Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Whatever You Call it: Critique or Criticism, it Still Hurts

Robin Hood

We all have our babies: those wonderful concepts we develop in our minds and create on paper or canvas to present to the world. But what happens when those adorable children land with a thud on the floor of reality?

Let’s face it. Criticism hurts. And critique? “A rose by any other name would hurt so deeply” (forgive the pun). Pride is a wall we use to protect ourselves. When negative comments bump up against that wall, our ego becomes bruised. Afterward, we lick our wounds and patch the crumbling brick and mortar making it higher, stronger and more impenetrable than before.

Babies Need Attention!

But even though they hurt, we must take a look at well-intended barbs and examine what was said and why:
  • Did the comment or critique come from someone I trust?
  • If their suggestions were applied, would it make my project better?
  • Were the comments meant to be hurtful or helpful?
After weighing and evaluating each point of view, we are better prepared to make a decision. We can take the criticism at face value and try to incorporate it into our thought process, or we can ignore it and stubbornly go on our merry way; building our wall of resentment higher and stronger.

Meadow Lark

Learning from our mistakes is difficult. Rejection hurts; criticism stings. It requires swallowing our pride and forging ahead in spite of negative comments. If we allow the critique to offend us and dampen our spirits, we may become the loser by succumbing to self pity. We may allow ourselves to get discouraged and sabotage our own efforts to make our dreams a reality.

Personal vision is as unique as our fingerprints. No two people are alike. No one can see what is in our mind and heart. Perhaps the criticism of others arouses our own insecurity and lack of self confidence? If that’s the case, we need to rally our own inner cheering squad to remind us of what we wanted to achieve in the first place.


A grain of salt can irritate an open wound, but it may also inflame a new determination to clarify our goals. If nothing else, critique sharpens our focus and causes us to evaluate how we communicate our vision to others.

Critique Carol’s vision on her online gallery @