Friday, August 19, 2011

Constructive Criticism

I'm reminded of some sage advice from the book "How to win friends and influence people" -- don't criticize, ever. Tonight I approached my partner about an email he wrote to our friends to cancel a camping trip we had planned with them for next weekend. The email was all business and showed no sign of remorse. It's not how I would have handled things. In fact I thought he was going to call them. Of course what's done is done. I have no idea how they feel about it, but if it were me receiving that email, I would've been pissed. So I spoke up. I even thought about how I could gently put it to him without sounding critical. And I fell flat on my face. He got all angry and defensive and told me that if I didn't like how he handled it, then I should've done it myself. Ugh. I SUCK at constructive criticism. Even as the words left my mouth, I knew it would be a mess. Why did I feel compelled to say anything. They are HIS friends afterall. Now he's pissed and I feel like crap. It was hardly a fight, but it really got me thinking about criticism and if there ever is an appropriate time to 'correct' someone. No, there is not. The world is critical enough without having to hear it at home too.

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