The opportunity on-line for everyone to react, review, “like”, give stars, and broadcast their inner thoughts about each other – to the planet – has made the acceptance of criticism dizzying. (Not to mention the multiplicity of TV judges on competition shows.)
Do we have a standard for whether the criticism we put out there is constructive or destructive? Or are we looking at conscience vs. impulse?
Take this quiz to find out the size of your criticize.
1. The word you most use to describe people is:
c) Stupid f*n idiot.
2. Someone has enthusiasm about a new idea. You:
a) Immediately cheer them on!
b) Curiously ask more about it.
c) Tell them all the reasons it can’t, won’t, and shouldn’t happen.
3. You have enthusiasm about a new idea you came up with. You:
a) Immediately cheer yourself on! This is the best idea anyone has ever had!
b) Curiously look into it and make a plan.
c) Tell yourself all the reasons it can’t, won’t, and shouldn’t happen.
4. Your favorite thing about a competition TV show with judges is:
a) The performances.
b) What you learn from the feedback.
c) The insults. The harsher the better.
5. You make a comment on social media and remain anonymous because:
a) You believe you shouldn’t get credit for your outstanding kindness.
b) Privacy is important to you.
c) You wrote something so rude you’d never want anyone to find you.
6. Someone respectfully gives you not-so-great feedback on your work. You:
a) Curl up in a ball for days while you consider quitting.
b) Get over the disappointment, take what you can use, and ignore or laugh about the rest.
c) Tell them they don’t know what they’re talking about because they’re a stupid f*n idiot.
7. The average amount of time you spend correcting other people:
a) A few times a day
b) At least half the day
c) All day long, people are such stupid f*n idiots.
8. When you are critical of someone else you feel:
c) Powerful. I am the reality check everyone needs.
9. You’re in a photo with a group. The first thing you look at is:
a) Yourself and something wrong with you.
b) The group together and the cherished memory you have now.
c) Everyone else and what’s wrong with them.
Time to score the size of your criticize:
For every (a) give yourself 1 point.
For every (b) give yourself 2 points.
For every (c) give yourself 3 points.
9-14 Points. Bitesize.
You take action to make the world a better place. Meanwhile, you take criticism pretty hard. A few remedies: 1. If it’s a naysayer who’s criticizing you, get more secure with what you want. (Check out my blog post “How to Get What You Want… Faster.“) 2. Take a moment to see negative criticism as either constructive feedback or a waste of your time. 3. If you’re the one criticizing you, please see the section “Tally Your Irrelevant Thoughts” in the post “How to Get What You Want Faster.”
15-19 Points. Original Size.
You have an admirable balance of limits. Clear and respectful. You’re open to new ideas and feedback, but you don’t over-extend yourself or let others crush your motivation. Let yourself get excited for others and for yourself every once in a while.
20-27 Points. Jumbo Size.
Somewhere along the way you learned that there’s only one way to do things and when people don’t do it instantly, they drive you nuts. You may feel like you’re not being heard, but you might not realize how much your reactions cause a lasting effect. Start flexing some flexibility. Understand that most people are doing their best. And take a look at my blog post “How to Forgive (Without Letting Anyone Off the Hook)” so you can get going on forgiving yourself. Because when you criticize yourself less harshly, criticism of others can turn from frustration to inspiration.
So, fellow criticizers, criticism is natural. After all, we all have our own opinions. It’s all in how you express it. Always approach it with respect and dignity.
When giving criticism: Frame it as feedback. Note what works first, then suggestions on what can improve, followed by encouragement.
When getting criticism: Say “thank you” for what can help you move forward. For what can’t: “Thank you for not wasting my time.”
Now go ahead and give yourself a “like”.