The main difference between constructive and destructive criticism is the way in which they are delivered. Constructive criticism is criticism given with a compassionate and helpful attitude while destructive criticism is criticism given with the intention to harm or insult someone.
There are two major types of criticism as constructive and destructive. Identifying the difference between constructive and destructive criticism can help you to deal with any criticism you receive.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Constructive Criticism
– Definition, Features
2. What is Destructive Criticism
– Definition, Features
3. What is the Difference Between Constructive and Destructive Criticism
– Comparison of Key Differences
Criticism, Constructive Criticism, Destructive Criticism
What is Constructive Criticism
Constructive criticism is a helpful way of giving feedback that includes specific, actionable suggestions. These criticisms are usually suggestions for improvement and specify how things could be done better. More importantly, constructive criticism may include both positive and negative comments. Their most notable feature is that they are offered in a friendly and helpful manner, rather than an oppositional one. Moreover, this type of criticism focuses on a distinct issue or set of issues, instead of providing general feedback on the item or organization as a whole. All in all, constructive criticism is clear, specific and actionable. In teamwork or collaborative work, constructive criticism is a valuable tool to raise and maintain performance standards.
For example, if you are criticizing an article or essay, you will comment on the strengths and weaknesses of the writer and encourage the writer to improve his or her writing and move ahead. In the face of this type of constructive criticism, the writer would ideally thank the critic and start making improvement.
What is Destructive Criticism
Destructive criticism is criticism given with the intention to harm or insult someone and destroy someone’s creation, prestige, reputation and self-esteem. This type of criticism can also be malicious and hurtful and can lead to depression, anger and even aggression.
Features of Destructive Criticism
- Intends to hurt and embarrass
- Vague and non-specific
- Feels like a personal attack (e.g., criticizes the creator of the work, not the work itself)
In brief, destructive criticism is destructive and harmful. This type of criticism usually comes from a position of ignorance. The main aim of the critic is embarrassing or hurting the creator. Therefore, there won’t be any suggestions or tips to improve the work. Furthermore, if you receive destructive criticism from someone, make sure you keep your calm and not get angry or hurt by it. The best way to deal with it is just ignoring it.
Difference Between Constructive and Destructive Criticism
Constructive criticism is criticism given with a compassionate and helpful attitude while destructive criticism is criticism given with the intention to harm or insult someone.
The main intention of constructive criticism is to help a person to improve his work while the main intention of destructive criticism is to hurt and embarrass the creator.
Constructive criticism may focus on shortcomings of the work or strengths and weaknesses of the creator while destructive criticism may focus on the creator of work.
While constructive criticism offers suggestions and tips to improve, destructive criticism does not offer any such help.
Nature of Criticism
Moreover, constructive criticism is specific, clear and actionable while destructive criticism is vague and non-specific.
People who offer constructive criticism are experts in the field while those who offer destructive criticism are those not really knowledgeable in the field.
Response to Criticism
When you receive constructive criticism, you should thank the critic and try to improve your work with his or her suggestions. However, you shouldn’t take destructive criticism personally, and let it upset it – try to ignore it and not get angry or hurt by it.
In conclusion, the main difference between constructive and destructive criticism is the way in which they are delivered. Constructive criticism is specific, clear, and actionable while destructive criticism is vague and non-specific. Moreover, constructive criticism offers suggestions and tips to improve while destructive criticism does not.
1. “Varieties of Criticism.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 27 Dec. 2019, Available here.
2. “Dealing with Criticism.” SkillsYouNeed, Available here.
1. “Photo of Man Pointing His Finger” (CC0) via Pexels
2. “Red click fan, mistakes, editing, school, red ink, corrections, first draft, teacher, red pen, marks” (CC0) via Pxfuel
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