So…if you are striving for individuality, and submitting yourself to the judgment of others, what happens if their reaction is not positive? How does a creative person deal with criticism, whether from those whom he or she knows personally or doesn’t know at all? I’m trying to do something a creative by doing this website here, and really, I can only speak for myself in regard to handling criticism, but I will say that my work itself is my only response to any criticism I have received in the past, and serves as a preemptive response to any I might receive in the future. But I will say that if I do feel anything negative when I hear something negative, it is only a case of what was described by the 19th-century German poet Friedrich Schiller, who said that “Opposition always enflames the enthusiast, never converts him”—that is, that I will get mad at myself for not having actualized my vision enough to move that person in a positive and inspiring way! What follows here are the insights of some others who have made the realizations I, too, have made in my own personal experience, and who have articulated them better than I presently could! So… Enjoy:
A Cheerful n' Hearty Perspective on Criticism!
A series of carefully arranged quotes telling you how I see it...
Whoever attaches a lot of value to the opinions of others pays them too much honor.
I have found it advisable not to give too much heed to what people say when I am trying to accomplish something of consequence. Invariably they proclaim it can't be done. I deem that the very best time to make the effort.
In other words,
The world is moving so fast these days that people who say, “It cannot be done,” are usually interrupted by someone doing it.
If you wanna get paid, you have to be a little strong.
And if you wanna get rich, you have to be really strong.
And if you wanna get rich and famous, the egotism of your mentality pretty much has to eclipse all care for what miscellaneous critics may say of you.
-another point from me
To be turned from one's course by men's opinions, by blame, and by misrepresentation, shows a man unfit to hold an office.
-Quintus Fabius Maximus, as quoted by the Greek historian Plutarch. Quintus Fabius, the Roman soldier and statesman, was consul five times (in 233 BC, 228 BC, 215 BC, 214 BC and 209 BC), was twice dictator (in 221 and again in 217 BC), and he reached the office of censor in 230 BC.
Those who risk nothing, do nothing, achieve nothing, become nothing.
The best of all - Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing. -Aristotle
Only he who does nothing makes no mistakes.
Не ошибается тот, кто ничего не делает. -Russian proverb
There is no defense against criticism except obscurity. -Joseph Addison
This miserable state is borne by the wretched souls of those who lived without disgrace and without praise.
Questo misero modo tegnon l'anime triste di coloro che visser sanza 'nfamia e sanza lodo. -Dante, referring to the state of those who inhabit limbo in the afterlife
The desire for self-actualization, when sufficiently strong, will overrides all outside interference. It is to have mind on one track and to stays perpetually on track.
There is nothing more dreadful to an author than neglect, compared with which reproach, hatred and opposition are names of happiness. -Samuel Johnson
I love that reaction of love or hate. It's indifference that bores me to death. -Marc Jacobs
You can't pretend that everybody likes Versace. It would be boring. It's better to create a reaction than to create no reaction. That's dangerous. -Donatella Versace
I've always thought that problem solving is highly overrated and that problem creation is far more interesting. -Chuck Close
If it’s not controversial, it can’t matter that much.
That which is not disputed, is not interesting, either.
Where there is no conflict, there is no life.
Conflict does not mean that people are killing one another; conflict means there is a process by which there is disagreement—call it “creative disagreement.”
In the animal kingdom, the rule is, eat or be eaten; in the human kingdom, define or be defined.
To show resentment at a reproach is to acknowledge that one may have deserved it.
If the shoe fits, wear it…and walk it off.
-combination of two common sayings
But I mean, really,
The spit of the toad doesn't reach the white dove.
La bave du crapaud n'atteint pas la blanche colombe. -French proverb
A wise man is superior to any insults which can be put upon him, and the best reply to unseemly behavior is patience and moderation. -Moliere
Even a lion must defend himself against the flies. -German Proverb
A bug may sting a stately horse and make him wince; but, one is still an insect, and the other is still a horse. -Samuel Johnson
The thermometer of success is merely the jealousy of the malcontents. -Salvador Dali
It is always better to be envied than pitied.
ϕθονέɛσθαί κρέσσον ἐσṯὶ ἢ οἰκṯɛίρɛσθαί. (Phthonesthai kresson esti i oikteiresthai.) -Herodotus
Praestat invidiosum esse quam miserabilem. -Erasmus
Trop plus vaut estre envié que plaint. -French proverb (also in Dutch and Italian)
It is the practice of the multitude to bark at eminent men, as little dogs do at strangers.
Envy assails the noblest: the winds howl around the highest peaks.
Summa petit livor: perflant altissima venti.
High trees catch lots of wind.
-English proverb, neatly explained as: “A person with influence is often the target of criticism.”
Envy, like fire, soars upward.
Invidiam, tamquam ignem, summa petere.
It has been a fact of the human world that,
Envy is the tax which all distinction must pay.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
It is true–
Censure is the tax a man pays to the public for being eminent.
Samuel Johnson put it best when he said:
“Such is the state of every age, every sex, and every condition: all have their cares, either from nature or from folly; and whoever, therefore, finds himself inclined to envy another, should remember that he knows not the real condition which he desires to obtain, but is certain that by indulging a vicious passion, he must lessen that happiness which he thinks already too sparingly bestowed.”
It has been said by both writers, artists, and comedians that a critic is someone who is a failure at that art which they criticize…but really, that is only because they have perceived themselves as failures from a certain point, and anyone who has determination and passionate, unstoppable love for what they do, will see failure as another step toward success… “If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate!—or why not quadruple it? Or more?
Case in point:
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
-Thomas A. Edison
A man of genius makes no mistakes; his errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.
I never did anything by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work.
-Thomas A. Edison
Nearly every man who develops an idea works it up to the point where it looks impossible, and then he gets discouraged. That's not the place to become discouraged.
-Thomas A. Edison
Persistent people begin their success where others end in failure.
-Edward Eggleston (but more about this later…)