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Criticism Essay, Research Paper


Criticism can be negative or positive; the way it is said may be good or bad. Why do most of us want to avoid giving or receiving criticism? The purpose of criticism is to encourage positive outcomes (what the giver wants). Ideally, it brings balance into our lives, provides us with a basis of comparison, and brings truth, honesty, and intimacy. Hopefully, it gives us honest feedback a balance of praise and criticism. Do most of us want to know how we are doing?

Why do successful business people actually seek out criticism from people they respect? Why do people feel they are unfairly criticized? Are tone of voice, choice of words important? What communication skills does one need to criticize well? Why do those who are criticized act defensively? Can one be defensive and actually hear what is being said?


Is this a great source of stress? Have the past criticisms from parents, teachers, and other made us into the person we are today? The receiver must try must try to personalize the criticism and view it as information worthy of examination (either to accept or reject). Often we associate the one criticizing us with hostile bosses or other in the past.

Is the criticism valid? What is the intention? What action is needed to be taken?

What is the worst part of receiving criticism? (Loss of control, emotional involvement, etc.). How do we normally react? (Defensive, stop listening, cry argue, blame others, feel rejected) How can we reduce the stress? (Perhaps see criticism as just information). Do we normally ask several questions: is it legitimate ? Does the person have a right to criticize us (neighbor, parent, and spouse, boss)? What is the intention blame me, embarrass me, destroy me? What words set us off in anger name used, should have, must have, always, never, but

Does the criticism tell you what is wrong and what is expected in the future? Is the information correct?

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Need to deal with criticism correctly: ask question to understand exactly what the person means, find out the intention of the person means, how one rectifies the situation, etc. The receiver has more control than the giver.

Need to build ones confidence in ones abilities to accept criticism well. Know ones skill and weaknesses; ones successes and failures. How does one know when one is doing a good job? Need to have a feel so we are not caught off guard. Need to learn to take criticism on the job professionally, and emotion (breathe deeply and slowly). Try to remain impartial. Ask yourself is the criticism is valid. What can we learn?

Other factors that color criticism: 1) relationship with the giver of criticism (friends give advice). Why do we resent criticism from in-laws, parents and spouses more than bosses do? 2) Choice of words how it is given. I can t believe you would do such a stupid thing. What words make you angry, loud, etc? 3) Style of delivery, sacristy, fast and angry, loud, etc. 4) Timing, and public or private. 5) Other types: beyond your control, aimed at your gender, size, heritage, appearance, etc

QUESTIONS: How good are you at staying cool under criticism? (Knots in stomach, anger, etc). How well do you listen when you are criticized? (Rephrase so that you really understand what he/she is saying). How effectively can you organize your thoughts to answer (if you think you should)? How well do we put the criticism in perspective (not life threatening)? Do we brood on it for weeks, months?


In many societies a giver of bad news was killed. Is it more difficult to give criticism from coaches, even verbal abuse? Suggestions: make sure your motives are positives- to help the person. Can the receiver behave appropriately? Is there enough information to act? Find out how the receiver prefers to be criticized. Will the actions result in better performance or worse? Practice your delivery. Is the timing correct? Emphasize how the criticism will help improve the person. Begin and end on a positive not. Remember the boss is like a coach, not a traffic cop. Don t let criticism become personal. Establish mutually agreed upon expectations. Be a good listener.


Is criticism from a spouse more difficult to accept? Do we receive more criticism at home than at work? Why do spouses give each other more criticism than anyone else? See marriage as a license to criticize? Topics: traditional sex role disagreements, 5-year-old arguments. Its O.K. to criticize and argue, except a mate s sexual performance. Emotional make up orderly family life can make us think our way is the only normal way. Couples need humor to survive.

In-laws are the classic givers of criticism and the most resented. It is especially resented if it is delivered by one of the children (Grandpa say ). People find criticism from a friend least resentful, since it is perceived as advice. Parents don t relize how much they criticize their children and how the kids feel about it. Kids can try to please parents, make them suffer, or think are no good . Let them know what they did wrong without making them feel like terrible people. Many of us do things that make people criticize us or we get in the habit of criticizing everyone for everything.

The Art of Criticizing Ourselves

NO one can make you feel inferior without your consent. We often carry on an internal dialogue with ourselves in which we criticize ourselves. Self-criticism is the most popular form of criticism. We focus on negative aspects of behavior, instead of evaluating ourselves both positively and negatively. One needs touse self-criticism to inspire oneself to new heights, not to lows. Often we defeat ourselves by focusing on criticism rather than a remedy. We are usually too general: I made a mess of everything.

Make Criticism into a Positive Force

Criticism is a vital part of our lives. If used well, it can empower us; if used badly, it can destroy careers, relationships, and destroy self-confidence. Key questions to ask: Is the person giving criticism off limits? Does it have value? Does it call for a specific action? It is worse to get no criticism than to receive it. When criticizing others, remind the person you are not personally criticizing others him/her but a specific action. Avoid criticizing in front of others. Maintain the other person s self-esteem don t destroy them. Criticism is a commutation tool to bring about change.

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