A Critical Hit: Negativity in Life & Games

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.

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2 thoughts on “A Critical Hit: Negativity in Life & Games

  1. There so much I could say about this subject too! I lost track the times I was insulted just for exchanging a few words in spanish in other MMOs, and I’m not even going to mention anything that has to do with religion and beliefs. Freedom of expression gives people the impression that they can say whatever they want without caring if it hurts anyone.. I’ve never understood why does people find bringing someone down so satisfactory. But yeah, we can at least try and not be so bitter or critical.

    • Agreed! It’s also important for us to learn to let things roll off our backs, especially from people who don’t know us. I can agree to disagree with people and still love them dearly. When someone attacks me, I have to make the choice to just let them go and not let it get to me. I remember one person in SWTOR attacking my wife because she wasn’t playing how he thought she should. Vulgarity, harassment, etc. He got reported, to say the least. I actually confronted him in just saying that approaching things in that light only put up people’s defences, and how important it is to have the people skills to present opportunities for a person to improve, instead of tearing them down.

      Bullying. It’s plain ol’ bullying.

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