Criticism: Let’s be constructive about it!

Teacher and student discussion near blackboard
Photo: © Hongqi Zhang / 123RF Stock Photo

Dr Shefali Batra

Oh my, you’ve put on weight!
Oh, your grades have really dropped!
Jeez, that colour looks a bit gaudy on you!
Wow, you’ve really got a strange hair colour!

Criticism involves judgements on merits as well as faults. It may or may not be welcome, but taken in the right vein it can be a tool to motivate self-improvement and growth. Criticism is of great value when it comes from reliable sources and is well presented. Nonetheless, viewpoints and prejudices of narrow-minded and self-prophesizing individuals may amount to destructive criticism and can impact others negatively. How the world presents things to us isn’t in our control but what we choose to do with it truly is.

Judge your self-worth by yourself
Negative bias in self-assessment is the root for despair. Self-regard is the backbone of survival. It is what preserves the self from extermination; else many would deem this life truly not worth the pain and suffering it occasionally forces one to endure. A downward spiral of gloom is created when you perceive yourself as unworthy. There are good times as well as bad ones for everyone. Failure is not permanent, neither is there a lifetime warranty for success. It is wise to accept strength and weakness, success and failure, praise and criticism; and put your best foot forward at all times.
If it’s your own self-respect, how come it’s impacted by what others think?

Appraise and reappraise
No one looks as good in reality as they do on their Facebook profile pictures! Of course nobody looks as bad as they do on their driver’s license either! Reality is what it is; it cannot be masked and doesn’t require unveiling either. It is what makes it real. No one is as undeserving or as brilliant as they consider themselves to be. Verdict on self-worth can never be absolute. None of us are perfect and none of us are horrible either. Every aspect about us changes ever so often, so does the world’s view on our performance. We feel we need constant appraisal and reappraisal of self-worth to truly know where we stand on the path to self-growth.

Read the full article by subscribing to the print magazine or the digital edition.

Dr Shefali Batra
Latest posts by Dr Shefali Batra (see all)

Dr Shefali Batra

Dr Shefali Batra is a Senior Psychiatrist and CBT Expert, and is the Founder of Mindframes. She posts and conducts regular ‘lives’ on Instagram @drshefalibatra.