- Criticism is dangerous.
- It puts us on the defensive.
- It wounds our pride.
- Hurts our identity.
- Damages our sense of importance.
- It demoralizes us.
- Arouses resentment.
- Makes us strive to justify ourselves even more.
- It can even cause great minds to halt and commit suicide.
- It’s futile.
B. F. Skinner proved that an animal rewarded for good behavior will learn more rapidly and retain more effectively what it learns than an animal punished for bad behavior. In other words, as much as we thirst for approval, we dread condemnation. This must be why Benjamin Franklin said, “I will speak ill of no man and speak of all the good I know of everybody.”
When someone is rude to us, don’t get angry with them. They know they’re wrong and are about to get scolded. But, don’t do it. Instead, figure out why they were rude. Try to understand them. They probably had an awful day or someone else was rude to them so now they’re passing on this negativity to us. Getting angry means we accept the pass.
If we see them again and they’re again rude, we still shouldn’t be rude and angry. Nor should we criticize and scold them. Instead, let them know what they’re doing is wrong. As Lincoln said, “…malice toward none…charity for all.”
When we criticize someone, this resentment within them can last for decades and even endure until death. So don’t condemn, complain or criticize them. Don’t debate or go against them. Instead, listen and respect their opinions. Always, always find common ground. Indulge in as little criticism as possible no matter how certain we are that it’s justified. Doing so is profitable.
When we criticize people, we’re teaching them to be like us. When we do that, we lose their uniqueness. On top of that, realize that the person we’re correcting and criticizing will probably justify themselves and condemn us in return! In other words, criticism still doesn’t solve the problem. It doesn’t lead to lasting changes.
Know that your family, friends or employees have done their best. If they lose your money, praise them for not losing more.
And for our spouses, we so often take them for granted and never let them know how much we appreciate them that they run away.
My 3 Favorite Quotes on Criticism
- “Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do, but it takes character and self-control to be
- understanding and forgiving.” -Benjamin Franklin
- “A great man shows his greatness by the way he treats little men.” -Thomas Carlyle
- “Don’t criticize them; they are just what we would be under similar circumstance.” -Abraham Lincoln
You can either remain attached to Team You, winning every confrontation. Or, you can remain attached to your friends and family. But good luck trying to do both.
To your success,