Everyone’s a critic, right? Criticism is the act of passing severe judgment as to the merits of anything. It is something we all do sometimes even if we don’t notice it. Criticizing something or someone is fairly easy; however, it’s a different story from the perspective of the one being criticized. There are two types of criticism, one is constructive and the other is destructive. Whether you’re the critic or the one on the receiving end, it’s important to know the difference between the two so you will know how to handle it well.
Constructive criticism points out faults and includes practical advice on how they can be corrected. The person receiving the criticism is not attacked directly, and has the opportunity to improve. Usually said with a lot of euphemisms, constructive criticism’s aim is to help the person do better next time by telling them what to work on in a nice way and without sounding controlling.
Here is an example of constructive criticisms:
“Your painting looks nice but it will look even nicer if you used brighter colors.”
“Your grades in Mathematics will improve if you consider getting a tutor.”
“Practice keeping your back straight so you wouldn’t look slouchy all the time.”
The key to giving a constructive criticism is to not patronize the person you’re talking to. Instead, tell them the harsh truth in a way that they wouldn’t take offense. If you tried your best to make it sound less offensive but they still took it badly, it’s not your problem anymore. However, always be careful with how you say it rather than focusing too much on what to say.
If you received that kind of criticism, always take it positively and use it to improve yourself. Besides, people who use constructive criticism on you are mostly those who care about you the most so you can be sure it’s done with good intentions. Never take it as an attack but rather as a proof of love instead.
This is the kind we all hate to hear. This just points out faults and directly attacks their owner. It aims to show that the person or object has no worth or validity. No practical advice or consideration is given. This is usually given by those who do not regard the other person’s feelings or just simply insecure about their own thing that bringing down others boosts their egos.
Examples of destructive criticism are:
“You don’t look good in that dress.”
“You’re so annoying sometimes.”
“You don’t dance well unlike the others.”
If you ever find yourself giving this kind of criticism, you might want to ask yourself why you’re doing it or if you say what’s on your mind, will it help your friend or will you just bring them down? Sometimes, our lips move faster than our brains that we forget how offensive we can be. It’s important to tell the criticism to yourself first and see how you’d take it before you say it. Like they say, keep your words sweet just in case you have to eat them.
Now, if you’re the one receiving this kind of criticism, do not let it get to you. Instead, go out there and prove them wrong. That’s the best revenge for all the destructive critics out there!
It’s in our nature to make mistakes. As we go through life we have plenty of opportunity to learn and improve ourselves. Therefore, no matter what kind of criticism is aimed at you, analyze it to find something you can learn from it. And whenever you’re criticizing someone, make sure you’re doing it to help them and not demean them.