"People ask you for criticism, but they only want praise."
July 15, 2011 6:15 AM Subscribe
How do I deal with criticism from a friend? How do I ensure that said criticism is meant to be constructive and not just spiteful?
posted by Vrai to Human Relations (41 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
A close friend has been repeatedly bringing their annoyances about me to my attention in an attempt to "nip any future drama in the bud". The habits or traits they mention aren't anything that I've ever recognized in myself. In some cases, I can't help but think maybe they're overreacting or reaching. Nonetheless, I realise I'm probably wrong, accept the complaints as valid, and try to watch myself closely because I value the friendship.
During the "watching" stage, I become depressed and isolate myself. It really hurts and discourages me to think that someone you care about doesn't accept you fully. I wonder if others have become annoyed by the same things, failed to tell me, and if I've ever lost any friendships because of them. I end up feeling shame, anger, and sadness.
MeFites, I would like to be able to appropriately deal with criticism from loved ones. I'd also like to be sure that any criticism I receive under the guise of "constructive" is just that and not something more negative.
Bonus question: Is giving constructive criticism in a friendship a healthy thing? Things might annoy me mildly about the people I know, but I never bring it to their attention unless it's directly affecting my life or comfort in a really BIG and serious way. Should I be letting them know? If so, how?