Handle With Care – How are you at receiving criticism? Do you prefer that others treat you with kid gloves, or go for brutal honesty?

My rules of criticism:

  1. Brutal honesty is always more brutal than honest and is never well-meant.
  2. Honesty without kindness is just meanness under false colors.
  3. When criticism is given without love or humor, its aim is not to inform, but to hurt.

Anyone can tell — by tone of voice and facial expression — the true intent of someone who is “only telling the truth for your own good.” Most of the time, it’s a bald-faced lie. I wish people who have a bone to pick would just say so and stop pretending it’s for my own good. It’s for their good, if anyone’s good is truly involved.

brutal honesty

Some people really can’t handle criticism, no matter how gently given — or even a suggestion there might be a better way to do something. In which case, give it up. Whatever you feel you need to tell them? Don’t bother They’ll always take it the wrong way and no one will benefit. Sometimes, they have good reasons for reacting that way, but it doesn’t matter. From your point of view, it’s a lost cause. Give it up.

On the whole, people who like to criticize other people get a kick out of it. I would like to kick them back.

So, to sum this up, are you suggesting I don’t take criticism well? Who do you think you are, anyway? I take criticism fine. You are out of line, sir. I am the soul of restraint and patience and if you don’t agree, I’m going to shout at you until you apologize.

There. Now I feel better.

Categories: Humor

Tags: , , , , , ,

21 replies

  1. When criticism is given without love or humor, its aim is not to inform, but to hurt….very well written, intelligent way of bottling up your opinion about bold criticism…thank you so much for producing such great article…:-)


  2. Loved that last little bit…made me laugh out loud, like the real-deal! 🙂 For the record, I know very few people who can genuinely handle sharp criticism — I know I sure can’t!


    • Criticism by it’s nature is negative. There are a lot of ways to give feedback, to offer suggestions. Criticism is not the one I would choose. Some people can’t handle any kind of input, even positive because they misinterpret everything. As in paranoid. They are sure whatever you say is going to be negative and it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. But over all, I’m not a big fan of critics. I don’t know anyone who really likes them. They undoubtedly perform a useful function, but even the professionals seem to take delight in negativity.


  3. A lot oh honesty with a sting in the tail…. 🙂


  4. ‘The more brutal it is, the less likely it is to have any real value.’ That’s the best sum-up, right there. I was trying to think of a way to answer this DP and there it is. Thank you. :o) Enter brutality: exit credibility. Now I can go back to my knitting…


    • It’s true though. The moment someone says “Let me be brutally honest,” you know there’s something that a lot more brutal than honest. What it is is a put down. Honesty isn’t brutal and brutality isn’t honest.


  5. Your last paragraph did make me giggle 🙂


  6. I havn’t even written mine yet, although have an idea. But what should I write? I am so perfect.


  7. It’s tough one, both taking and delivering criticism, however constructive the latter. The ideal would be that both parties learn something from the process, and that, as you say, requires kindness: how best to say, how best to respond…and not a bloodbath in sight.


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