Transparent, Direct and Substantive Critiques

Black Men Arguing

When you’re attempting to critique someone, be sure the critique is transparent, substantive and direct.  If you truly intend for the critique to have an impact on the individual, then deliver the critique directly to the person—not to someone else or through any other indirect communication medium.  Now, if you’re just blowing off steam, that’s one thing but if you have an authentic desire for your critique of someone to have a lasting effect, then you want to say what you have to say about the person via a face-to-face meeting, over the phone, email, or a letter.  In order to ensure what you have to say has substance, be as specific as possible about what you intend to communicate.

America is filled with too many people who are cowards.  If you’re going to “tell someone off,” when are you actually going to talk to that person directly?  Are you really “telling someone off” when you are talking about that person to everyone except that particular person?

Before your critique will have any significance, you’re going to need to shed any sugarcoated language that may be a part of the critique.  Stop worrying about hurting people’s feelings when you get ready to critique them.  If what you have to say is going to destroy a person’s life, then just allow it to destroy the person’s life; he or she is the one who is crazy for letting what you have to say destroy his or her life.

One way to shut someone’s mouth who is trying to critique you in a clandestine and malicious way is to engage that person in a public discourse.  If he or she is really interested in having a truly transparent conversation, then he or she will not mind having the needed conversation in front of an audience.  I’m a person who loves engaging in a public discourse with people who want to critique me, especially those who like to offer their critiques of me in devious and malevolent ways.  The more people listening to me really “let you have it” is always more interesting and fun for me.

It’s time out for playing games with people.  Don’t let someone verbally pound away at you indirectly.  When you’re able to recognize that someone is running his or her mouth about you in private to people, which can be made obvious by how certain people respond to you now and how they respond to that person, call that person out!  Stop letting people off the hook!

Do you really want to offer a critique about someone or would it be better for you to keep it to yourself?  Are you really prepared for the person’s rebuttal to your critique?  Is the reason why you will not give your critique to the person in a direct way a result of your cowardice?

You have to realize that people aren’t going to keep letting you say negative things about them and not eventually respond to you in ways you may not be ready to handle.  Think about the things you say and do before you let them go forth.

Be sure you have the appropriate evidence to substantiate what you have to say about someone.  The people you’re making angry might be able to respond to your critique with arguments and evidence of their own about you that can shut your mouth for eternity.  Again, think before you react!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Social Media and Cowardice

If you really believe in what you have to say about a person, then why use social media to communicate a message to him or her, especially if you have the person’s home address, email address, and/or telephone number?  Because many people lack the courage to confront people directly, social media becomes vehicles for articulating their messages.  What’s disconcerting about this increasing phenomenon is more people believe that Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, and etc. are the proper mediums to solve conflicts.  Why not just pick up a telephone?  One has to wonder, however, if people just enjoy resolving conflicts through public spaces like Facebook and Twitter to attract more attention to themselves.  When you think about it, resolving conflicts at someone’s home, through email, and/or over the telephone is too private for those who desire to find any way possible to get more attention drawn to themselves.

Now, if you have already directly addressed your problems with someone and that person does not try to work with you to solve those problems, then it may be appropriate to express how you feel in general about a problem you have with someone in an indirect manner to keep you from fighting the person.  If you have an established reputation of letting people know in their faces (without any hesitation) how you feel about an issue or problem when one arises, then it may be appropriate to make an indirect comment on Facebook or Twitter about the problem or issue.

Cowardice occurs through social media when a person never has addressed his or her problems with someone directly.

Some people think you’re not smart enough to know when they’re sending subliminal messages to you.  They think they’re getting over on you and affecting you.  However, what they don’t understand is the reason that you’ve not responded to them directly and/or punched them in the mouth is you see them as lightweights, are trying to not destroy their world for their sake and their family’s sake, and/or wish not to cause a major scene.

When people always have to promulgate indirect messages, you can tell they’re struggling with deep insecurities and self-esteem problems.  Why else would they always express themselves through indirect messages?

In the time you invested in composing an indirect message, you could have already communicated a direct message by picking up a telephone?  Why waste time?  Go ahead and be honest—it’s not really about the indirect message you’re attempting to send to someone, but it’s more about you needing to deal with things you’re stowing on the inside of you that need to be eliminated.

You have to be careful about communicating indirect messages to someone through social media because that person could respond with a direct message to you that could surely shake up your world forever.

For every move there is a counter.

Don’t let your weak indirect messages end up causing you a lifetime of misery.  You have to resolve how much you’re willing to lose when you publish tweets, statuses, and posts.

Don’t be a coward—say what you have to say to someone directly to him or her!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison