Criticism has always been regarded as a negative word because it is associated with expressing disapproval, passing judgment, pointing out flaws, and expressing a negative opinion.
“Criticism is the construction of a judgment about the positive and negative qualities of someone or something. Criticism can range from impromptu comments to a written detailed response.”- Wikipedia
Most people dislike being criticized because it exposes their flaws, errors, or mistakes, but this does not justify why criticism is classified negatively.
No one is infallible; everyone makes mistakes from time to time, and if mistakes are not corrected, there is no need for improvement.
Everyone has played the critic at some point in their lives, and everyone has been criticized fairly and unfairly at times. While some criticism leads to improvement and development, others can be detrimental to one’s self-esteem.
Criticism can be constructive or negative, depending on the critic’s intention, how it is presented, and how the person being criticized perceives it. Criticism can take the form of a reprimand, a correction, or simply a remark, and it can be spoken or written.
Negative criticism is usually delivered from a place of jealousy, spite, or anger, and it usually focuses on the obvious flaw or error without offering suggestions on how to improve or correct the flaw. Knowing what is wrong does not always imply knowing what is right.
Constructive Criticism, on the other hand, usually comes from a place of love and concern for the person or situation being criticized; on most occasions, the critic has a suggestion or correction to make the person or situation better.
Criticism exists in all aspects of life, from literature to politics to religion, and especially on social media platforms where anonymity is possible. People take advantage of their anonymity to criticize every comment or post on social media. If you’re looking for constructive criticism on a particular issue, social media platforms might not be the best place to look.
Because we all handle criticism differently, it is usually not very pleasant to be told ‘you are wrong,’ especially after giving it your all. It is always best to ask yourself ‘how can this criticism help me get better?’ or ‘how can this criticism be used to my advantage?’ If you take the time to ask these two questions every time you are criticized, your reaction to criticism will improve over time.
Consider the following if you are the one being criticized:
Criticism can be thought of as a form of communication. If you put a product up for sale and receive criticism about it, it simply means that the buyer or user is attempting to communicate how they feel about the product, which is critical for the health of your business.
You should be aware that not everyone has to think the same way, which is why criticism is necessary. Every idea has flaws; the creator of the idea may not have noticed these flaws, so when they are pointed out by another person in the form of criticism, it should be viewed as a positive rather than a negative. So, the next time you receive feedback on an idea or a product, be patient and view the feedback as a form of communication.
Because no one criticizes an idea that has not been considered or a product that has not been used, it is always critical to obtain feedback from the consumer of the product or idea in order to improve. Those who do not provide feedback may have found an alternative elsewhere, or they may not have considered the idea or used the product. Criticism could be their way of communicating what improvements they would like to see made to the product or idea. This also demonstrates patronage, as you can only comment on something you have seen, used, or heard.
Many factors come into play when developing an idea, but these factors are usually from the perspective of the idea generator; similarly, products produced are not always consumed entirely by the producer. If you can recognize that the products are made for people other than you and the ideas are made for people other than you, you will be able to recognize that constructive criticism from users is intended to help you see things from their perspective, which allows you to do some thinking in order to do better.
Never take criticism personally, as this will make it difficult to distinguish between negative and constructive criticism. When criticized, the proper attitude is to keep a clear head and remain calm; don’t take it personally, and think before responding.
There is a way to criticize constructively so that the goal of bringing correction is met while the self-esteem of the one being criticized is not harmed.
Before criticizing someone’s idea or product, consider what the problem is and what the solution might be, then begin by explaining the problem and end with a suggestion for a solution.
It is incorrect to criticize what you do not understand; therefore, it is best to always ask when you do not understand, pointing to the exact point you do not understand before making a suggestion that may work.
It is not enough to know that an idea is incorrect; it is also necessary to understand why the idea is incorrect and why the product fails in that area. This allows you to criticize in a constructive manner.
Even if an idea or product meets your standards, you may wish to constructively criticize it in order to improve the idea or product. In this case, you should look for ways to improve the idea or product before submitting it to the originator or producer.
You can choose how and why you criticize, as well as how you respond to criticism, and it is entirely up to you. Critique, depending on how you look at it, can be a form of encouragement.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.
So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt