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Criticism Never Helps

Updated on February 25, 2013
debbiepinkston profile image

Debbie is a licensed counselor in the state of Arkansas. She lived in Venezuela and worked with a local orphanage there for many years.

Criticism does great damage
Criticism does great damage | Source

Criticism Never Wins

Criticism is something that seems to have invaded our way of life, particularly in the U.S. We criticize the President, we speak poorly of our leaders, our schools, our coworkers, our neighbors, immigrants, our boss, and worst of all, the people closest to us-our spouse and children. Mud-slinging has become as common as eating and breathing in our culture.

Criticism is a bad habit that we are often unaware of and it's also a contagious disease. How many times can you remember walking up to coworkers, to hear them cutting down the supervisor or boss, and before you know it, you're joining in? We easily get sucked into the mud-slinging without realizing the damage we're doing to ourselves and others.

Criticism damages others, because we are damaging their reputation and others' view of them. Other people should be able to formulate their own opinion of that person without our negative influence. Our personal opinion is ours, and should not be pushed on anyone else. When I see this kind of gossip and criticism, I'm reminded of Jr. High girls who are great at backbiting and criticism to form alliances and distance friends from each other.

Relationships suffer greatly from criticism. It is hard to overcome the damage of criticism between friends, and although forgiveness may have taken place, the memories of hurtful words linger. Marriages suffer greatly from criticism when partners choose to criticize each other rather than build each other up. If love is like a plant, criticism is like pouring poison onto the plant every day. What marriage can survive daily poison?

Children who are constantly criticized by their parents develop low self-esteem and have a much harder time in life. They don't believe they are worthy of love and respect, and their relationships later in life suffer. Parents who criticize their children do more damage than they realize, and all the toys in the world or gifts will not undo that damage.

Criticism damages us, whether we realize it or not. When we criticize someone, we are throwing respect out the window and anytime we do not respect others, we are stooping to a lower level. We are saying through our criticism that we are better than that person, which is not true. We may not do some of the things the other person does, but we do plenty of things that aren't great. We each have our own faults and weaknesses, and ours are no better or worse than the next person's.

When individuals feel insecure and inferior, they often resort to criticizing others. Somehow it makes them feel better about themselves-for a short while. In the long run being a critical person leads them to feel worse about themselves.

Criticism rarely accomplishes anything good. It doesn't step up to the plate to make things better, to help others, or to improve the world for anyone. It highlights the negative things in life, and negativity produces more negativity. I know people who are so critical that they cannot find anything positive at all in their lives. They end up in a downward spiral of negativity and eventually no one wants to be around them. I have seriously considered "unfriending" someone on Facebook because every post is a negative post. Depression often sets in and they end up in a hole that is hard to dig out of.

Mother Teresa once said "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness". In other words, cursing the darkness will not improve anything, but taking positive action, such as lighting a candle, will help dispel the darkness which will benefit everyone.

Is it time for you to light a candle?

"It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness". Mother Teresa
"It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness". Mother Teresa | Source

Do you think there is any benefit to criticism?

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well written and a convincing argument. Well done!

    • debbiepinkston profile image
      Author

      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      Thank you Billybuc! Seems like we are on the same page with these topics about relationships and the human connection.

    • Mellonyy profile image

      Mellonyy 4 years ago

      Avoiding criticism is the best we can do. Thanks for sharing this informative hub! Voted up!

    • debbiepinkston profile image
      Author

      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      Very true Mellony! And it's so easy to fall into this terrible habit without realizing it. I still catch myself making negative comments...still working on it!

    • molometer profile image

      molometer 4 years ago

      I totally agree. It seems that TV shows like x factor etc have opened the floodgates, for people to be just downright rude.

      Voted up and interesting. Tweeting.

    • pringoooals profile image

      Karina 4 years ago from Edinburgh

      Beautiful hub on really important subject. My dad believed that only by criticism the one can raise some motivation towards self improvement among children. I personally believe that there is no better way of cutting wings and distroying motivation and initiative than criticism. My mum always believed in me though so I survived somehow. When trying to raise my own children I have noticed that the more I praise them for the good work the harder they try.

    • debbiepinkston profile image
      Author

      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      Pringoooals, thanks for reading and commenting. How sad that your dad was so misguided. Probably he was raised that way as well. Thankfully your mum counteracted his criticism by believing in you and you were able to rise above the criticism. Your children are blessed that you understand that motivation is best achieved through praise and affirmation! What would the world be like if we praised and affirmed those around us every day?

    • pringoooals profile image

      Karina 4 years ago from Edinburgh

      Debbie, thank you for empathising:) You are right, my dad was raised in the same way. I don't blame him:) it's good to find the other way of thinking and it's good to know that somebody else thinks in the same way. I think that it is important to create this sort of awareness to help others avoid making the same mistakes. Thank you for sharing it.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Your points are well made. Criticism that is used to damage and control others is so damaging. Hopefully your message to go out to those who near to hear these words. Children grow and flourish under a noursihing environment not one in which nothing they do is seen as positive.

      So glad you shared this with us.

    • debbiepinkston profile image
      Author

      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      Thank you for your comment. You're so right about how children flourish in a nourishing environment, and the opposite is true as well. Parents don't realize the damage they do when they criticize their children.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      Sometimes I have to bite my tongue to keep from criticizing anyone. I certainly don't think parents should criticize their children.

      Good Hub. I voted it UP , etc.

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Criticism, more often than not is very damaging to anyone and I strongly believed that children should be well nurtured in a positive, loving environment.

      This is a very well written, enlightening hub. Hopefully the message gets across not just for parents but for everyone in general.

      Up, interesting and absolutely sharing.

    • debbiepinkston profile image
      Author

      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      Thank you! I wish I could shout to the world "STOP THE CRITICISM" and "NURTURE YOUR CHILDREN", but I can't, so little by little I spread the message.

    • LittleFairy profile image

      LittleFairy 4 years ago

      I agree too, in fact I was thinking the thing same today. Criticism and judging others goes hand in hand, both equally damaging.

      Before we jump to conclusions or bad mouth others, we need to take a minute and think how we would feel like if that was done to us :)

    • debbiepinkston profile image
      Author

      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      LittleFairy, I think sometimes those who criticize would like to kid themselves into thinking that they are superior, but the fact is that we are all capable of making mistakes and we need to remember that when we're tempted to put someone down!

      Thank you for your comment!

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