• Brent Keath

The Two Types of Criticism and How I React to Them

It's never easy to show your creation to the world. You have put so many hours of work into it and now people are going to look at it for a few seconds and immediately make judgement calls about it. Some of those judgments are going to be good, but others are going to be bad. And, if we're honest with ourselves, the bad ones often stand out, and sometimes even keep us up at night.

The board art before and after criticism from PAX Unplugged.

I used to be very soft-skinned. When I was in middle school I started a Youtube channel making song parodies. Each video got a few hundred views and I was enjoying it a lot, until one day someone left a mean comment on my most popular video, I got upset, took all of my videos down, and deleted my account.

I allowed one person's criticism determine how I was going to spend my time. I let it destroy work I had already done. Those videos are gone, forever. I now tell my wife about them, but will never be able to show her or our future kids any of them just because I let one person get to me.

I could not control what the person was going to say about my videos all I could control was the videos themselves. So I decided destroying them was my way of avoiding the criticism. While they were not perfect, I still put time and effort into them and they were important to me. So, what I should have done is ignored that particular criticism because it was destructive. Ultimately, there are two types of negative criticism:

1. Constructive Criticism

2. Destructive Criticism

Based on my experiences I think it best to heed constructive criticism, and I try to seek out as much of it as possible to help my projects become amazing. Also, I ignore destructive criticism, unless it happens in large numbers. For example, one person telling me a project is hopeless or stupid is most likely just one person having a bad day. However, 5 people telling me that, may indicate that it needs another look.

Keep this in mind for yourself, to know how to ignore destructive criticism and use constructive criticism to make your project awesome. But, also remember, when critiquing others, try to give constructive criticism. Always be honest, but usually you can be honest without being mean.