How do you take criticism?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Trenner Dios, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. Trenner Dios

    Trenner Dios Humility > Huge Ego

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    This is mostly for anyone who is into art, writing or music. When you create something new, do you invite criticism? I know everyone wants the things they create to be great, and to be loved. Everyone likes positive feedback. But if you don't outwardly express that you actually want honest feedback, and that criticism isn't going to hurt your feelings, I feel like it's difficult to get the kind of constructive feedback necessary to improve. Sometimes you have to toughen your skin, and accept that there's always room for improvement.

    Often I feel that the line between a simple difference of opinion, and what might be useful, critical feedback isn't easily discernible. I remember when I was trying to create my own card/board game I was running through it with my wife's brother-in-law, and trying to work out the kinks. He had certain issues with it, and he almost seemed to be getting frustrated with the game, or at least when there were certain aspects that I didn't want to change. In the end, it was a fantastic learning experience. I ended up re-working the whole thing for the better, making it much more playable and less confusing. I was able to implement some of his ideas while keeping certain aspects intact that I felt were okay. Someday I need to replay it with him so he can see what a difference it ended up making.

    I wrote a short story today. It's only about 5 pages long, but I managed to incorporate everything I wanted to into it, even though I originally imagined it to be the length of a novel or novella. I ended up sacrificing descriptive narratives and events in favor of ambiguity, and I think it works. I have a few people, like my wife, that I can count on to be honest with me on what they think. I'm already excited to go back and re-work a few things.
     
  2. transtrekkie

    transtrekkie On the level.

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    I openly invite criticism and strongly encourage honesty. I frequently tell people that "If I don't know, I can't change/improve".
     
  3. tikgnat

    tikgnat Baweepgranaweepninnybong. TFW2005 Supporter

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    My tutor in University told us something like this in our first tutor group.

    'All your stuff is going to be rubbish to begin with. Bear this in mind and remember that any critiscm we give you is there to help.'

    Something like that. Considering they were Architects with years of experience in the real world and we were dirty students their advice was totally sound. Some of us took this to heart and improved steadily throughout the year, others steadfastly believed they knew better than our tutors and suffered for it.

    I still keep this advice to mind if I ever do anything, all critiscm, good or bad, is worth reviewing. Bear in mind that unless you are the best there is at what you're doing, you can still learn something from somebody.
     
  4. Dran0n

    Dran0n Junk male

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    I weep in my pillow.
     
  5. MegaMoonMan

    MegaMoonMan www.megamoonman.com TFW2005 Supporter

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    Criticism in my house is usually answered with a firm "STFU", but it's not like anybody was dumb enough to criticize me in the first place, I mean JEEZ.
     
  6. Trenner Dios

    Trenner Dios Humility > Huge Ego

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    You'll have to forgive me for continuing to visualize you as a 75 year old man waving his cane and throwing whiskey bottles at various things. :lol 
     
  7. MegaMoonMan

    MegaMoonMan www.megamoonman.com TFW2005 Supporter

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    Make that rum bottles and you'd be getting warmer.
     
  8. 46+2

    46+2 Well-Known Member

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    I dont take it to well. I do commercial and industrial painting and if someone starts pointing stuff out, I get really irrate.
     
  9. Wheeljack_Prime

    Wheeljack_Prime Don't eat me

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    I've written a lot of songs. I haven't shown them off to much, but when I do, I don't really get much in the way of criticism, people seem to like how they turn out originally. The closest I've gotten to criticism for this stuff has been advice in how to rework the instrumentation for the few times I've played it live (for practical reasons).

    Acting wise, I try, and I think I manage, to take it well.

    These days, however, I'm writing a play (for my directing class). For this, I'm really taking the criticism in stride. Based on feedback from my classmates, I've been cutting characters and subplots that don't work. I also took out what was deemed unnecessary comedy, when it wasn't even intended to be comedic in the first place.

    Long story short, do what people tell you, and you won't have to take criticism.
     
  10. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot The Strongest.

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    Assuming you're talking constructive criticism, I take it all with a grain of salt, because people all have their own motivations for what they say. Maybe they have my best interests in mind, maybe not, so I weigh the facts and act accordingly.

    If it's snark, I usually don't respond very kindly to it.
     
  11. Trenner Dios

    Trenner Dios Humility > Huge Ego

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    No, I meant it in general. Even snarky criticism, though rude, can be beneficial if there's reasonable basis for it. Not saying it's a good thing though.

    And you're right about taking it with a grain of salt. That's what I meant by keeping certain aspects in that another person didn't agree with. I felt it was more opinion based than being beneficial to the work in whole. You have to decide for yourself what advice to take and what to ignore.
     
  12. mac&cheese

    mac&cheese Well-Known Member

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    It took me a long time to learn to take criticism well. At first I always wanted to beat the hell out of anyone who said anything I didnt want to hear, but as I grew up, I understand that everyone has a right to say what they want, and to be heard. I just dont have to do what they say or listen very good. So all in all, I take it very well now. Everyone has a right to thier own opinion, and im perfectly fine with it. It makes my life alot more simple indeed. No matter what it is, artwork, cars, toys, abortion, people will always never agree.
     
  13. foxfan352

    foxfan352 Well-Known Member

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    I try to keep an open mind.
     
  14. Rijie78

    Rijie78 Vinyl junkie.

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    Treating the OP's question as criticism in an artistic setting...

    I work as a graphic designer & interface designer for a living (which can cover art style, usability, copywriting, all sorts of areas depending on a project) so criticism - receiving it and giving it - is obviously part of the work with clients, colleagues etc. I've also been DJing and doing "stuff" in bands for many years - anyone who does that knows that negative criticism comes your way along with positive!

    I don't have a problem with constructive criticism. Even if I don't agree with something, I'll often take it on board if there's some actual justification to it. It can be helpful along the way. That goes for art, music, writing, whatever, for me.

    As for how to take the bad (constructive or not)... one trick I've found is to know when you're a bit too invested in something; that's often when the slightest criticism makes the blood boil. In a work situation, that's not good; you can be passionate about something but still be flexible and at least able to listen.

    Also, stupid, irrelevant or unhelpful criticism you need to learn to spot when it happens, work around and shrug off - but not get upset about. Some people don't mean it, or just don't grasp a concept, issue or idea; others have their own agendas; and some people just can't help but be a dick about things. Either way, choose your battles & don't take all criticism personally. It's easier said than done, but experience, age, & doing work you're proud of all help with that :) 

    Here endeth the lesson ;) 
     
  15. Rijie78

    Rijie78 Vinyl junkie.

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    Oh, and remember you're awesome and haters are idiots. Ego helps too at times ;) 
     
  16. Bumblethumper

    Bumblethumper old misery guts

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    Starting out, it can be hard to take.

    My advice is invite criticism on work you already think is shit. Maybe they can help you figure out why. If you think it's genuinely good and you worked really hard, hide it away. Chances are it's not as good as you thought it was, but it's no fun having your 'masterpiece' ripped apart.

    There's no ego invested in taking criticism on things when you already know you can do better.

    If you have a job that involves constant feedback and criticism from bosses and clients, just accept that they may idiots, but as idiots with money, you have to give them what they're paying you for.
     
  17. Rijie78

    Rijie78 Vinyl junkie.

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    Yup, tis the truth. Or be able to do good work, in spite of client idiocy. Sometimes you just can't turn a shit project round... but when you can, that's the trick. Good way to learn, too. And often, your peers can see when you've got good out of bad - and that's no bad thing ;) 
     
  18. Inikalord

    Inikalord Legal Binding Contracts

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    I openly accept criticism and take in what people have to say about anything I make/create.

    However there is a fine line when it does come to criticism. I will not listen to anyone who just blatantly says "Oh this sucks, make it better"

    No I actually need a constructive argument against my work for me to take in what you are trying to convey for me so i can actually work and make it better.

    So to anyone who is a blatant "This sucks" kind of person, I await your masterpiece :) 
     
  19. Hiraga

    Hiraga BILL BILL BILL BILL BILL

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    If it's unbiased, honest criticism, then I accept it and try to work on whatever the problem is.
    However, if the criticism comes from someone I already know has/is having a problem with me, I usually just ignore it.
     
  20. John_Force

    John_Force 16xNHRA Funny Car Champ TFW2005 Supporter

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    I'm extremely stubborn and have a massive ego and take to criticism harshly if the person delivering the criticism does so in a rude manner. I take no offence in unbaised, honest and reasonable criticism.
     

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