Difference Between Constructive and Destructive Criticism

Key Difference – Constructive vs. Destructive Criticism
 

Constructive and Destructive criticism refers to a categorization of criticism between which a key difference can be identified. When we speak of criticism, we all have been subjected to criticism at some point or other in our lives. This can be at school, at a college or even at our workplace. Criticism is given by people who come from different backgrounds; some criticism comes from our teachers while others can come from our superiors. The impact criticism has on a person can be either negative or positive. It all depends on the type of criticism. Criticism refers to a critical comment or judgment about an individual’s behavior, performance or a particular task. Constructive criticism refers to feedback that intends to point out our mistakes so that we can improve ourselves or our performance. Destructive criticism lacks the intention of improving the performance of another but is often hurtful comments that may or may not address a particular mistake. This is the key difference between constructive and destructive criticism. Through this article let us examine this difference in detail.

What is Constructive Criticism?

Constructive criticism can simply be understood as feedback that a person receives that aims at pointing out the flaws of the person so that he can improve himself. The main feature of constructive criticism is that it is not a blunt accusation on the individual but an objective evaluation that presents the faults that the individual has. This is why constructive criticism does not hurt the individual or acts as a blow to his self-esteem. On the contrary, it helps the person to perform better as he is aware of his mistakes.

This, however, does not denote that the individual’s ideas go unchallenged. In criticism, our beliefs are often challenged but the manner in which this is conducted helps the individual not to be angry or hurt by the feedback.

Key Difference - Constructive vs Destructive Criticism

What is Destructive Criticism?

Destructive criticism is feedback that can be understood more as blunt accusations that make the person feel hurt and angry. In most situations, destructive criticism fails to highlight the mistakes of the individual so that he can improve himself. On the contrary, they end up accusing the individual or condescending him. For example, notice what a teacher tells a student in a classroom, ‘You always get it wrong, why can’t you try hard for once in your life?’.

This is clearly a destructive criticism because it attacks the individual in a blunt manner. Also, the criticism does not assist the child to improve, but it merely makes him feel worthless.

Difference Between Constructive and Destructive Criticism

What is the difference between Constructive and Destructive Criticism?

Definitions of Constructive and Destructive Criticism:

Constructive Criticism: Constructive criticism refers to feedback that intends to point out our mistakes so that we can improve ourselves or our performance.

Destructive Criticism: Destructive criticism lacks the intention of improving the performance of another but is often hurtful comments that may or may not address a particular mistake.

Characteristics of Constructive and Destructive Criticism:

Motive:

Constructive Criticism: Constructive criticism aims to improve the individual.

Destructive Criticism: Destructive criticism does not aim to improve the individual.

Impact on the individual:

Constructive Criticism: Constructive criticism has a positive impact on the individual.

Destructive Criticism: Destructive criticism is often a blow to one’s self-esteem.

Mistakes:

Constructive Criticism: Constructive criticism directly addresses an issue or mistake and assists the individual to fix it.

Destructive Criticism: Destructive criticism may not always address a mistake, but bluntly condescends the individual.

 

Image Courtesy:

1. Business Feedback Loop PNG version By Tomwsulcer (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

2. School Exam French Bad Wrong Fail By Sandid [Public Domain] via Pixabay