Destructive Vs. Constructive Criticism: Learn to Tell the Difference - Deepstash

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Destructive And Constructive Criticism

Destructive And Constructive Criticism

  • Criticism comes in two forms: destructive and constructive. Both types of feedback point out our mistakes, flaws, or potential improvements.
  • But while constructive criticism uplifts, offers suggestions, and even provides possible solutions, destructive criticism is cutting, derogatory, and sometimes even mocks our failures.
  • Like it or not, we’re bound to receive both forms of feedback and can’t ultimately control what others share with us. But what we can control is our emotional response to criticism: A healthy response depends upon us learning self-acceptance.


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Consider the Source of the Criticism

Being able to tell the difference between constructive criticism and destructive criticism can begin by: 

  • Doing a self-check-in before responding: If you automatically react defensively, you won’t be able to tell if the comment was destructive or constructive criticism.
  • Evaluating the emotional state of the person offering criticism: Those who feel angered, insecure, or jealous are most likely to launch destructive criticism at others in an attempt to satisfy their own sour mood. 
  • Considering whether they’re speaking constructively or destructively: Does their comment offer you a way to improve upon the issue they’ve pointed out?


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Learning to Offer Constructive Criticism

When offering criticism, remain: 

  • Mindful of your emotional state. If you’re feeling upset about something (even if it’s related), try and check your temper or tone. You’ll feel better about yourself if your criticism offers a solution to the other party. 
  • Cognizant of what your goal is for sharing criticism: Is your hope to help the other person improve something, or to notice how their actions or choices may be affecting others unknowingly?
  • Aware of your relationship with the person you’re criticizing: Being emotionally closer to someone shouldn’t be an opportunity to knock them down a few pegs. Family members, partners, and close friends are often the people with whom we speak the most harshly—but we can’t expect constructive criticism from them if we aren’t also giving it ourselves. 


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