Constructive Criticism: the Myth

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Criticism is given by many, yet received well by few. What plausible reason could exist for this human characteristic? Most people would simply say that destructive criticism hurts everyone and that constructive criticism does not hurt. This seems to be the case on the surface, but, when examined more closely, a different conclusion is drawn. Constructive criticism does not exist.

Constructive criticism is only perceived as constructive by the person giving it, yet it is not perceived as such by the recipient. Any person, when asked if he or she likes receiving constructive criticism, will likely say yes. However, when that same person becomes the object of criticism, he or she will resent it and "won't take it"(40) . This creates strain on any relationship between the receiver of criticism and the giver. Therefore, any criticism intended to be constructive is rendered destructive by human pride.

Constructive criticism is an oxymoron, and cannot exist. All criticism is inherently destructive. When criticizing, most people will portray the recipient of the criticism as "be[ing] impractical"(38) or "asking "fool questions""(43) . Whereas, anything constructive is associated with growth, which requires a person to be open, not in a defensive state of mind. When put together, these two ideas constitute an oxymoron. Nature will not allow two concepts that contradict each other to exist in perfect harmony.

Human nature and pride would never allow constructive criticism to exist, even if nature did. Most people do not like others telling them that "they [are] wrong"(38) , especially when there is a ring of truth in it. People cannot do anything other than what they believe they can do, and they do not enjoy hearing their limitations voiced from a source other than their own mind. It is not in human nature to endure things that irritate. People could never tolerate something so contrary to their own nature to exist.

Constructive criticism cannot exist;...
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