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Opinion: Can criticism be endured?

Are you wary of criticism, queries Mohammed Anwar Al Balushi, as he weighs the pros and cons of constructive criticism in personality development

By Mohammed Anwar Al Balushi

Friday, September 8, 2023

Have you ever engaged in critiquing others? Have you found yourself subject to criticism? How do you handle critiques? 

It baffles me why some individuals resist being critiqued regarding their leadership qualities, work approach, thought process, and writing style.

No one is infallible at all times. Asserting that one’s perspectives and methods are always correct is an inaccurate stance. Eventually, even the staunchest adherents of their own viewpoints may realize their fallibility.

Do you maintain the same beliefs day in and day out? Have your thoughts from a decade or more ago remained unchanged? Can you not acknowledge instances when your past decisions were erroneous, and you felt remorseful? Additionally, is it not conceivable that you could err again? 

Undoubtedly, yes!

I recall a time when I offered criticism to someone, and their response was an aversion to what they perceived as negativity. It left me disheartened to witness a confusion between negativity and constructive criticism in their thought process.

Unquestioning concurrence is facile, particularly when a person of seniority endorses or advocates something. Is this a commendable approach? Personally, I think not. The moment an individual is tagged as ‘agreeable,’ it signifies the potential erosion of their uniqueness.

In my perspective, fostering and enduring criticism should be encouraged. The right to appraise someone’s efforts constructively should be acknowledged. 

Simultaneously, those who are critiqued should possess the patience to accept it without resorting to counterproductive conflicts.

“I offered feedback on her novel, and she didn’t take it well,” recounted a friend of mine. “Once a book is published and available in the market, it becomes subject to public evaluation—readers are entitled to either praise or critique,” he added.

Likewise, in the corporate realm, several higher-ups shy away from scrutiny concerning their actions and strategies. If this trend persists, it might hinder the development and implementation of optimal policies.

Is criticism a personal attack? 

It needn’t be. It’s time for maturity and wisdom to prevail. Criticism doesn’t concern an individual’s essence; rather, it pertains to their undertakings. Constructive criticism should be welcomed when a project or policy is incongruous with its surroundings.

Criticism holds value, both in terms of mental resilience and psychological growth. Embracing criticism fortifies the mind and bolsters progress. 

Societal acceptance of criticism is essential as it constitutes a mode of education. How can someone evolve and advance if they are never subjected to critique?

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of TAS and TAS does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.