Questions you need to ask yourself before criticising

There is no such thing as constructive criticism.

– Dale Carnegie

I agree 100% with Dale Carnegie.

There is no such thing as constructive criticism.

I’ve been criticised many times in my life. And I don’t remember one single criticism being “constructive”.

When someone criticises me I have (now) developed the habit to try to understand what exactly they want to say. But to be honest, I still hate the way they say it.

One friend of mine used to criticise me. Frequently.

After constantly hearing that – I felt like I could do nothing. I am good at nothing. I started overthinking her criticism. As she was a close friend of mine, it was hard for me to just let go of her opinions about me.

I don’t remember that criticism having any good impact on me.

In college however, my new friend believed in encouraging me. I remember making mistakes and she telling me how to get better without criticising.

I felt so good in her company. I enjoyed being with her more and I finally started working on myself.

And it just happened naturally, I mean if someone is caring so much for you, encouraging you, being kind to you, it’s hard not to improve.

Abilities wither under criticism, they blossom under encouragement.

– Dale Carnegie

If you take a closer look at your life, tell me how many times were you actually improved because someone criticised you?

Remember that time when someone criticised you? Think about how you felt.

I think we should let go of the prospect of “constructive criticism” and stop criticising at all.

Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do. That’s a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness.

– Dale Carnegie

Let’s take a example –

You want your friend to bake a cake for you.

What would you do?

Would you shout at him for him being lazy all day and tell him to bake cake?

Or will you

Tell him that you’d be really happy if he could bake the cake for you, or that he bakes the best cakes in the town? (not flattery but genuine appreciation and encouragement)

Will you encourage the person to do so? Or criticise him?

The person is more likely to agree when encouraged.

Now put yourself in his shoes and think how would you like to be addressed.

I don’t doubt you would like to be encouraged.


Criticism – The expression of disapproval of something or someone on the basis of perceived faults or mistakes (From – dictionary)

If this criticism, I don’t think how can this be uplifting or positive or “constructive”πŸ˜‚

If you don’t like something, it’s always nice to tell the concerned person in a good and kind manner. Willingness to understand their perspective and look for a solution together is what brings actual results.

Otherwise you are just being rude and insensitive and calling your talk “constructive criticism”. You are wasting your time being rude and harsh and hurting the other person and spreading a whole lot of negativity.

If you want to add suggestions of how to improve – Then they should sound and feel like suggestions.

Praise is like sunlight to the warm human spirit; we cannot flower and grow without it. And yet, while most of us are only too ready to apply to others the cold wind of criticism, we are somehow reluctant to give our fellow the warm sunshine of praise.

– Dale Carnegie

It always surprises me that the people who come to criticise you.. never… never ever come to appreciate you.

Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do. But it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.

– Dale Carnegie

Let’s stop criticising others (and yourself) and start understanding them. (and yourself).

Because you don’t ‘win friends and influence people through criticism’. You do so by understanding and being kind.

Next time you’re about to criticise someone, ask yourself these questions –

  1. What right do I have to criticise this person?
  2. Can I state my opinion in a more kind way?
  3. Have I walked in this person’s shoes?
  4. Do I know what it feels like to be in their position?
  5. Have I done it better in my own life?
  6. Has anyone asked my opinion? Is it the right time to say this?
  7. Can I be more understanding?
  8. Am I spreading hate about someone I don’t even know?

Disclaimer – Be completely honest to yourself while answering these questions.

If you get satisfactory answers after asking this to yourself and still think/feel that criticising is the right thing to do –

Go-ahead and do it (at your own risk!)


These were my honest views about criticism. I’m not against saying what you feel or giving suggestions – it does help people to improve. But I believe you can do that in a kind and understanding way. Without criticising.


To be honest I haven’t received any criticism on this blog yet. I am so happy and blessed to have all of you who constantly encourage me and are kind to me.

You guys encourage me to keep doing what I do and get better at it.

I appreciate every single one of you.

A big ‘THANK-YOU!!

Sending love and hugs to you❀️


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48 thoughts on “Questions you need to ask yourself before criticising

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    1. Glad to know you agree Ramyani.❀
      It’s especially hard when your loved ones criticise you.. you can’t take that lightly.. most of the times we get into downward spiral of negative thinking because of that.. So let’s make sure we appreciate people for their good deeds first.
      Thank you so much for kind words my dear!!πŸ’œ means a lot!😊

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      1. Yes. It is very hard. I understand. And it’s my pleasure to read your postsπŸ˜ƒβ€οΈ

        Like

  1. This is a great post and approach as well! I believe that criticizing is the dear brother of judging, we see from outside, we have some idea and we think we have the right to judge and criticize…Of course we will not help, and it’s not our right anyway to criticize, I mean what do we really know about the people we are harshly criticizing? What they’re going through, what problems and conflicts they have…And even if we know, no one ever respond to criticism, as you said, there’s encouragement, nice advice…And even that we can’t force it, we just do what we think can help and it’s the others call to take it or not..
    Great share, thank you πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am so glad you liked it Huguetta! I completely agree, criticising is the dear brother of judging. We don’t know what’s happening, but based on little we know, we like to judge.
      It happens so often that we really need to stop it, that’s why I thought of these questions to ask before criticising someone. That might help us reduce criticism.
      Appreciate your valuable feedback my friend!!
      Thanks a million!!❀❀❀😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My pleasure always to read your thoughtful and inspiring posts 😊
        Hope people will make an effort and have the will to really stop judging and criticizing! You’re certainly doing a great job by sharing this, anything we say might help πŸ™‚
        Best of luck always, you’re most welcome dear ❀ 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am so grateful to have friends like you, Huguetta.
        Thank you for your kind words.
        Yes I really hope posts like these will make a difference.
        And you yourself are doing a wonderful job on your blog Huguetta! I love to read your authentic views and thought provoking postsπŸ’•
        Best wishes to you❀

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Same here, it’s very mutual 😊
        Sure they do, never doubt that!
        Appreciate your kind words about my blog, this is heartwarming ❀ my posts reveal the way I think, how I see life and I'm very thought provoking and authentic in real life haha because I'm very honest
        Have a great day and weekend as well πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I wonder how do you manage to come with such an informative content. Anyway, I do agree with you and it was a great read as always. However, I will limit it to person to person criticism that I sure don’t do unless necessary. Okay, I criticize my bro a lot more but haq banta hai yaar! So coming back to criticising, I think we all criticize something/someone at different level.. I mean we criticize political leaders, sport persons, actors and even government, movies, tv shows and what not. I guess the criticism at large scale is fine and necessary if it is against the wrong. It is as necessary as kindness because there should be balance of all. I don’t know if you will agree with this but I sure believe in balance in everything. And yeah, good to know that you are not criticized on the blog yet. Good luck πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

    1. First of all thank you so much for your valuable feedback, as always Pratik!
      Now a days as soon as I start TV, I hear lots of criticism from political leaders.. as elections are near. And that’s healthy for a democracy (as said by our political science ma’am)
      So that’s okayπŸ˜…
      Criticising serious issues like terrorism or wrong decisions by government on a large scale is completely fine. Necessary, in fact.
      But speaking of celebrities, I don’t think criticism will be needed unless they’ve done something really terrible. But just criticising them for breaking up with someone or saying something is not done.
      And even then let’s make sure we appreciate the good things they’ve done. Before criticising.
      And I agree criticising wrong decisions is as necessary as kindness because without that, there will be no good.
      It’s always good to share ideas with you Pratik. Thank you so much for feedback. I really appreciate it!!πŸ™
      P.S – I got the idea for this post while I was watching a video of Gary Vee. He was talking about judgement and I started thinking about criticism that I’ve faced and came up with these questions and quotes from Dale Carnegie.
      You never know when a idea will strike!πŸ˜„

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yess.. news channels have become entertainment channels, thanks to elections and all politicians. 🀣 Regarding so called celebs, I no longer follow any .. at least their personal stuff. I get to know only when media forces us like Priyanka weds Nick… πŸ˜… Otherwise it’s a big NO from me to follow them on any social media. 😁 Regarding your ps this is what happens when you start blogging, you get ideas from everything and everywhere. Keep going strong Vrunda! And yeah, the book is on my long to-read book list, I hope I will read that soon.
        P.S.- I had a question for you, check Insta as per your convenience.
        Good day πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Even I don’t like to read gossip about celebrities. Who’s dating who and stuff πŸ˜‚ What would that have anything to do with us?!
        Hope you read the book soon. It’s the first or…umm.. Maybe second self-help book I’ve read. And I liked it a lot!
        Actually I’ve uninstalled Instagram for a while. As I will be having my exam in April. I’ll get back as soon as exams are over!
        Happy weekend buddy!❀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Exactly! And yes, I will read the book soon..I have couple of more self help books waiting for me. Do read Tuesdays with Morrie of you haven’t yet. One of my favourite actually and I recommend to all. 😁 No problem with Insta, no hurry. Focus on study, your subjects are interesting. 🀞Best luck for the exam in advance. πŸ‘ Happy weekend friend! 🌻

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Agreeing with you dear 😊😊 Well said. I too have heard many criticisms before and now too some times. Earlier, I used to cry on hearing it and when I tell my mother about it, she says it is for good someone criticize and I used to tell her then why don’t them tell me in a gentle loving tone rather than hurting tone and mother tell me we can’t change someone nature. As grew up, I feel a kind of distance from such people. I don’t have any anger towards them, but just doesn’t feel anything to talk with them. And I feel spending time with those who adviced me lovingly and gently. I don’t blindly follow anything they said, but I respect them and love them for I understand the love, care, and concern behind those advices 😊

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  5. I love your post!❀ And, I completely agree with you. Criticism have such a negative energy to attached to it. Just adding a ‘constructive’ word before doesn’t make it any less of negative. And I believe, no matter how much you are concerned for someone, giving a negative energy out can never bring a positive result.
    As the 3rd law of motion goes…Every action has equal and opposite reaction. So, if you are sending negative energy, outcome will always be negative. In order to get positive outcome, we need to send positive energy to the other person, which can be just few words of encouragement and faith🌸 And that little spark of positivity can light a fire inside a person’s heart. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aww… Thank you so much for your heartfelt comment! I am seriously so happy to see so many people agree with me too.
      As you mentioned about negativity, it seems funny how we forget this basic concept that good brings out the best in people and bad brings out the worst.
      I love the way you put it!
      Thank you so much for your kind words!! I really appreciate itπŸ™
      P.S – I just saw your tagline and I realised even I have said something similar in mine!
      We’re like minded people!πŸ˜ƒ

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re always welcome ❀ your posts are so insightful and thought provoking that one can’t just read and leave. I had to comment πŸ˜…
        Also, I just checked out your tagline. It’s amazing!❀ It feels so good to meet like minded people. The idea of having a deep meaningful conversation with someone just like you, is intruging😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I feel the same!❀️
        We could be really good friends. And I’m so glad you commented! Haha.. we could develop a really nice bond I guess..
        I feel glad to be connected with you 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Question formation is important to extract the details of facts, objects and events. It’s true that question is the first dimension of knowledge transfer and it can activate the deep thoughts of brain circuits. Thanks for the nice writing

    Like

  7. Really good & unique topic. Correcting someone or giving suggestions is not bad. While we do that we need to make sure the words we choose must be kind & encouraging.
    If not then it can harm one’s self belief & confidence.

    Like

  8. Awesome post Vrunda… Criticism only discourages and just ruins personal and public realtions… The questions you mentioned are apt and everyone should think atleast before criticizing anyone..

    Like

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