pronunciation,

  • fluency, or level of English or whatever language they're speaking.

  • Now, let's assume it happens.

  • Because there are insensitive, entitled, rude people who will always have something

  • to say about other people's performance, especially people who they feel are not

  • as good as they are in certain areas.

  • Like what happened with my student and many other students of mine.

  • All right?

  • So this is not an invented situation.

  • Let's assume this happens.

  • We can't control other people's actions, but we can control our reaction, our

  • emotional response, and our interpretation of what it is that they're saying.

  • Here's the problem with criticism and imposter syndrome.

  • When someone says something negative about something that you are so afraid

  • of and you believe that about yourself, what will end up happening is that

  • you will use it as a confirmation to prove to yourself that what you think

  • about yourself, your inner critic, the darkest part in you, is true.

  • Instead of saying, "That's not true" or "That's impossible" or "What is she

  • talking about?", you will say, "Oh, here.

  • This is proof that I'm not good enough, that my pronunciation is not good

  • enough, that I shouldn't be living here, or I don't deserve to live here

  • or to speak, and I don't belong."

  • So, one, you need to remember that how you respond to it is very much subjective.

  • And you can respond to it different.

  • So what I would encourage you to do is to decide that you have, one - your

  • inner critic that will agree with, you know, feedback and criticism,

  • negative feedback and criticism, unhelpful feedback and criticism.

  • But don't forget that inside of you, you also have your

  • guardian, or your supporter.

  • And your guardian is going to do whatever is possible in their power to protect you.

  • You can also think of it as your protector.

  • And when something happens that challenges you, you can choose who you want to hear

  • their voice - your inner critic that will agree with it, or your guardian

  • that will deflect it and fight it.

  • And it's up to you.

  • Because again, we can't change them, and it's not our job to change them,

  • they need to do their own work.

  • But it's your job to decide how you are going to respond to things, so

  • that you will keep on the right track and the right path to success, and not

  • deviate from it or stop or regress.

  • Because here's the thing.

  • When you receive feedback and you say, "Yes, it's true", and you

  • internalize it and you feel bad about it, you're actually agreeing with it.

  • But how about this?

  • Let's assume someone says, "How long have you lived here?

  • Four years?

  • Oh, your English should be better by now."

  • Or, "Based on all the hard work that you're doing, I don't know why you don't

  • sound like a native speaker just yet."

  • So, option one: "That is so true.

  • I can't believe it."

  • And then from that feeling, you will feel defeated and you would want to quit.

  • Instead, what if you fight back, and what if you deflect that criticism?

  • And what if you let your guardians step up and do the work?

  • And instead of saying, "Yes, you're right", say, "Who do you

  • think you are telling me this?

  • You have no right commenting on my English.

  • My English is none of business."

  • So, that way, instead of internalizing it, you're fighting it.

  • Instead of agreeing with it, you're rejecting it.

  • Instead of letting it stop you or hold you back, you're using it as fuel to

  • motivate you to do it despite or they think, to prove them wrong, to prove

  • to yourself that you are capable of doing anything you put your mind to.

  • And that you are good enough, wherever you're at.

  • Your English is good enough.

  • This is the job of your guardian that is inside of you.

  • You just need to give it more space, instead of giving more

  • space to the inner critic.

  • That is the best way to deflect criticism.

  • And I'm not saying that you have to respond on the spot, but you

  • could, like saying something like, "Oh, tell me how you did it.

  • What other language do you speak, remind me?

  • How did you do it that you got so fluent in...

  • what was that?

  • What's the second language that you're learning?

  • I'd be happy to learn from you."

  • Okay.

  • Usually, and this is why I'm saying that this is a legit response,

  • people who comment on your English and criticize your English - they

  • have no idea what it's like.

  • Otherwise, they wouldn't be criticizing.

  • Now, yes, I know.

  • You might say, "No, but fellow non-native speakers might say that",

  • or "People from my own country, they always criticize each other."

  • I know that sometimes this is a trend.

  • And here I would categorize it as 'people who gain power by

  • making other people feel crappy'.

  • But again, the response should be the same.

  • Who do you think you are?

  • Who are you to tell me how I'm supposed or not supposed to sound like?

  • Who are you to tell me who do I need to sound like?

  • Become a fighter.

  • Reject, deflect, and move forward.

  • And that is my advice to you on how to deal with criticism and

  • comments about your English.

  • What is your piece of advice for people who struggle with criticism,

  • who get comments on their English or pronunciation or intonation or a voice?

  • So I would love to hear from you.

  • Put it in the comments and give us more ideas as to ways to deal with

  • it mentally, technically, if you have specific sentences that you say to people.

  • Because I think we can definitely all learn from each other.

  • When it comes to me, and you know I often get criticism, I have learned

  • to deflect that and to reject that.

  • And I usually make a joke about the comment, this is my way of handling it.

  • I use humor because I have already taught myself to or trained myself to use the

  • 'who do you think you are?' pattern, thinking pattern, whenever I get feedback.

  • And no matter who that person is, right?

  • Native speakers, not native speakers, teachers, non-teachers - I don't care.

  • You can't tell me how I should sound or what I should sound like.

  • And I hope that you got that from this episode.

  • All right.

  • So thank you so, so much.

  • And I hope that discussion in