Constructive Criticism – Can You Handle It?

truth

I don’t know everything, nor is everything I do done in the best way possible. Because of that, I appreciate when others take the time to show me ways in which I can improve various aspects of my life.

Yesterday, I had a long conversation with someone who offered me several ideas and suggestions on how to better raise my autistic son. Along with their recommendations, they were also very quick to advise me not to carry out certain plans that I had in mind.

I can already hear people saying, “What? No one should tell you how to raise your kid.” I disagree, however. Parenting is a lifelong journey of mistakes and learning. No parent is perfect. If someone has good suggestions, or thinks that my choices will cause more harm than good, then I want to hear them.

The recommendations given to me yesterday kept me up almost all night long with excitement. I’m thrilled at the possibilities and the new challenges that are ahead. They are going to be great for my son! Why would I not want to listen to, and then apply ideas that will benefit him? Shouldn’t we all want what’s best for our kids?

Constructive criticism can come from many different people, and in a variety of environments. Your boss, a teacher, a parent, your spouse, a stranger, and even fellow bloggers (like my blogging friend, Doobster – thank you). We all have areas in which we can improve, and ideas of how to do so can come from anyone.

However, if we don’t lay down our pride long enough to listen to the suggestions of others, then how will we ever improve?

How do you handle constructive criticism?

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30 Responses to Constructive Criticism – Can You Handle It?

  1. Great food for thought. I handle constructive criticism okay and criticism well until it piles,and up and up and up until it gets so heavy that it starts to weigh me down. I guess it depends on who is saying it and how,they are saying it. The how,is key for me. If someone appears to truly want to help that’s one thing,but someone who just wants to point out what a screw up I am is another. It’s a very fine line 🙂

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    • mewhoami says:

      I completely agree with you. How something is said makes a big difference in how the other person receives it. Nagging and nitpicking does nothing but drive people away. However, when a suggestion is given with good intentions, well constructed and thought out, then it is much easier to listen to and apply if we find that they’re right. It is a fine line indeed.

  2. Kylie says:

    Constructive criticism is a regular part of my major in college – Music Education – so I am used to it. I receive it constantly, as I practice teaching in class, and especially in my voice lessons. I think constructive criticism is important, but I also believe discernment is necessary. People do not always know what they are talking about and/or what is best for you!

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    • mewhoami says:

      It’s great that you are open to it when needed. I agree that not everyone knows what’s best. Before taking suggestions from anyone, we should always consider the source. Do they have knowledge pertaining to and/or experience with the topic at hand? Do they have a good understanding of the person and their needs? Great point about discernment! Thank you for adding that.

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  3. I love getting new ideas, and while half of the suggestions people give us are crap, it’s always good when you have someone that “gets” it, or has a fresh perspective. Good on you for having an open mind!

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  4. Doobster418 says:

    Well thank you for singling me out, along with a boss, a teacher, a parent, your spouse, and a stranger, as one who doles out constructive criticism. Well, thanks, I think! There are some who say that if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. But I don’t think that’s necessarily good advice. Sometimes pointing something out to someone in a constructive manner is better than just being “nice” and not saying anything. No one learns and grows without receiving feedback. The key, though, to giving constructive criticism is to be sure, if your going to criticize something, criticize the act, not the individual.

    Good post.

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  5. Georgia Mom says:

    I appreciate constructive criticism and often ask for it.

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  6. Rookienotes says:

    Constructive criticism is good and I appreciate it. It helps me to grow as a person. However, I am learning not to give constructive criticism or my advice unless someone asks for it. It’s one of those delicate situations.

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  7. I fight when anyone gives me advice – but I’m not a parent and I have zero interest in being in charge at work. I can barely figure out my own head, and my best friend will tell you I am a master at smiling and nodding and going on with my self-destructive ways.

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  8. Glynis Jolly says:

    The key is ‘constructive’ criticism and I want it. Like you, I’m well aware of not knowing everything so if someone can stop me from making a mistake I’ll miserably will regret, I’m all for it.

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    • mewhoami says:

      It’s a wonderful thing in my opinion, to be able to admit that we don’t know everything. Know-it-alls never learn anything. Agreed – if someone can save us from making a mistake then we should definitely want to hear it.

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  9. suzjones says:

    Criticism of any kind weighs me down and I have the tendency to berate myself for not being good enough. That said, I feel that it needs to be given in such a way that it doesn’t feel like criticism. It’s all in the delivery. If it’s delivered correctly then it is much easier to swallow.

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    • mewhoami says:

      I completely agree with you on that. The delivery makes all the difference in how the information is received. Like you, I am constantly on myself for what I perceive as my wrong-doings, flaws, etc. Most of it is all in my head. Some of us can be so hard on ourselves, can’t we?

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  10. This goes right along with one of my favourite creeds…..don’t ask for advice if you’ve no intention of using it. Thank you for popping over to my blog. Thank you for the follow…I can’t tell you how glad I am you found me! Your writing (and your ideas) is awesome!

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    • mewhoami says:

      That is absolutely right. Don’t ask if you don’t want to hear the answer. You’re welcome, and thank you! I’m so glad to have you join my little piece of the blogging world and equally as happy to join yours.

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  11. April says:

    I will listen, weigh whether or not it fits my situation, take away the information that was helpful, and I appreciate it. Oh, by the way, I have a good friend who has an Autistic son. He just got his driver’s license. He has come a long way from his childhood and pre-teen years.

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    • mewhoami says:

      That is really good. It’s great that you hear them and listen, even if their suggestions are not always applicable. That’s better than many people do. Really? That is great! What an amazing accomplishment!

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