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How to Give and Take Criticism in a Healthy Way

Can criticism ever be healthy?

It’s entirely possible to give and receive criticism in ways that are healthy and supportive. It often isn’t so much about what you say that matters, it’s how you say it. Giving and taking healthy criticism, sometimes referred to as constructive criticism, is all about the delivery. Leaving negative emotions aside and looking for the benefits to what is being shared, if you are the receiver. And, only giving criticism after much prayer, and following the suggestions below, if you feel led to give it.

I can't hear you when you act that way! | Your Home For God

I can’t hear you when you act that way!

When the emphasis of criticism is negative it can be destructive, punitive, and alienating. Being bulldozed by a drive by criticism can take your breath away and leave you feeling shamed and misunderstood. Can criticism ever be healthy? Absolutely!

Read all the posts in the Series on “How to Give and Receive Criticism Like God would want”

Healthy Benefits of Giving Criticism

There are healthy benefits to offering criticism. First off, labeling the criticism as feedback helps. Feedback can include positive and negative information. Given the right way, even derogatory information can be helpful. 

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Some of the benefits to giving criticism are:

  • Helping improve a situation
  • Stopping destructive behavior
  • Preventing an accident or calamity
  • Keeping another from sin or offense

Criticism is beneficial when it can improve a situation. Pointing out safety issues, remedying a problem, or offering a solution can help. Though the feedback may be critical of a situation, behavior, or practice, it is in service to the person being critiqued. If you experience people bristling at your words, or people don’t seem willing to take your advice, consider that perhaps you’ve been giving too much unsolicited advice or too much criticism.

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 Healthy Benefits of Receiving Criticism

There are equally healthy benefits for receiving criticism. In the same way your opinion and feedback to someone else might help them, theirs might help you. Having the right frame of mind can make receiving criticism a blessing rather than a curse.

A person’s body language can turn off another person without them realizing it. A person who is close to them and who gives criticism in a healthy way may be beneficial, but only if they can give criticism in the right way at the right time.

Proceed only after much prayer.

Wendy Gunn

Some benefits are:

  • Preventing loss or embarrassment
  • Increased self-awareness
  • Preventing sin or offense

Did you just get Bulldozed by someone? Your Home For God

Did you just get Bulldozed by someone?

Criticism is beneficial when it helps you prevent loss or embarrassment, keeps you from sinning, and/or keeps you from needlessly offending someone. Sometimes a neutral person…or even someone who’s fired up, can alert you to a practice, behavior, or situation that isn’t in your best interest. 

Also, criticism can help you become more self-aware. We can be blind to our own sin or offending ways! Seeing yourself or something you’re doing through someone else’s eyes can help you have an aha moment which might make you more aware of the way you’re coming across or your impact.

Criticism can be very healthy if it’s delivered by trustworthy people who have your best interest, or the best interest of the situation, at heart. Sure, you can get random criticism that can tip you off that you need to make changes, but most times it only causes defensive reactions. Hearing tough truths by helpful people really can make a difference. Being this sort of person for others will make a difference in someone else’s life and listening to this sort of person will make a difference in your life too.

Read all the posts in the Series on “How to Give and Receive Criticism Like God would want”

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Hope you’re having a Great Week Making Your Home For God!

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