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How to Cope With Critics: What Critics Really Are

Updated on April 17, 2015
Cowell: Loves himself because nobody else does.
Cowell: Loves himself because nobody else does. | Source

Shut Your Mouth…

There is a difference between a reviewer and a critic.

A reviewer appraises a book, play or other work. A critic is a person who expresses a generally unfavourable opinion of something. They are generally also more famous (or infamous) and contemptible. They don’t mind though since they have no friends and they’re used to being hated.

Critics are grumpy old men who hide behind criticism as an excuse, saying that it’s their right. Everybody is able to have an opinion on something. When that opinion extends to the person who created the work in question, and it becomes a personal attack, they’re no longer criticizing the work, which is what they should be doing.

My work has been criticized, and I remember one altercation I had with a person. When I confronted him upon some of his remarks, he admitted though that he hadn’t even read the whole piece of work, and that he had just skimmed through. Upon further investigation, he also divulged that he in fact hadn’t written a literary piece of work in his life and he admitted that he didn’t have the skill to do so.

To my amazement, my work was written in English and he came from a foreign place like Russia or something and English wasn’t his mother tongue. I’m surprised that he even understood a word; that’s probably why he couldn’t read the whole thing.

“That doesn’t make you much of an expert then. Please shut up.” I said in so many words.

Roger Ebert, one of the most respected critics of all time.
Roger Ebert, one of the most respected critics of all time. | Source

I cannot stand people who always have to be completely miserable and complain about everything and everyone. We all have bad days, but if you happen to be one of these habitual oxygen thieves, would you kindly consider turning into a tree and living off of the carbon dioxide and making oxygen instead? It would at least make you more useful and bearable to this world.

If you happen to be an online habitual moaner, I hope you get arthritis.

I write because it’s my passion and I also like to write to entertain, educate and inspire people. If they enjoy it, I feel good. I at least try to enjoy the things that I like doing, despite my general worldview not being so great, so the last thing I need or want is a little brat trying to upset me by being the one person out of a hundred who has to spoil it for me by being totally obnoxious, irrational, overly judgemental and above all, a prat.

One thing that critics can’t take is criticism of their criticism, especially when you back it up with a factual argument. They don’t rely on that; they just run their mouth off and try to make it seem logical and educated, all the while lambasting the author, singer or whoever else is the target of their scorn, and thereby in some cases creating a lot of enemies, especially in forums and other online environments in my experience, by being an arrogant troll. They only act this way because they are fully aware that nobody can touch them because they, according to their profile, are in Moscow, thousands of kilometres away, behind their computer screen in a dark room with self-esteem affirmations on the wall instead of certificates, diplomas, cut out published letters and stories or other achievements that the rest of us have or will earn.

Constructive criticism is explained in this analogy: it’s like a hamburger, you start off with the positive, and then you lay the negative in the middle, and on top of that goes more positive, and in the words of author Jeffrey A. Carver: “If you can’t find anything positive, you’re not looking hard enough”.

If you’ve got nothing good to say, even if it's mixed with the bad, don’t say anything at all. It might make you more popular, maybe (big maybe).

“The critic is a man who prefers the indolence of opinion to the trials of action."

— John Mason Brown

What do you think of critics?

See results

© 2009 Anti-Valentine

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      Anti-Valentine 5 years ago from My lair

      Thank you. Glad you liked it.

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      Anonymous 6 years ago

      Holy shit - so true. An extended family member always feels the need to criticise what I do. I am a musician/performer. He knows nothing about music or performing. I have had a lot of experience in this field and it is my profession - I know what I am doing. I can take criticism, but there is a fine line between making a personal attack on someone and giving constructive feedback, even if it is negative. May I add that he is a grumpy man who is arrogant and obviously insecure. Your article makes perfect sense.

      I haven't named myself in case he ever reads this, but I recently commented on your article on how to avoid getting sick. Great stuff. Keep it up!

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