Recently we posted a blog post about the hidden care behind criticism in order to help you understand how taking criticism positively can be incredibly vital for your own growth. However, I do not want you to use that as a means to justify your criticism of others!
I have recently began reading the famous “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, and his very first chapter entitled ‘If You Want to Gather Honey, Don’t Kick Over The Beehive’ warns against criticising others. He states that doing so will very rarely create any lasting change and is in fact more likely to cause resentment; a serious problem if you want the respect of others.
You see, as human beings we so desperately strive for the approval of others; that Facebook like, the compliment or the hopes of our work one day “going viral”. However we also severely dread any form of condemnation, a fear which will often hold us back from putting our great work out there.
In fact we fear being condemned by our tribe so much that when criticism comes we try incredibly hard to justify our actions almost on instinct. Sometimes people are so solid in their justification, so convinced that they could not have done anything differently and offended that someone is attacking their identity, that they themselves will condemn the person who criticised them. And a spiral of criticism and resentment begins! This cycle itself justifies the need for the previous article…
“A great man shows his greatness by how he treats little men.”Thomas Carlyle
It is often better therefore to neither criticise, condemn nor complain all together. Do not mistake this for not showing support but never speak ill of another’s character, or risk open (or private) criticism yourself!