Stoning Of Saint Emerantiana
No doubt criticism is a critical situation. Yet another time when character shows. And skill.
Like hunting, criticism feels as a noble sport or an assassination; depends on which side of the gun you are.
When we give criticism we judge it fair but we seem born to take criticism as surprise, stoning and humiliation. This is quite undiscerning. You can give and find value in critique, hidden precious stones even in the mud of bad criticism.
There are three kinds of criticism: friendly, indifferent and hostile, each with its intention. Do not confuse them. They have different aims and rules which you should recognise when you give critique and also when you receive it.
Critique in all its forms, will not be received on merit. It will not simply win by the force of argument and the crystal clarity of Truth. Not at all. The business of critique concerns persons and requires rhetoric and tact; credibility, the right occasion, intentions and words clearly understood. Without which it will confuse and it will be rejected. Or, it will do the opposite of what was intended.
Criticise when you feel you have a right to do it and it is also wise to do it. Moreover, critiquing without asking yourself first for which cause you do it now and even more with which purpose, is a vicious bad habit. When being criticised the urgent thing is to observe that you are criticised.
Do not argue with critique, it is not ping pong, not a dispute of wits or a negotiation. It is feedback and evaluation. Handle it. Listen and to ask yourself which kind of it you face and why. Friendly? Objective? Hostile? You give or receive the three modes with a different mind.
Friendly criticism is a gift to help the one criticised; the critique takes the side of the person and its aim is to improve, to protect, to warn and to help succeed. With such a purpose as a critic you test carefully, correct the weak points and advise what to improve. This is work for the wise.
Objective criticism, indifferent as I like to call it, is insensitive to persons: It serves some impartial discipline, a wider, higher and abstract ideal – truth, beauty, religion or justice, profit, excellence... so that it has no friends. Mostly harmless, often precious, it turns inhuman at times. It does not mind people, it is meant to correct, to perfect, to redress and bring to task, to do everything towards precision, beauty, excellence or success. It does what is needed, nothing personal.
Hostile criticism is to defend or to attack, to reject, to punish to subvert and to destroy. Unfavourable, it works to contain and make things hard for the target. It is aimed at enemies, not to improve but to unsettle and to reject, to punish even to destroy while defending against something. It tries to stop, to contain, to make things harder or to discredit and ridicule. Unfavourable, what it wants to avoid is being of any help.
Always ask yourself which kind of criticism you face. Accordingly, you handle these three critiques in different ways. To read more go to http://wisdom.tenner.org/three-kinds-of-criticism.html