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The Art of Criticizing to Make People Love You But Not Hate You

The Art of Criticizing to Make People Love You But Not Hate You

It’s hard for anyone to take criticism. If you asked for it, you essentially opened yourself up to negative remarks about your attitude, lifestyle or something you created. If you didn’t ask for the criticism, like in the case of an intervention, it’s even tougher to hear things about yourself that need improving. It’s never easy to give that kind of feedback, but there are plenty of ways to lighten things up a bit. Here are nine things you can do to deliver criticism that will make people more likely to love you than hate you.

1. Plan ahead.

The time and place criticism is shared plays a big part in how well it’s received. Be sure to give feedback to someone in a place that they’re already at least fairly comfortable at. Interventions are usually held in the subject of the intervention’s home, for instance. It might be better to do it somewhere less familiar, though, so that they’re not reminded of their faults every time they come home after a long day’s work. A friend’s place may be a good location. Ultimately, though, the best spot comes down to the individual’s specific circumstances.

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2. Be pragmatic.

Criticism often produces an emotional reaction from the criticized, but try not to show too much emotion yourself. Say what it is you need to say without breaking down, or the subject of criticism might feel guilty that they’re making you upset or angry.

3. Be empathetic.

While being pragmatic, you should also demonstrate that you really care about the subject of criticism. Smile and use warm body language to signify that you’re on their side.

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4. Be specific.

Dancing around the real problems won’t help anyone. In your criticism be sure to mention specific things the subject has done so that your friend, family member or peer understands what effect they’ve had on you and others.

5. Focus on improvement.

The whole point of criticism is to help somebody improve, so be sure to focus on things the subject can do to become a better person or artist. So give them some ideas for ways to improve, but at the same time—

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6. Don’t solve their problem for them.

The subject of criticism has to come to some sorts of conclusions of their own after you deliver your feedback. If you tell them everything they have to do to get better without leaving them any leeway to find their own road to self-improvement, they won’t travel far before reverting back to old ways.

7. Know when enough’s enough.

It’s understandable that you want to explain to someone everything they need to improve at, but a good critic knows when they’ve told the subject of criticism everything they’ll be able to absorb in one sitting. If your friend wrote a bad screenplay, don’t nitpick everything you don’t like about the script. If your sibling is struggling with addiction, avoid pointing out every instance that addiction has worsened their life. Hit the important notes, and plan to work on the rest with them later.

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8. End with something positive.

Remind the subject of criticism why they’re so special and worth the time you’re spending on them. It might be beneficial to change the subject somewhat to spin the conversation towards why that person is great instead of where that person’s failed.

9. Follow up.

A lot of people think criticism ends once you share your feedback. This is a pretty dangerous assumption. The subject will probably feel fragile after hearing what you and others felt the need to share, so you need to monitor them and ensure that they’re actually taking steps to improve their life. The criticizing itself is hard, but you have to remember that it’s only the first step in a longer path to improvement.

Featured photo credit: Simo Järvinen via flickr.com

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Matt OKeefe

Freelance Writer, Marketer

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

What do I want to do with my life? It’s a question all of us think about at one point or another.

For some, the answer comes easily. For others, it takes a lifetime to figure out.

It’s easy to just go through the motions and continue to do what’s comfortable and familiar. But for those of you who seek fulfillment, who want to do more, these questions will help you paint a clearer picture of what you want to do with your life.

1. What are the things I’m most passionate about?

The first step to living a more fulfilling life is to think about the things that you’re passionate about.

What do you love? What fulfills you? What “work” do you do that doesn’t feel like work? Maybe you enjoy writing, maybe you love working with animals or maybe you have a knack for photography.

The point is, figure out what you love doing, then do more of it.

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2. What are my greatest accomplishments in life so far?

Think about your past experiences and the things in your life you’re most proud of.

How did those accomplishments make you feel? Pretty darn good, right? So why not try and emulate those experiences and feelings?

If you ran a marathon once and loved the feeling you had afterwards, start training for another one. If your child grew up to be a star athlete or musician because of your teachings, then be a coach or mentor for other kids.

Continue to do the things that have been most fulfilling for you.

3. If my life had absolutely no limits, what would I choose to have and what would I choose to do?

Here’s a cool exercise: Think about what you would do if you had no limits.

If you had all the money and time in the world, where would you go? What would you do? Who would you spend time with?

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These answers can help you figure out what you want to do with your life. It doesn’t mean you need millions of dollars to be happy though.

What it does mean is answering these questions will help you set goals to reach certain milestones and create a path toward happiness and fulfillment. Which leads to our next question …

4. What are my goals in life?

Goals are a necessary component to set you up for a happy future. So answer these questions:

Once you figure out the answers to each of these, you’ll have a much better idea of what you should do with your life.

5. Whom do I admire most in the world?

Following the path of successful people can set you up for success.

Think about the people you respect and admire most. What are their best qualities? Why do you respect them? What can you learn from them?

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You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.[1] So don’t waste your time with people who hold you back from achieving your dreams.

Spend more time with happy, successful, optimistic people and you’ll become one of them.

6. What do I not like to do?

An important part of figuring out what you want to do with your life is honestly assessing what you don’t want to do.

What are the things you despise? What bugs you the most about your current job?

Maybe you hate meetings even though you sit through 6 hours of them every day. If that’s the case, find a job where you can work more independently.

The point is, if you want something to change in your life, you need to take action. Which leads to our final question …

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7. How hard am I willing to work to get what I want?

Great accomplishments never come easy. If you want to do great things with your life, you’re going to have to make a great effort. That will probably mean putting in more hours the average person, getting outside your comfort zone and learning as much as you can to achieve as much as you can.

But here’s the cool part: it’s often the journey that is the most fulfilling part. It’s during these seemingly small, insignificant moments that you’ll often find that “aha” moments that helps you answer the question,

“What do I want to do with my life?”

So take the first step toward improving your life. You won’t regret it.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Ly via unsplash.com

Reference

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