1. Argue the point
This generally indicates that you are taking the feedback as a personal slight. That you have decided the feedback is being given with negative intent. It is combative and closed which will lead those giving feedback to tend towards withholding opinions and put them off working with you in the future. It also means that you miss out on considering fresh perspectives that might help you explore aspects of your work that you’d otherwise not have considered.
2. Justify your choices
a. Without being asked. This is similar to arguing the point. It indicates that you aren’t listening to the feedback but instead thinking of ways to prove wrong those who are offering the feedback. Again, why would people want to collaborate with you if you are not willing to consider their perspective?
b. After being asked. This relates more to taking it on board. When someone giving feedback asks you to explain a choice, it means that they are genuinely wanting to fully understand your perspective. They want to collaborate. Waiting to be asked will show you are invested in understanding what they are saying.
3. Take it on board
Listen. Hear what the feedback is saying and consider it in context with your vision and intentions. Taking the feedback on board shows that you understand it is being given with a positive intent and that the giver wants to see you succeed. Taking feedback on board shows an open mind. Taking feedback on board invites a multiperspectival approach that will work towards reaching the full potential of your art. Taking feedback on board does not mean you have to make the edits suggested, just that you’re willing to listen and consider alternative approaches before making a choice.
As artists we are vulnerable and give of ourselves when creating. This is why it’s even more important to develop an ability to receive feedback without taking it personally. It’s imperative for good mental health practice in the arts. This is a skill that I was not taught at a young age, unfortunately, and grappled with what I took to be personal criticism for a long time. Instead of hearing, “I’d like to help you”, I was hearing, “you’re not good enough”. It stopped me, for a period, from pursuing a career in the arts that are such a part of who I am. It is my hope, in sharing this now, that it might help someone.