How to Use Criticism Wisely

How to Use Criticism Wisely

What do you know about criticism? How do you view it? Do you think it is right to criticize?
Well, criticism has a lot to do in human development – physically, psychologically, emotionally, or otherwise. Nevertheless, you might ask; how? Some of us will say; criticism hurts so badly. Why then is it said to be a contributing factor in human development. Yes! Criticism makes us think outside the box. Let’s see how by starting with the definition.
Criticism is the act of expressing disapproval of something or somebody and opinions about their faults or bad qualities. It can also be said to be the activity of making fair, careful judgment about the good and bad qualities of somebody or something especially books, music, etc. according to Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary.
From the aforementioned context, criticism can be classified into:
1) Constructive
2) Destructive criticism
Now the question is: what is the difference between constructive and destructive criticism? As the name implies, Constructive Criticism is the act of expressing disapproval of somebody or something about their bad quality, fault or poor performance in such a way that makes them rethink and restructure their actions or decisions in order to attain better results. Constructive criticism helps one to grow and develop in personality and attitude.
Destructive Criticism on the other hand is bad because it is the disapproval of one’s quality, actions, performance or criticism in such a way that makes them feel bad, discouraged and weighed down. Such criticism makes one discard his formal plans for good, goodwill or proposed goal thereby hindering growth and development and the society at large.
Now the question is how do you handle criticism? How does it affect your life? For good or bad? The way you handle criticism determines how your life is structured and directed. It is your decision to make; whether to use criticism for your self-development or for self-destruction.

The Meaning is right here

Positive and negative effects

When people criticize, it may have a fruitful and constructive effect on the recipient, giving that new ideas and viewpoints are generated to solve a problem.
Criticism can also hurt the feelings of others when the criticized realizes that it was a personal attack to tear him down.
The form in which criticism is rendered also matters a lot. If the criticism is giving in a destructive manner, it could be counter-productive, that is the criticism is not accepted. The quality of criticism also matters in most cases. Example accountants, lawyers or politicians could be affected adversely i.e. tarnishing of their image or degrading their reputation thereby destroying their career or ambition.
What criticism should be and what it should be
Criticism should be:
1) Timely and accurate
2) Relevant and advantageous
3) Persuasive and motivational
Criticism should not be:
1) Untimely
2) Malicious
3) Destructive and crippling
Some people are not really open to criticism. Considering the negative effect and discard the positive ones; however, criticism can be a great source of strength and a light at the end of the tunnel. Nonetheless, people with myopic outlook disregard it and hold on to pretentious appreciation. Criticism can be used to silence people, or make them stay away either from a group, company, club, plans, ambitions, etc.
Self-confidence can play a big role in criticism – the confidence to criticize, and the confidence to face criticism. It is necessary to build confidence; being like a Chinese Bamboo, having great resilience to stand up again when being criticized. Most times, people’s emotions should be taken into consideration when criticizing.
When criticizing, the hamburger method should be implored – a method in which harsh criticism [meat] is covered by compliments [buns]. Using this method keeps the person being criticized at ease instead of revengeful.
Here are some quotes to help you think about criticism: when you are giving it, receiving it, and understanding it.

A Person Criticized by many: what does it feel like?

“Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember, the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you.” –Zig Ziglar

“When criticized, consider the source.” –Unknown

“If we judge ourselves only by our aspirations and everyone else only by their conduct, we shall soon reach a very false conclusion.” –Calvin Coolidge

“The final proof of greatness lies in being able to endure criticism without resentment.” –Elbert Hubbard

“We need very strong ears to hear ourselves judged frankly, and because there are few who can endure frank criticism without being stung by it, those who venture to criticize us perform a remarkable act of friendship, for to undertake to wound or offend a man for his own good is to have a healthy love for him.” –Michel de Montaigne

“When we speak evil of others, we generally condemn ourselves.” –Publius Syrus

“The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic.” –Oscar Wilde

“He who throws dirt always loses ground.” –Unknown

“You’re never as good as everyone tells you when you win, and you’re never as bad as they say when you lose.” –Lou Holtz

“The dread of criticism is the death of genius.” –William Gilmore Simms

“He has a right to criticize who has a heart to help.” –Abraham Lincoln

“The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” –Norman Vincent Peale

“You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.” –John Wooden

“Most people have been brainwashed into believing that their job is to copyedit the world, not to design it.” –Seth Godin

“Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. Love me, and I may be forced to love you.” –Norman Vincent Peale

“Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” –attributed to Aristotle

“A creative life cannot be sustained by approval any more than it can be destroyed by criticism.” –Will Self

“It is a thing of no great difficulty to raise objections against another man’s oration–nay, it is very easy; but to produce a better in its place is a work extremely troublesome.” –Plutarch

“When men speak ill of thee, live so as nobody may believe them.” –Plato

“The individual must not merely wait and criticize, he must defend the cause the best he can. The fate of the world will be such as the world deserves.” –Albert Einstein

“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If we had no faults we should not take so much pleasure in noting those of others.” –François de La Rochefoucauld

“Don’t criticize what you don’t understand, son. You never walked in that man’s shoes.” –Elvis Presley

“Boredom, after all, is a form of criticism.” –Wendell Phillips

“It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” –William Lonsdale Watkinson

“Every human being is entitled to courtesy and consideration. Constructive criticism is not only to be expected but sought.” –Margaret Chase Smith

“If we are bold enough to point out problems, we must be brave enough to try to solve them.” –Robert Alan Silverstein

“If you have no will to change it, you have no right to criticize it.” –Mark Twain

“One of the criteria for national leadership should therefore be a talent for understanding, encouraging, and making constructive use of vigorous criticism.” –Carl Sagan

“Blame is safer than praise.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Don’t let compliments get to your head and don’t let criticism get to your heart.” — Lysa TerKeurst

“Criticism is a privilege that you earn–it shouldn’t be your opening move in an interaction.” –Malcolm Gladwell

“Those of us who shout the loudest about Americanism are all too frequently those who…ignore some of the basic principles of Americanism–the right to criticize, the right to hold unpopular beliefs, the right to protest, the right of independent thought.” –Margaret Chase Smith

“Think before you speak is criticism’s motto; speak before you think, creation’s.” –E. M. Forster

“Analyses of others are actually expressions of our own needs and values.”
–Marshall Rosenberg

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right–for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

“Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.” –Frank A. Clark

“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” –Napoleon Hill

“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something sometime in your life.” –Winston Churchill

“If your heart acquires strength, you will be able to remove blemishes from others without thinking evil of them.” –Mohandas K. Gandhi

“Think not those faithful who praise all thy words and actions; but those who kindly reprove thy faults.” –Socrates

“One mustn’t criticize other people on grounds where he can’t stand perpendicular himself.” –Mark Twain

“My opinions and principles are subjects of just criticism.” –Victoria Woodhull

“What distinguishes modern art from the art of other ages is criticism.” –Octavio Paz

“Critics sometimes appear to be addressing themselves to works other than those I remember writing.” –Joyce Carol Oates

“If someone criticizes you, give them a compliment.” –Debasish Mridha

“Learn to see the difference between constructive and destructive criticism.” –Anonymous

“Appreciate the constructive; ignore the destructive.” –John Douglas

“I have already settled it for myself, so flattery and criticism go down the same drain and I am quite free.” –Georgia O’Keeffe

“How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct.” –Benjamin Disraeli

“It is usually best to be generous with praise and cautious with criticism.” –Anonymous

“Don’t criticize what you can’t understand.” –Bob Dylan

“Any fool can criticize, complain, and condemn–and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.” –Dale Carnegie

“But instead of spending our lives running towards our dreams, we are often running away from a fear of failure or a fear of criticism.” –Eric Wright

“Criticism is information that will help you grow.” –Hendrie Weisinger

“Concern over criticism clogs creativity.” –Duane Alan Hahn

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

“Before you go and criticize the younger generation, just remember who raised them.” –Anonymous

“Criticism is an indirect form of self-boasting.” –Emmit Fox

“A critic is a legless man who teaches running.” –Channing Pollock

“The pleasure we feel in criticizing robs us from being moved by very beautiful things.” –Jean De La Bruyere

“A cynic is prematurely disappointed with the future.” –Anonymous

“Criticism is the disapproval of people, not for having faults, but having faults different from your own.” –Anonymous

“Any jackass can kick a barn down, but it takes a carpenter to build it.” –Sam Rayburn

“There is no defense against criticism except obscurity.” –Joseph Addison

“All my life, people have said that I wasn’t going to make it.” –Ted Turner

“You are a glorious, shining sword and criticism is the whetstone. Do not run from the whetstone or you will become dull and useless. Stay sharp.” –Duane Alan Hahn

“The artist doesn’t have time to listen to the critics. The ones who want to be writers read the reviews. The ones who want to write don’t have the time to read reviews.” –William Faulkner

“When we judge or criticize another person, it says nothing about that person; it merely says something about our own need to be critical.” –Anonymous

“I have yet to find the man, however exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than under a spirit of criticism.” –Charles Schwab

“The most noble criticism is that in which the critic is not the antagonist so much as the rival of the author.” –Isaac Disraeli

“Pretty words are not always true, and true words are not always pretty.” –Aiki Flinthart

“Sandwich criticism between two layers of praise.” –Mary Kay Ash

“Remember: When people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.” –Neil Gaiman

“It’s simpler and easier to flatter people than to praise them.” –Jean Paul Richter

“It is much more valuable to look for the strength in others. You can gain nothing by criticizing their imperfections.” –Daisaku Ikeda

“Don’t mind criticism. If it is untrue, disregard it; if unfair, keep from irritation; if it is ignorant, smile; if it is justified, it is not criticism, learn from it.” –Anonymous

“The person who offends writes as if it was written on sand, and the person who is offended reads it as if it were written on marble.” –Italian proverb

“Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when you do criticize him, you’ll be a mile away and have his shoes.” –Anonymous

“Having a sharp tongue will cut your throat.” –Anonymous

“As much as we thirst for approval we dread condemnation.” –Hans Selye

“Never retract, never explain, never apologize; get things done and let them howl.” –Nellie McClung

“In order to excel, you must be completely dedicated to your chosen sport. You must also be prepared to work hard and be willing to accept constructive criticism. Without 100 percent dedication, you won’t be able to do this.” –Willie Mays

“When virtues are pointed out first, flaws seem less insurmountable.” –Judith Martin

“I like criticism. It makes you strong.” –LeBron James

“If a man isn’t willing to take some risk for his opinions, either his opinions are no good or he’s no good.” –Ezra Pound

“It’s too easy to criticize a man when he’s out of favor, and to make him shoulder the blame for everybody else’s mistakes.” –Leo Tolstoy

“He only profits from praise who values criticism.” –Heinrich Heine

“The price of success is to bear the criticism of envy.” –Denis Waitley

“The trite saying that honesty is the best policy has met with the just criticism that honesty is not policy. The real honest man is honest from conviction of what is right, not from policy.” –Robert E. Lee

“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.” –Winston Churchill

“The greatest threat to freedom is the absence of criticism.” –Wole Soyinka

“Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.” –Franklin P. Jones

“Constructive criticism is about finding something good and positive to soften the blow to the real critique of what really went on.” –Paula Abdul

“Opinion often consists of a kind of criticism. But criticism can come out of love.” –Robert Frank

“Self criticism must be my guide to action, and the first rule for its employment is that in itself it is not a virtue, only a procedure.” –Kingsley Amis

“While we would love to have no criticism, probably if we had no critique, we wouldn’t be doing anything meaningful.” –Erwin McManus

“Most of the criticism I have received over the years has been very good.” –Van Morrison

“People ask for criticism, but they only want praise.” –W. Somerset Maugham

Having considered all the aforementioned steps, it is necessary that when you engage in criticism, endeavor to make it constructive. That is in a way that helps the criticized discover himself and work towards developing his mindset, attitude, behavior and study routine, daily habit and relationship with others in the church, in the school, marketplace or wherever he maybe. By doing so, you encourage societal growth and development and not destruction.

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