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Six Steps to Getting Honest Critical Feedback

I was just listening to the Lifestyle Business Podcast, "Episode 51 - 5 Signs You Might be a Loser" - great podcast. It's an aggressive title, but it's actual a super helpful episode that's not aggressive at all.

One of the topics on there was criticism - Dan and Ian were talking about how it's a sure path to loserdom if you can't take constructive criticism.

I think that's true, but I still try to almost never give negative criticism to anyone, ever.

"As a general rule...people ask for advice only in order not to follow it; or if they do follow it, in order to have someone to blame for giving it." — From Alexandre Dumas's "The Three Musketeers"

I've found the vast majority of people will never take any criticism you give them, will be upset at you for criticizing them, and will dislike you even more if you were right.

Dealing in Harsh Criticism

On Tynan

Here's my theory: harsh criticism is one of the most valuable commodities out there, and you should be collecting as much of it as possible. Secondly, people enjoy giving harsh criticism, but only if they know it will be appreciated. If they think you might react poorly, you'll never hear it.

Sebastian and I pretty much have a relationship based on harsh criticism. I remember a year ago or so he was in San Francisco, it was after midnight, and we were circling this random patio in the middle of the park. And we were just unloading on each other. It felt like a boxing match or something.

And, you know, after the conversation we were both better off, and probably better friends, too. We both love giving and receiving harsh criticism.

I got an email from him last week, saying that it seemed like my focus on Sett was waning and that I was spending too much effort on learning languages, traveling, and being crazy. It was more eloquently written than that, but that was the gist.

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