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Accepting Constructive Criticism


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After a year of waiting for feedback, I received an R&R on my first journal. I was ecstatic. The feedback was mostly cosmetic, and I fixed it all right away. When I submitted it, I didn't actually show it to anyone - I know, what was I thinking - so I decided to show it to a handful of people. I took a fairly controversial and unpopular position, about which I feel very passionate, and I was not prepared for a lot of the negative commentary. Ideologically, I can tell that the other person was very much against the entire foundation of my work and I can't help but take it personally. As a new and young-ish academic, I know I have to get used to this, particularly when I take the positions I do. 

Any advice on how to grow a thicker skin? I do plan to use some of the feedback and improve the paper as best as I can, given how close the deadline is. But knowing how sensitive I tend to be, I feel a little doubt about my ability to succeed in this area long-term.

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I'm not sure how you go about growing a thicker skin since I've been lucky to always have one.  I do think its important to remember that someone has to challenge  traditional views with new perspectives and right now that person is you.  If your perspective wasn't valuable then you wouldn't have gotten a journal to give you a revise and resubmit with what sounds like minimal feedback.  Negative comments can also push you to make your work even better despite their initial sting.

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