Living In A World Of Criticism

Shame From Being Criticized

We all enjoy criticizing others. We are all mental to some extent because we were born judgemental.

The problem is that we always think that our validation holds the utmost importance and is very much needed for the betterment of another person’s life or everyone within our society.

I will begin by providing you with the meaning of the following terms:

  • Criticize – Identifying a fault or a negative aspect of something.
  • Criticism – A negative opinion given about something or someone.
  • Critique – The act of criticizing; which in this case is providing analysis on both the good points and the bad points.
  • Critic – A person who judges or evaluates something.

I am not going to do an in-depth analysis of the spectrum of criticism, critic or critique and the mentality associated with it.

It is a long subject — one that requires a very close look at human psychology.

Are We Lacking Something?

“Thinking is difficult, that is why most people judge.” — Carl Jung

Why Is It That Everyone Hates Being Criticized?

My friend, it is not rocket science.

We tend to feel inferior whenever someone criticizes us and none of us are truly prepared to face humiliation.

Also, it is hard for most people to accept criticism.

Are You Happy Or Upset When You Are Criticized?

Of course, this depends on how sensitive you are and or how thick-skinned you are.

Irrespective of this, the experience is quite painful for the sensitive person and a thick-skinned person is still affected to a lesser degree.

Are ‘Criticism’ And ‘Feedback’ The Same?

No, my friend.

Criticism is about something going wrong due to negligence or carelessness or incompetence.

Feedback usually involves telling someone how they can go about improving themself or improving a thing.

Unfortunately, a sensitive person may perceive the feedback given to them as criticism.

What About Constructive Criticism?

While constructive criticism is welcome, it is rare and is taken over by negative criticism; which is destructive and depressing.

The whole problem starts because everybody thinks that he or she is perfect all of the time and forgetting one of the basic rules of life; which is that nobody is perfect!

I am guessing that criticism arises from someone because:

  • They are insecure.
  • They are hiding something.
  • They were heavily criticized by people while they were growing up.

The Fun Part About Criticism

Criticism always exposes the personality of the person who is doing the criticizing.

“Criticism is the only reliable form of autobiography.” — Oscar Wilde

Here Is Something To Think About The Next Time You Feel The Urge To Criticize Someone

“Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, you’ll be a mile from them, and you’ll have their shoes.” — Jack Handey

Why Is It That We Enjoy Criticizing Anything Or Anyone?

It may have something to do with us having a false sense of pride and believing that we can never go wrong.

It may have something to with having low self-esteem.

It is probably an ingrained habit.

It may also have something to do with the manner in which we were brought up.

“Our criticism revolves around blaming other people for not having the qualities that we think we have.” — Jules Renard

What Is It That Happens To Us When We Are Criticized By Others?

Elementary, my dear Watson!

Everybody takes criticism personally and feels hurt.

In the majority of situations, people have a complex problem (because of unused brainpower) and just love to validate the negative perceptions of themselves by pinpointing the faults of other people.

It is nothing but selfish self-defence and the expression of one’s egotistical tendency.

Is There A Formula For Not Being Criticized?

Yes, but it is difficult to follow.

“To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” — Elbert Hubbard

How Not To Be A Destructive Critique

An idle brain is the Devil’s workshop.

“Be so busy improving yourself that you have no time to criticize others.” — Chetan Bhagat

Should I React/Respond If Someone Criticizes Me Without Justification?

I do not think that it is necessary for you to respond if someone criticizes you without any justification.

“Criticism of you is not the truth — it’s just someone’s opinion.” — Cindy Francis

The Take-Home Message

Think twice before you criticize.

I Want You To Remember This the Next Time That You Are Eager To Criticize Someone

“Every single person is a fool, insane, a failure, or a bad person to at least ten people.” — Mokokoma Mokhonoana

What Are My Thoughts?

People will always have a tendency to criticize.

When I do good, I am criticized.

When I do bad, I am criticized.

When I do nothing, I am criticized.

If I cry, I am criticized.

If I laugh, I am criticized.

People will always have something negative to say (Apparently, it helps them to sleep peacefully at night)!

Please share your thoughts on how to convince a person that we are not criticizing them and that what we are actually trying to do is to provide them with feedback.

Thank you.

Namaste. 🙏🙏🙏

About the guest author:

Dr. Sridhar is the man behind Philosophy Through Photography.

This deep thinker from India wears many hats; he is a physician, a blogger, a philosopher and an amateur photographer.

Published by philosophy through photography

My philosophy is: Life is hard, but God is good. Try not to confuse the two. Anne F. Beiler

45 thoughts on “Living In A World Of Criticism

  1. 😢 So much of this applies to me.

    But for me, I think helping someone not feel criticized is to first point out the good and frame the criticism in terms of how you can make it better. Make the person feel like they have competence and agency to do it.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I think you can try to choose the right time and the right words, however, I don’t think you can convince someone who is insecure but maybe just give them more time to process the information and realize it on their own.

    Anyway, this is a great subject that should be mentioned more often, thank you 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you Ze Gar for your thoughts.
      Agree.

      But choosing the right words and right time is a herculean task and depends on the situation and the mood of individuals.

      General mood is that people tend to react to criticism quickly and feel that, they are the hurt party rather than taking it in a positive way.

      The instant reaction by those getting the criticism depends on degree of their mental maturity.

      Like

      1. I agree with everything you’ve said, especially with the last part.

        I’ve come to a conclusion that some people tend to believe that honesty is important when giving someone a feedback, but then confuse honesty with impoliteness. For instance, there is a big difference between ‘you’ve done a horrible job’ and ‘there’s more place for an improvement’. Maybe realizing that could be the first step.

        And just to add up to how deep this subject goes, there are people who are motivated by feedback they consider as criticism, even though they are angry at the beginning. Thinking about this brings us back to the start :’)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely guest post! Recently I criticised somebody or spoke ill of them to a friend. I didn’t even think ill of them I just thought that was what my friend wanted to hear. My friend berated me for criticising the person and I have felt bad about it ever since!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Haha to avoid criticism you must say nothing and do nothing 😅 I actually struggle with feedback because for decades, all I got was criticism. “You’re so fat for a teenager. Eat less” . “You’re not beautiful, so watch your mouth”. “No one will ever love you if you dress/act/talk like that”. Sometimes the ‘feedback’ is as crap as criticism. I see them all as one, mostly 😒

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love the quotes you have selected, dear Dr Sridhar. I do agree with you on all points. As to your closing question, first we have to make sure the other person is asking for feedback. If it is not asked for, it’s already not feedback, but criticism. Secondly, we have to be reasonably sure the other person is asking for true feedback, rather than validation. For example, if someone says, “Am I right?” or “Did I do well?” – they want you to validate or praise them. However, if they ask for your opinion, you might give them feedback, but make sure it is phrased in positive terms.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Our criticism revolves around blaming other people for not having the qualities that we think we have.” — Jules Renard

    This has got me thinking so much about the things i criticize🤔

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Really enjoyed this both in terms of me keeping my gob shut and not going into meltdown when I get criticised 😊 which I perceive to be daily!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great post. You should never have to convince someone that your words are not criticism.
    Always good to remember that even the crusty seemingly tough old guy also has feelings and takes things to heart….we all do.
    Funny thing Renard. I have a similar post scheduled for this month. Two great minds think alike.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Just providing some feedback…
    I believe we are born innocent and taught to be judgmental how we choose to use that judgment can either be positive or negative for ourselves or others… but that’s only my opinion. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. This made me laugh ’cause I also discuss it on my blog. Yes, people will always criticize, so let’s just be accustomed on that. After all it is no different from gossip. Do good things and only few people would appreciate it. Do one bad act and many people would overreact. In short, we can never please anyone so do your thing and just leave it to God. 😅

    Liked by 2 people

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