Difference Between Criticism and Constructive Criticism

Criticism vs Constructive Criticism

When speaking of criticism, there is a clear difference between the two types of criticism, criticism in general and constructive criticism. We all have become an object of criticism at some point of our lives; this can be in our personal life or else in our professional life. First, let us define the meaning of the word criticism. It can be understood as an expression of disapproval. It is not easy to be the object of criticism because it can be hurtful and can lower our self-confidence and self-esteem. However, not all criticism is being made with the intention of disapproving. Sometimes criticism is made with the sole purpose of creating a change in the individual for the better. This is referred to as constructive criticism. Through this article let us examine the difference between the two types of criticism; namely, criticism and constructive criticism.

What is Criticism?

Criticism, in general, involves an assessment of an individual’s performance. This includes the provision of positive or negative feedback. Unlike positive feedback that clearly boosts the person’s self-esteem, negative feedback can lower a person’s self-esteem. It can make the individual lose faith in his capabilities. Criticism has to be viewed as a part of our lives. In different situations, many of us become objects of criticism. In some cases, these are due to our weaknesses and limitations, but in other cases, these can be malicious attacks.

For example, imagine a person who criticizes your every move such as your hair, the dress, work, people you associate with, etc. Criticism of this nature does not have a solid basis, yet they can be very painful. In such cases, it is necessary to ignore such criticism.

One of the key aspects that an individual who is being criticized should remember is not to get angry at the other individual. He should be able to listen and respond in a calm manner and not take things personally. Another important tip is to comprehend the intent of criticism and correct our flaws.

When speaking of criticism, it can mainly be categorized as,

  • Destructive criticism
  • Constructive criticism

Destructive criticism involves negative feedback that harms the individual. But constructive criticism is also negative feedback that has been stated for the intention of improving the performance of the individual. With this basic understanding now let us move on to constructive criticism.

Difference Between Criticism and Constructive Criticism

Criticism can hurt a person’s feelings

What is Constructive Criticism?

Constructive criticism is the feedback given to an individual so that he or she can make a positive change. Unlike most criticism that lowers an individual’s self-esteem, constructive criticism does not. It attempts to point out the flaws that an individual has in a very thoughtful manner so that it does not hurt the individual.

When giving constructive criticism, the positive aspects of the individual are also assessed just as the negatives. It highlights the issues that the individual has and what needs to be done to improve. Unlike criticism that is blunt, constructive criticism is much more focused and aims at bringing about a positive change in the future. This highlights that constructive criticism is much more suitable rather than destructive criticism.

 Criticism vs Constructive Criticism

Constructive criticism shows the faults without hurting feelings

What is the difference between Criticism and Constructive Criticism?

• Definitions of Criticism and Constructive Criticism:

• Criticism involves an assessment of an individual’s performance.

• Constructive criticism is the feedback given to an individual so that he or she can make a positive change.

• Connection:

• Criticism is a general term under which both constructive and destructive criticism falls.

• Components:

• Criticism usually involves negative feedback that lowers the self-esteem of the individual.

• Constructive criticism involves feedback that brings about a positive change in the individual.

• Nature:

• Criticism can be malicious and hurtful.

• Constructive criticism is not malicious or hurtful.

• Focus:

• Criticism focuses on present failures.

• Constructive criticism focuses on future improvements.


Images Courtesy: Samuel Johnson and Kolozsváry Talking People via Wikicommons (Public Domain)