The Art of Criticism

8 Feb

Criticism, that dreaded 9-letter word. Or is it? It all depends on how it is delivered and how it is accepted by the sender and receiver.

If you weren’t aware, criticism’s main purpose is to make us better and more productive people. However, it all depends on how the criticism is sent and received. I like to think of criticism as advice. As we were growing up, we were constantly receiving “advice” from our parents and teachers. It is how we learned. But as we got a little older, the “advice” started to rub us the wrong way because we thought we didn’t need it anymore. 

But then we entered the workforce and started a family and criticism reared its ugly head again. Our bosses told us that and our parents told us this. Just leave us alone, we know what we are doing. 

Who do you think makes better parents, those who accept criticism gracefully or those who do not? I think we know the answer to that one. Who generally succeed in their vocation, those who accept criticism willing or those who fight it or reject it? I think we also know the answer to that one as well. 

When I got sober 17 years ago, I didn’t particularly like criticism. Why? Because, I believe I grew up in an “overcritical” home. Nothing I did seem to be right or ok. But, as I opened my mind and my heart to God again, I was able to accept criticism I was receiving from loving and supportive “friends” to help me stay sober and to change my life. 

When you criticize someone, do it in a gentle, loving way. And when you accept criticism, do it in a graceful and open way. If you do this, you will grow and the other person will grow too!

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