CRITICISM HURTS. So any decent person tries
to avoid criticizing others. But sometimes you cant avoid
it forever, so finally, when you get mad enough, you speak. The
problem is, when you criticize while youre mad, you arent
likely to do it well. Youll say what the person did wrong
instead of saying what you want him or her to do differently
in the future. And when you say something while youre angry,
the listener gets defensive because anger is an attacking emotion.
One way of getting around this is to speak
sooner. Criticize before you get angry. Criticize
when it first occurs to you and you wont have to try
to control yourself. When you say it sooner, youll
naturally have more control over yourself. And people wont
get very defensive because youre not attacking them. Oh,
they might not like it. Nobody really likes being criticized.
We would all prefer everyone loved us and showered us with gifts
for just being ourselves. But thats not the way the world
works. Criticism is a necessary part of relationships of any
kind. Look at what happens to someone who never gets criticized.
There have been people who have had so much power and money that
everyone was afraid to criticize them: Hitler. Stalin. Sadaam
Hussein. Howard Hughes. It made them lose touch with reality.
You and I need criticism even though we dont like it.
And we need to criticize people. Not all
the time, and it needs to be balanced with acknowledgments, but
you cant go around only complimenting people
it isnt good for the people you work with or who live with
you. You must criticize.
But say it early. Minimize the pain by
not procrastinating. Youll say it better, the person will
hear it better, youll cause less pain and have more of
an impact the kind of impact you want to have on people:
considerate and constructive.
And here is a tip on making a good criticism:
Dont say what you didnt like; say what you would
like in the future. Turn your complaint into a request. It is
much easier to hear. For example, which would you rather hear:
You never pick up around here or Would you
please pick up around here more often? In other words,
dont make them wrong for what theyve done; just tell
them what you want next time.
Speak up sooner and when you do, make requests.
The end result is youll get more of what you want from
people, and they (and you) will be happier.
Criticize when it first occurs
to you, but don't criticize ask for what you want.