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Truth is not only violated by falsehood; it may be equally outraged by silence.
-- Henri-Frederic Amiel


Friday, October 9, 1998

Turn criticism around

The next time you are about to criticize someone or something, stop. Stop before you do it and think of how you could change your criticism from negative to positive.

When you criticize, what does it accomplish? It accomplishes quite a lot -- all of it negative. It puts you in a negative frame of mind. It puts the person you are criticizing into a defensive and insulted state.

For every criticism, there is an equally valid positive comment which conveys the same meaning, in a way that will be much better received. For example, if you said something like, “I can’t stand the way you always make us late,” that would prompt a very negative and hostile reaction. Instead, say something like, “I really appreciate your help in getting away on time.” That will be much more likely to bring the results you seek.

No matter how justified your criticism may be, if you state it in a negative way it will have a negative effect. Challenge yourself to turn negative criticism into useful, positive comments. See for yourself how effective it can be.

— Ralph Marston

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Copyright ©1998 Ralph S. Marston, Jr. All Rights Reserved. The Daily Motivator is provided for your personal, non-commercial use only. Other than personal sharing, please do not re-distribute without permission.