Good Better Best
Whether you like it or not, criticism is a key component to our success as a human. There are roughly 18 classes of criticism (don’t worry, I am not going to be breaking them all down). To me, there are 3 main types of criticism that anyone should ever be worried about: constructive, positive and negative.
Lets start with the best: constructive. It’s a form of information that someone can build on. Now it’s hard as a Father of young kids to find a way to incorporate constructive criticism into every day lessons because let’s face it, any sort of criticism that’s not positive to anyone under the age of 20 means you’re an asshole in their eyes. Constructive criticism is meant to help and inform you for the better, though it might not always be what you want to hear but in most cases its what you need to hear.
Positive criticism to me sits right in the middle of things. Now this might me the little bit of uplifting spirit you need to get over that never-ending road of nothingness, or in my case it’s used as a rewarding tool for parents across the world. Your children have this deep desire to have a non-stop train of positive feedback about absolutely everything. In my personal opinion, if used too lightly it can cause an extreme negative effect on a child. If you think that preaching ‘everything is amazing’ to your children, you’re setting them up for a slap in the face when they leave your “nest”. Now I’m not one of the “when they get to the real world” type of guys (ok maybe I’ve used that term a few times and had flashbacks, but that’s beside the point). I believe our society needs a balance of positive and constructive criticism. Without someone’s “to be honest it wasn’t the best, I think you should try this” talk, I would still have fake diamond studded earrings and only drink ‘Baby duck’ and ‘Special Old’ whiskey.
Now on to the good, and secretly my ‘best’. Some of you may be wondering why I like negative criticism (also if you personally know me you’re thinking “you don’t like any criticism”). First of all, it’s a love/hate type relationship. At first we fight and I get upset and then halfway through I realize I’m wrong and take it for everything it’s worth. Basically it’s like being married and your wife making you realize you’re wrong. Ok now let’s get back to the ‘good’. People are easy to figure out for the most part, you just need to listen with both your eyes and ears. When someone gives you negative criticism, that’s when you see who they truly are and in that moment you find out their intentions.
As I said before, for a child it’s very important to have a mix of both constructive and positive criticism. On the other hand, there is no place in a child’s life for negative criticism and I believe that it can and will break a child down. Let’s be clear: there is a huge difference between constructive and negative. One is meant to be honest with good intentions and the other is meant to belittle and shame.
I believe that without failure there is no growth in life, and I also believe that when you do fail you need to be surrounded by people who you can count on to give you the advice or criticism that you need. It’s important to surround yourself with people you trust and with people you look up to. Those people will always be honest and want the best for you. They may seem like assholes at times, but it’s only because they want the best for you and know when you’re going in the wrong direction.
Unless you’re a teacher, never try to be the smartest person in the room. You won’t learn anything there and you might as well find a new room.