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.
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 when it is also wise and timely 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, so that you control your response.
Do not argue with critique, it is not ping pong, not a dispute of wits or a negotiation, or an academic search for truth. It is most often 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.
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.
While defending against something, this critique is aimed at enemies and bad competitors; not to improve but to unsettle and to reject them, to belittle, to punish or even to destroy. 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.
To read more go to http://wisdom.tenner.org/three-kinds-of-criticism.html