Criticism in a Dispute. Golden Rules


Quite often disputes are accompanied by all kinds of criticism. Let us try to figure out what it is and how both critics and their “victims” have to behave.

We can define criticism as a discussion, an analysis of something to assess advantages, to discover and correct flaws. But not always it comes to a discussion. Criticism can also be called a negative judgment about something.

Both a critical remark and a reasonable argument in a dispute must relate to the topic of a discussion. A reputation develops on how well it all works out: whether there is a person who can stand up for his or her principles, prove them right, or whether it is just a frivolous screamer. Accurate and convincing arguments can solve a thorny issue. On the contrary, many beautiful ideas may be ruined by enthusiasts who could not defend them.

First of all, we must disprove some familiar misconceptions. If two opposing points of view are expressed, then one should not immediately rush to the conclusion that the truth is in the middle. In fact, as Goethe noted, the problem is in the middle. And Papercheap does publish critical reviews on blog, as well as makes custom ones. Pay for essay and specify your requirements to get an excellent piece of critical writing.

The truth can be anywhere. And that’s what makes searching it useless. It is not always possible to find it in a dispute, contrary to a well-known statement. Not often the truth is born in a dispute. The outcomes of any dispute are victory and defeat. Offended losers don’t change their minds and wait for a revenge, finally losing the ability to listen to other people's arguments.

Criticism itself is not an end. Therefore, before criticizing, it is worth considering if it is possible to improve a situation along the way. Probably, it can be quite enough to try to walk in our opponents’ shoes first.

Criticism should be appropriate. A sharp statement about novice's failures, for example, will do more harm than good. In general, the form of criticism must be consistent with a task. If a person tries her best but does not have enough experience, throwing stones of criticism at her would not help. That would make the whole situation even worse: this person will give up and will not work better. In other words, goodwill is needed first of all.

Before criticizing, make sure you base your remarks on the answers to the following questions:

  • What is the essence of an issue?
  • Who is to blame for what has happened?
  • What do you need to do to improve a situation?
  • How to prevent it in the future?

To ensure that your comments are not ignored as frivolous, first of all, listen to a criticized person and express your understanding of a situation.

Do not humiliate your opponent only in order to add even more effect to your arguments. He or she will object, and you will have to prove your point to them again, but this will cost a loss of quality, as chess players say.

If your goal is to find the truth, and not to assert yourself at the expense of a mocked rival, then remember the custom of Hindu philosophers: before starting a dispute, everyone should repeat the opponent's views so that he or she confirms their correctness. Without such confirmation, disputes should not begin.

When criticizing, it is necessary to mention good qualities and capabilities of a criticized person. In this case, the chances that he or she will take your words in a businesslike way arise.

Show an example of self-criticism. This will help your opponent become your ally. Try to make a person understand that it is more beneficial for him or her to follow your advice than to neglect it. Remember the words of Abraham Lincoln. He said that if we wanted to attract someone to our side, first of all, we should convince them that we were their friends.

A critic is prohibited to:

  • Limit a conversation to negation. It is not enough to destroy what you and your opponent already have, without trying to come up with any new ideas or solutions;
  • Draw conclusions without knowing all circumstances. As Voltaire noted too quick conclusions could be the result of slow thinking;
  • Deprive an opponent of the opportunity to object;
  • Humiliate his or her dignity, criticize "in general." If you accuse, be ready to prove the guilt;
  • Discuss people's shortcomings in public;
  • Return to past faults when the issue is resolved, remind a person of old mistakes;
  • Use unscrupulous argumentation (exaggeration, reference to authorities, invocation of feelings, distortion of positions).

Memo to a Criticized Person

Criticized Person

Criticism does not work if a person does not want to accept it. So, first of all, we need an internal orientation to the businesslike perception of criticism. And here are the reasons why:

  • Criticism is a reserve of self-improvement. This helps eliminate shortcomings and sets guidelines for improvement. Everything you do can be done better;
  • There is no useless criticism. In any case, it stimulates reflection about what has caused it and gives rise to useful ideas. The motives for criticism are not that essential. It is important only whether it is fair or not. Its form does not matter. The crucial thing is to analyze the shortcomings;
  • Hushing up faults is harmful because in the future they can bring much more serious troubles. Therefore, criticism makes us stronger, allows us to see what we could not have noticed before;
  • If we are criticized it means others believe in our abilities. Lack of criticism can mean either that we do everything perfectly (which this is doubtful), or that others have given up on us;
  • It is very important to be able to find positive facets in any criticism. The most valuable criticism points to flaws in an irreproachable, at first glance, manner;
  • If there are no reasonable solutions in criticism, draw conclusions by yourself. If others, no you, are criticized, draw conclusions for yourself.

So, if we want to make criticism beneficial, we must first hear and comprehend it. Then we need to analyze it and exclude conditions for the repetition of errors. Yes, whenever a teacher exclaims a sharp remark concerning homework, they just literally make sure that a student is able to earn their breakfast (dinner, and supper) in future.

Criticism is normal in any business discussion of a problem. The absence of different opinions is a sign of stagnation. In such cases, it is useful to argue and take a hit. If a critic is wrong, don’t hurry to rebuff what they say to you. It is better to support his or her attempt to understand the matter.

In this case, the mistakes of your opponent do not exclude a business reaction to comments in general. Any discussion is useful at least because it helps understand how people around you are treating you. After all, the reason for criticism may lay in something about you that is not relevant to the matter of a dispute. Thus, you get a chance to look at yourself with other people’s eyes. Maybe, you really need to change something about your behavior.

The highest form of acceptance of criticism is the correction of shortcomings as soon as they are discovered. The business response to the observation involves specific measures to eliminate them.

A criticized person shouldn’t distort facts for the sake of justification. But she should to react to criticism, without taking offence.

Nevertheless, it’s obvious that unjust claims are not pleasant. Well-known American psychologist Dale Carnegie gave some practical advice on how to shield yourself from unnecessary worries about it.

First of all, we should remember that unfair criticism is often a hidden compliment. Carnegie writes that if you are attacked by criticism, you should remember that the main reason for it is that your critic has a need to feel his or her importance.

As a rule, this means that you have already achieved something and deserve attention. But if criticism is fair, then it makes no sense to get involved in a dispute.

To sum up, it would not be superfluous to remember the wisdom of F. de La Rochefoucauld, who noted that the opinion of our enemies about us could be closer to the truth than that of ours.

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