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:
- Brutal honesty is always more brutal than honest and is never well-meant.
- Honesty without kindness is just meanness under false colors.
- 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.
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.