CRITICISM – Marilyn Armstrong

Mostly brutal


Brutal honesty is always more brutal than honest and is never well-meant.

Honesty without kindness is 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 the 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.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

15 thoughts on “CRITICISM – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. I hope I’m not guilty of doing any of that…but as your meme states …”The brutally honest are rarely so with themselves”. I don’t take criticism well at all (ask any of a number of former employers..) BUT. I’m more the ‘internalize the criticism, store it up and beat myself up with it later” type of person. Dang. It is difficult to see ourselves as others do, isn’t it? Still, thanks for being honest. We need more of that..

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    1. I try not to criticize, but sometimes I feel I really ought to offer a suggestion. Sometimes, it helps … but usually, it doesn’t So I’m very wary about it. What sounds like no big deal to you may sound like a very big deal to the other guy.

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  2. I was at a cocktail party and got literally attacked by some woman about a published letter to the editor that I had written. What to do? I turned my back on her and walked away. (It seemed to work)
    Leslie

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  3. I don’t take criticism well….. but i’m an expert in taking offence!!!! 😉

    Particularly from idiots who have opinions based upon, at best, poorly understood facts.

    For some reason your President (in name only) comes to mind. 🙂

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  4. Criticism is one thing, being told how to live my life really pisses me off and I have friends who do it all the time like they can’t look up and see a 66 year old woman who’s survived to this point, is standing upright, living a productive life and making decent choices — just not their choices. I don’t tell them what I think about their choices (in some cases that I’d rather die than have their life) because I figured out that we’re not all the same. Advise the young if they ask you, advise your friends if they ask you, otherwise, STFU. I want a shirt that says that. 🙂

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    1. I agree. My problem is when someone asks for a critique, usually writing … and it’s really bad. I can’t tell them the truth. It would kill them. So I try to find a way around not answering the question. These days, I won’t read it unless I know it’s going to be good. Even when I give book reviews, unless it’s really terrible — and I mean REALLY terrible — I dance around it. Or I refuse to give a review at all (if you don’t have anything nice to say, STFU). But people can be very persistent and usually are the ones who should just let it GO.

      NO ONE asks for my advice on how to live life. ME?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s interesting. I don’t mind negative criticism — I’m serious about what I do and I know I’m not the god of writing. If someone really has something to say about how I can do what I’m doing better, I want to know.

        The kind of negative criticism I don’t like is that which comes from someone who doesn’t understand what I wrote. I think there’s a time to say, “This might be a good book for some people, but I really didn’t like it.” That’s a valid statement to me. It clearly says, “I’m not the audience for this book.” I’ve learned a lot (about myself, my writing and the world I live in) from those critiques. Some of the critiques of the Bros Path are so off target I have no idea what those people read.

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