We criticize because WE CAN! We often do it more than we should and for some, this is a pass time that never gets old. For many, it is just a matter of sharing their opinions on what is wrong with the world today. For others, they are hopeful that their insight would be the catalyst for change and betterment.
To criticize is “to express disapproval of someone or something.” My question is, should we really care what people think? The ‘people’ I am referring to here are the constantly negative elements in our lives that find it difficult to share uplifting and encouraging words. It is almost as if they sit there, plotting and waiting to offload on us, all the things they were thinking about during the day. They may try to label it as ‘constructive feedback’ but I highly doubt it!
We live in a world where criticism is the norm. If you must share your thoughts and opinions with someone try to put yourself in their shoes. If you plan on just being mean, then I suggest you hold that thought. If however, your purpose is to genuinely help that person improve, then please strive to be respectful and thoughtful of their feelings in your delivery.
Too often messages meant for good get lost in translation because of poor delivery resulting in anger and hurt feelings. No one likes to be criticized. Some of us over the years have learnt to toughen up so the opinions of others does not negatively impact how we feel or see ourselves. Unfortunately, not everyone can master that skill, after all, this is something that is developed over time.
My suggestion is rather than criticize let us ’empathize’. Our intentions should always be to uplift, encourage and educate NEVER to break others down. Focus on what really needs fixing. Think, if you were on the receiving end, would you action every criticism you were given? Chances are, No! We need to interpret for ourselves what messages we can learn from and what messages to disregard.
More often than not the people closest to us find it hard to tell us the truth sometimes. I believe they are afraid of potentially hurting our feelings. Don’t dismiss anyone who is trying to be genuine, you might miss out on an opportunity to learn something new. Nobody is perfect, and that’s okay. No one has to be.
How we deliver the message is just as important as the message itself.