Have you ever met someone who gets defensive and even angry when given any amount of criticism or suggestion, even if they asked for an opinion? Although unsolicited advice or negative criticisms are not always welcome, we do well to at least consider any feedback or counsel, especially if we ask for help.
“Whoever stubbornly refuses to accept criticism will suddenly be broken beyond repair.” —Proverbs 29:1 NLT
“If you refuse to be made straight when you are green, you will not be made straight when you are dry.” —African proverb
“He that will not be counseled cannot be helped.” —Irish proverb
“Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.” —Proverbs 9:8
“He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.” —Proverbs 15:32
“Good medicine may taste bitter to the mouth; good advice may sound unpleasant to the ear.” —Japanese proverb
“Woe to him who heeds not the counsel of a good wife.” —Irish proverb
“You can tell a person’s level of maturity by the way they handle criticism and reproof.” —Chuck Swindoll
You can also tell a person’s level of maturity by the way they give criticism and respond when someone decides not to use the advice given. It’s embarrassing to admit, but in my pride, I have gotten upset when someone asked for my counsel but didn’t use it. I’m not perfect and realize I haven’t always given the best advice.
“The first degree of folly is to conceit oneself wise, the second to profess it, the third to despise counsel.” —Poor Richard aka Ben Franklin
Generally speaking, receiving criticism or advice is easier when it comes from someone respected and when we feel understood and loved. Sometimes criticism is constructive and mixed with praise, but sometimes it can be destructive if it is too harsh or not done with the right motive. I want to be someone who encourages and inspires others rather than someone who discourages and defeats.
“Sandwich every bit of criticism between two layers of praise.” —Mary Kay Ash
“In my wide association in life, meeting with many and great people in various parts of the world, I have yet to find the person, however great or exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than he would ever do under a spirit of criticism.” —Charles Schwab
“It is easier to criticize art than to create it.” —Spanish proverb