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Appreciate Criticism!

Updated on September 2, 2012

One constant complaint that I had on my parents was, they never appreciated, me or anyone for that instance, enough! Of late, I realize that the rare appreciative words that I get from them, means a lot to me!

Everyone yearns for appreciation, be it even a small thing. Little kids to elders expect them to be appreciated. Nobody wants to take criticism in any form!

My parents only appreciated me, when my work was perfect or at least nearly perfect. This made me little wild as other parents around me appreciated their kid for every small thing they did.

As I grew, I realized that appreciation for every small thing does help you to grow but not beyond a certain limit. Appreciations that you receive once you are perfect will mean nothing compared to the criticism you get when you were in early stages of achievement, as only those negative comments helped you to become perfect, else you would have become stagnant!

By criticism here, I mean effective and constructive comments and feedback and not the demotivating useless words. Observing a few people around, I realized one thing, encouragement is very different from appreciation.

I met with this one aunt in my family at her home who was continuously singing praise of her kids in front of them, from the moment I entered her home till I left. This created a strong impression in me on how I should encourage, motivate, appreciate and criticize my child in the process of parenting him/her.

Appreciating in excess makes anyone egoistic and over confident in turn making them non-receptive to effective criticism. This will only result in half-baked talents.

Be at office, as a boss, or at school, as a teacher, or at home, as a parent, it is very important to make the other person understand how to appreciate criticism in the right sense.

Of course, it also depends on who gives the criticism and how. Learning to be a good critic is an art! Criticize with grace and appreciate with feel. This will produce better individuals who are less sensitive and hence more productive in their work.

Well, a coin always has two sides, it is up to us to balance the coin! A correct balance with respect to appreciation and criticism is the best way to improve efficiency and performance in every sphere of life.

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      Uncle OT 5 years ago

      Interesting post and thread here Deepika, Varun and C.V.Rajan.

      I'll add my bit to it, in as concise a manner as possible.

      Appreciation is a must. It motivates people to do better rather than let them rest on their laurels.

      Appreciation is different from praise - the former motivates; the latter induces complacency. How to differentiate between the two is the fine art of parenting.

      One very important underlying factor which is quite often overlooked: understanding the skill set, capability and inclination of the person being evaluated. Rather than try to fit a square peg in a round hole and then complain about the peg, probably we should realize it is we who are trying to do the wrong thing. By stating this I am just accepting what I could have done better. Unfortunately, wisdom comes on hindsight.

      @Varun - stop googling about personality disorders and psyching yourself into believing whatever you read. It is like the characteristics mentioned for zodiac signs. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy - you try to fit into the description mentioned for that zodiac sign. You are as healthy a person as can be, you write well and you interact well (as I can see on the internet world). Just STOP analyzing yourself to bits.

      @Deepika - thanks for this post; it gave me an opportunity to express my opinion.

    • Deepika Arun profile image
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      Deepika Arun 5 years ago from Chennai, India

      Vannu.. I have clearly mentioned in my hub that one should learn to be a good critic and this does not in anyway include cynics.. Just like how some people are not ready to take in criticism, some are not ready to appreciate for every trivial thing.. Well, in your case its more of a self inflicted problem than induced by others much.. Well, I am just being plain honest.. Your case, I feel is definitely not Avoidant Personality Disorder!

      "Childhood emotional neglect and peer group rejection (e.g. bullying) are both associated with an increased risk for the development of AvPD" - I am sure both these did not happen!

      Also I am sure you will get over this syndrome! You just have to try better! :)

      Love you!

      Deepi :)

    • C.V.Rajan profile image

      Disillusioned 5 years ago from Kerala, India

      True. People need appreciation alright, but appreciation even for mediocre work has every potential for the person who receives appreciation to feel that what he has done is good enough, not realizing that it is mediocre. He fails to grow further.

      Higher degree of expectation and setting of standards will always end up in a lower degree of appreciation!

      Another negative effect of over-expectation of appreciation /recognition without proportionate merit is the growth of oversensitivity in a person.

      In Amma's ashram Friday/ Monday beach sessions, many westerners come out with their problems of expecting / appreciation and recognition from others, not geting it, and consequently feeling too depressed; difficulty in maintaining their relationships with others on account of it.

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      Varun 5 years ago

      Hi Deepi,

      I liked your post. But I disagree on many points. But some people take pleasure in criticizing and it takes a different route from there. Maybe some people basically aren't ready to take in criticism. But in my case, criticism had a bad effect. So much criticism and lack of basic appreciation has led me to believe I can't really come up with something. You should read up on this, maybe you will understand its complications- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avoidant_personality_...