You are not qualified to criticize

Criticism is hard. If not you don’t criticize the “right” way, both parties lose. And rarely anyone does it right.

As you know, there are many reasons even smart people criticize other people. The #1 defense against criticism is that the person who criticized is not qualified to criticize. That is the fastest way to duck and escape. Shoot the messenger when you don’t like the message.

Yes, you can get annoyed sometimes when people who “think they are smart” start tearing apart your logic and create a mess. That is on one extreme. In most cases, it is definitely worth looking that “message” before shooting the “messenger.”

Think about it:

1. You may not be a chef but when you go to a hotel, you probably comment on how the food tastes.

2. You may not be a pilot, but you sure will comment if the pilot “almost” crash lands.

3. You may not know how to direct a movie but you probably will comment on how the movie was made.

4. You may not know how to play cricket but you probably will comment if the batsman is playing reckless shots.

5. You may not know how to write a book, but you will probably comment on how good it is.

In many cases, you don’t have to know how to create something but as a consumer of that creation, you are qualified to comment on those creations.

It goes the same way to others. If you are the creator, the other person does NOT have to be a creator to comment. If he or she is a consumer, they already have the right.

Rather than debating about it, next time when someone ( ok, except those oddball ones ) comments, disconnect the message and the messenger for a second and simply focus on the message. You may learn something meaningful if you don’t fight it all the time.

Photo Courtesy: on Flickr