Being critical is quite often portrayed as being a very negative concept because of the negative connotations people associate with criticism. People hear the word criticism and think of things they’ve done badly or things in their lives that they need to improve – so it isn’t unfair to suggest that the connotations do have some form of logical base.
What I’m interested in though is why people shy away from people who are critical and more specifically, criticism. It’s true that some people do enjoy criticising others in order to make themselves feel superior which I would never condone, but there are a wealth of people who also criticise for the purpose of hoping to inspire improvement and progression within someone. In that instance, criticism can be one of the purest and most selfless things we encounter.
My thoughts on this are that we are far too quick to seek praise, far too slow to seek criticism and far too determined to see them two things as opposite. I’m quite certain that if we sought criticism to the same extent as we sought praise – we’d be on a very healthy path. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t for a second suggest that I don’t love receiving praise – I really do! I love praise to the point in which any financial reward for a job well done seems inconsequential in comparison.
The main issue with criticism is that the explanation can often seem patronising and I’ve experienced this first hand, but if we learn to open our eyes a little wider we may be able to understand that a large amount of people would rather be critical of us in order to see us thrive, rather than to be critical in order to seem superior.