Criticism: Cure for the Strong, Poison for the Weak

Imagine a world without criticism: everyone says compliments to each other, failures never worry anyone, and even if someone notices them, he or she keeps silent. Well, it is time to get back to reality: such a world is not for us. will tell more about criticism: is it good or bad, how to act when your collocutor crosses the line and starts throwing insults in your way.

When Criticism is Good

Criticism as a Stimulation

Constructive Criticism

Of course, you should not care about every opinion. You can’t please them all. Moreover, you should not even try! Still, there are people who have really based criticism reasons. If your parents wouldn’t tell you to keep your back straight, what should happen to your spine? If teachers would not criticize you for an essay completely copied from the internet, would you know how to express your thoughts clearly and interestingly on writing?

Criticism can become a stimulator for you to become better. If a person who has authority for you gives you a criticism, then this is the best motivation. Analyze your mistakes and you’ll hear compliments from that person next time. Such people criticize you not for showing you lack skills. They criticize because of believing: you can do better.

Criticism Allows to See the Situation Better

Sometimes they really have a better vision from the side. For instance, when you read the text of your essay for the third time, you do not notice mistakes in it. Show it to your friend who never seen it before. He or she will tell you where you forgot to put a full stop or used the same words twice in a row at once. Maybe, that is the reason why you take your friends or parents with you to the store when going to buy a new hat or jacket.

Another good way: asking children for a piece of advice. Johann Goethe thought children, not adults or old ones, to be realists. They can’t lie and they are not afraid to insult someone with their words. If you don’t know which suit to put on for the meeting, ask your younger brother or sister about their thoughts. Their tips will be the most honest and neutral.

Negative Criticism and How to Perceive it

We found out there is a useful criticism, and you should not fight against it. But still, there is another kind of it. Sometimes, a person makes criticizing everyone and everything to be their lifestyle, while their notes don’t have any basis or sense. Such “vampires” eat energy of other people, and your task is to avoid yourself from becoming their victim. Here are some helpful recommendations.

Negative Criticism


When someone makes unpleasant notifications about your appearance, they want to insult you. A person will get stuck in a dead end if you not only won’t react negatively on their words, but agree with them. For instance, once you hear: “Your trousers are so strange, I’d never wear something like that!” – you answer: “Yeah, thanks. That is why I try choosing something like that.” They won’t find words to say after that trick. He or she was trying to “troll” you, and you turned the situation into the opposite one.

Do not Care

Not caring – is another victorious solution for the situation. The person who criticizes you hopes for a feedback, for an answer. You can look at them, and then go on talking to someone else. You won’t feel confused in this situation, and the other person probably will.

There is a parable in Buddhism, that confirms the effectiveness of this method perfectly. Together with his apprentices, Buddha once passed through the village where Buddhism rivals lived. The villagers surrounded them and started insulting and criticizing them. Buddha kept silent, and just said in the end: “If you haven’t said it all yet, then you may finish when we go back through the village.”

People got wondered and asked, why Buddha and his disciples do not answer the insults. Buddha said: “In the village that stood in our way before yours, people met me with gratitude and treats. I said: “Take your fruits and sweets together with my blessing back to you”. And now I ask you: how do you think, what did they do with things I have not accepted and brought back to them?”

One person in the crowd said: “They probably took those fruits and sweets and gave them to their families”. “And today I do not accept your insults and curses, - Buddha said, - I bring them back to you. What shall you do with them? Take them with you and do whatever you want.”

Change the Topic

If it is very important for you to keep good relationships with a person who criticizes you, then just change the topic of your conversation. For instance, ask: “Haven’t you checked the weather for tomorrow? I plan to go for a picnic.” Your collocutor won’t go on the previous topic as they’ll have to answer your question.

First thing possible: he or she will just forget about starting to criticize you. Second one: they’ll understand you to be unwilling to speak about that and to react onto their words.


Irony and self-irony can be the best ways to react. Someone says: “Wow, you’ve got such bruises under your eyes!” Try answering: “That’s what I need for zombie apocalypse. Want zombies to treat me as one of them: then I’ll wave the chance to save the world. And to save you too, by the way.” Such jokes can be found to answer even more serious insults.

“It is Good You Are not Me”

If previous tricks failed to help and a person goes on insulting you, there are special phrases for this case. “If I were you I’d never listen to that band” – someone comments on your favorite song. Let them understand they said unpleasant thing: “Well, then it is good you are not me”, or “then I shouldn’t trust you choosing a music playlist for my party”.

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