ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Criticism: How to Give and Take It

Updated on November 3, 2011


Criticism can be a hard thing to give and take without offending or being offended, but criticism can be a great help if done properly. It can help you find the areas that you need to improve upon. It helps you set ideas and boundaries for your next work- whether that be a poem, story, painting, sculpture, anything.

When taking part in giving and receiving criticism, you want to:

  • Take charge: "Hey I have 5 minutes; do you want me to look at your work?" or "Can I have 5 minutes of your time to look at something for me?"
  • Pick your partners: Some people may take your style of criticism better than others. Or, some people may give better criticism.
  • Listen: Listen to what each other is saying.

How to Give Criticism

When you're asked to give someone constructive criticism, remember that it's supposed to be constructive and helpful. If you see something wrong or something that could be done a different way to make the piece better, don't say that the person is wrong. An artist is never wrong in how he feels his painting should flow.

Tips to give criticism:

  • Know the goals: Make sure that you know what problem you're trying to solve. If you don't know what the creator is trying to get at and achieve, then you really don't know what to offer in return.
  • Personal Preferences out the window: Put your personal tastes aside. What you like is not always good. Because the criticism is not about you, you'll need to look at the creation with an unbiased tone.
  • Talk equally about what it is as isn't: You want to give equal pros and cons. If the creator only gets to hear what needs to be fixed, his end choices on correcting the cons may not be the best. He needs to understand the strong and weak qualities.
  • Oreo: Think of criticism as an oreo- give one good thing, one bad thing, one good thing. That way you end can end on a good note, but the person is able to see what could be better or changed. Obviously, if there are multiple different things that you feel need to happen, don't pile it in all in the middle- good, bad, bad, good, bad, bad, good, good.

How to Take Criticism

The worse part of criticism is that someone has to hear it. Take it as a way to develop ideas. It's actually essential to master your skills.

Tips for receiving criticism:

  • Shut up and listen: As a form of denial, you may try to defend your work to the points that are trying to be made to help you. Just listen to what the person has to say.
  • Ask questions: So to not get confused or to get to take the criticism wrong, clarify what's being said by asking questions. Ask the person to show you what they mean.
  • Refer to the goals: When the conversation seems to go astray, refer back to the goals. This can work if you feel that you're not getting the criticism in the direction that you were hoping. I.E. the person looked at your work in a different way.
  • Question what changes would make it better: In regards to the criticism that you received, as the person what changes he feels would make the work better. "How can I improve that?"


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • PeanutButterWine profile image


      7 years ago from North Vancouver, B.C. Canada

      Loved this, voted up! :)

    • JerseyGirl profile image


      10 years ago from Jersey Shore

      I agree with your advise. Unfortunately, I tend to feel that the world is too rushed, and people (weather family or business), do not take the time to give, nor receive criticism.

      With that, I dont know that your hub will be truly appreciated.

      I do appreciate it; although, again..... sometimes its easier for others to walk away, say "I can't", or just drop a project and never finish.

      Hopefully, you have brought some light to others. Thanks for publishing a great hub.

    • Peter M. Lopez profile image

      Peter M. Lopez 

      10 years ago from Sweetwater, TX

      Great advice. Maybe this should be implemented in the forum or posted as hub rules. LOL.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)