While in grad school, a friend said they thought a presentation I made was bad. Really bad. And this person does not mince words. And I put a lot of effort and pride into my presentations. Yet I did not stop showing them my presentations, and was grateful that they said it was bad.
Here are some forms of "bad":
- This is bad, please don't show me similar things in the future.
- This is bad, and causes me to respect you less.
- This is bad, and suggests you should stop trying.
- This is objectively bad, and the fact that you don't see it means you should listen to me.
- I happen to dislike this particular thing, perhaps a lot, and I may not even be able to explain why, but I'm glad you showed me, and I want to see future things you do, even if they are similar to this.
If I sense one of the first four, I shut down. If I sense the last one, I find the criticism useful.