Ok, so I didn’t expect to really do this on my blog. This may be a Guild Wars 2 blog, but I think this relates.
I had a few things happen today that honestly brought me down. You know, someone being extra critical. The criticism I received today hurt, but I have a pretty tough hide given the fact that I deal with negatively critical attitudes and opinions on a daily basis. What stuck with me today is the realization that people too easily throw out their opinions and criticism in a way that cause severe pain to others. At work, on forums and blogs, in their relationships, and even in our beloved video games. MMOs can be notorious for it!
We all need criticism. I sing, play guitar, and sometimes write music. I need criticism from time to time in order to help me be better. I’m a blogger. I get people to give me feedback because I need their criticism to make sure my blog posts are the best they can be. I need my wife to criticize how I behave at home in order to help me be the best husband and father I possibly could be.
Yet what I don’t need is negative criticism that becomes an attack on a person. Words like “incompetent; stupid; worthless; annoying; weak” and any other phrase that demeans a person’s character or ability is criticism that tears away at who a person is, and never fosters growth!
Yes, give feedback. Yes, tell others how you feel. Yes, show honesty, but do so with tact; do so with respect for the fact that they are a real person with real emotions and a real life.
It doesn’t matter if it’s in the workplace, in a text message, in the lineup of a store, on a forum or blog, or in our most loved video games. Show respect to one another, and learn to criticize in a manner that will help foster positive change. So long as we demean, insult, and tear others down, we’ll only feed the beast.
There will always be the naysayers and those who hide behind their screens (or behind your back) to score a CRITICAL HIT on you. You? You have a choice. You have a chance to encourage people, help others become better, and create a culture around you where people feel loved and accepted while still being able to be challenged.
The choice is yours. So let’s change Tyria, video games, our workplaces, and the world. Criticize with love and respect. Criticize well.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Gandhi didn’t specify which world, so let’s be the change in all of them.