Community Web Version Now Available
Richard-Business Eng
Professional Teacher
On the Subject of Criticism... Positive and Negative... Helpful and/or Harmful...

Criticizing others is easy to do, but it can be unhelpful, negative and hurtful.

Here are some quotes on the subject of “criticism”.
(I’ve removed the quotation marks and the authors' names (except for 2) due to italki’s 5,000 character limit.)

Do you have anything to say about positive and negative criticism?


– It’s easy to criticize from the stands. What’s hard…is doing something. 

– It’s not just that people like to criticize other people, it’s that they like to criticize other people when they haven’t achieved much themselves.

– Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.

– Criticism is an indirect form of self-boasting.

– The trouble with most of us is that we’d rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.

– Don’t criticize what you don’t understand, son. You never walked in that man’s shoes.”  –  Elvis Presley

– Before you criticize the younger generation, just remember who they are copying.

– Who do you spend time with? Criticizers or encouragers? Surround yourself with those who believe in you. Your life is too important for anything less.

– Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.

– Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.”

– Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish one's growth without destroying his/her roots

A man interrupted one of the Buddha’s lectures with a flood of abuse.
Buddha waited until he had finished and then asked him:
If a man offered a gift to another but the gift was declined, to whom would the gift belong?
To the one who offered it, said the man.
Then, said the Buddha, I decline to accept your abuse and request you to keep it for yourself.


– Children need models rather than critics.
– Everyone needs models rather than critics.  –  Richard of Canada   J


Have you received negative criticism?

How did it make you feel?

How did you respond? – What did you do?

Did you react the right way?   How should you have reacted?

Is negative criticism ever helpful?

How do you give positive, constructive criticism?  –  What do you say? 

Mar 5, 2018 3:49 PM
Comments · 21

Sorry, but I think most of these quotes are just bad advice.

Criticism is useful, that's how you can learn what to improve, or at least what other think about you. Which you can then disregard, if you so please.

Surrounding yourself with people who only praise you is a sure way to repeat the same mistakes forever.

If you just think negative criticism is bad, but constructive criticism is good, shouldn't this post be about impoliteness instead of criticism?

March 5, 2018

Just want to add one more:

"Don't criticize people for their past, you don't know your future..."

March 5, 2018

Thanks Richard for mentioning some great quotes!:)

I read this one somewhere: "When people throw you stone(means, criticise you) it's because you are a good tree full of fruits, so they see a lot of harvest in you. But don't go down to their level by throwing them back the stones, rather throw them your fruits so that they can taste the sweetness you are enriched with, who knows that sweetness may make them change their ways!"

Or in one sentence: when life gives you lemon, make lemonade!:) 

Sometimes, criticisms are good to make us realize where exactly we went wrong so that we can fix it. But if we get criticisms without any reason, then I think it would be wise to not hit back, rather we should keep doing what we like!

March 5, 2018
Mi Sha... Your quote "Don't criticize people for their past, you don't know your future..." is wise and is something everyone should remember. Thank you.

Srishi... I'm glad you enjoyed the quotes.

Mark... You wrote, "Sorry, but I think most of these quotes are just bad advice."
I should mention that those quotes came from some very intelligent, accomplished people, namely: Benjamin Franklin, Eleanor Roosevelt, Norman Vincent Peale, Dale Carnegie, and Joseph Joubert.
This post is about negative criticism - "Positive and Negative... Helpful and/or Harmful" and "Criticizing others is easy to do, but it can be unhelpful, negative and hurtful."
I am not advocating showering anyone with unwarranted, undeserved praise.

Grzybek... I must say that I was impressed when you wrote that people who don't do anything believe they would do better in any given field if they only tried and since they never do, never have they been proven wrong.
That is exactly the point that I've tried to make. Well done Grzybek


* criticism:
- the act of passing judgment as to the merits of anything
- the act or an instance of making an unfavourable or severe judgment, comment; censure; faultfinding
- the act of analyzing, evaluating or judging the quality of a literary or musical performance, art exhibit, etc.

- the associated or secondary meaning of a word or expression in addition to its explicit or primary meaning.
March 5, 2018
And a general rule that I would recommend: only listen to the professionals/devotees. I mean, why would you take criticism of, say, a painting from a writer or a criticism of a novel from a painter? Unless they are highly knowledgeable in the field or avid consumers of art/books, respectively, why bother listening to them?
March 5, 2018
Show More
Richard-Business Eng
Language Skills
English, French
Learning Language