Has anyone given you constructive criticism?

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Jayo
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24 Apr 2022, 7:08 pm

Has anyone given you constructive criticism? And if so, how did you react and/or apply it?

I got it at various points, from trusted sources like my father and a couple of well-meaning friends, and at least one former co-worker... yes, the vast majority of people will just dismiss you as "some weirdo" since they know very little about ASD/HFA and its manifestations, or even if they did they might still feel contempt for such people in a "not one of us" tribal animosity kind of way :x

So, most criticism we get is either vague, toxic, misleading or exaggerated... without any real insight to learn from.
When we DO get those rare bits of enlightened, constructive criticism, I think our guard may be up (at least mine was) and we feel compelled to question it.

I think what works best is when somebody points out some error I made in a social situation, and they say "by the way, I've noticed (insert behaviour), it's really better if you refrain from that / approach it in this way instead in future" - and THAT is what works best for me. (Actually, reading anecdotes of how other folks on the spectrum flubbed something is the best way to instill it in my mind and abstractly apply the learning to my own activities.) NOT saying "you need to avoid taking things so literally" or "you need to stop over-analyzing things" - they might as well be telling me, you need to remember to swallow after you chew your food :roll:

Yes, the predicament is knowing who to trust and who's trying to sabotage you out of spite or vile amusement.

I remember back in the '80s while still in my preteens, I saw a homeless person downtown in my city making strange noises when I was out with my mom and brother... and I asked my mom about how they get in those situations: she told me that a lot of these people have mental conditions like schizophrenia (which she explained to me), and so they don't trust anyone, even people who are trying to help them, because they are completely paranoid - as a result they never get better.

For some reason, that point in time got anchored in my mind, and I think it influenced me in some way i.t.o. not dismissing everyone who might be trying to help me (we Aspies have a challenge in not overcompensating naivete for paranoia!), so I had to take some risks in evaluating advice and giving it a try before dismissing it. Sort of like another thing from the '80s, the Cold War detente proverb "trust, but verify". 8)



Pepe
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24 Apr 2022, 7:31 pm

Quote:
Has anyone given you constructive criticism?


:chin:
Yes.
But since I know it all, it wasn't necessary. 8) <joke>

I have a bad habit of offering advice. I suspect this is an autistic trait.
But I have learnt that many people find it *unwanted* advice.

The best thing to do in *personal* situations, imo, is to ask if advice is wanted. 8)

Did you want this evaluation of the situation? :wink:


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Jayo
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24 Apr 2022, 8:04 pm

Pepe wrote:
Quote:
Has anyone given you constructive criticism?


:chin:
Yes.
But since I know it all, it wasn't necessary. 8) <joke>

I have a bad habit of offering advice. I suspect this is an autistic trait.
But I have learnt that many people find it *unwanted* advice.

The best thing to do in *personal* situations, imo, is to ask if advice is wanted. 8)

Did you want this evaluation of the situation? :wink:


Ok, now that you mention it, in most of those cases of constructive criticism, the person did ask my permission first. And I did have the good sense to focus on the nonverbals above all. I noticed they said it with a serious face and tone, not with a sort of condescending smile with narrowed eyes with a mean gleam, when I could tell it was going to be toxic shaming of some sort :x



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25 Apr 2022, 11:08 am

Yes, but nothing like often enough. Usually it's been somewhat impolite, negative, loud, aggressive, or dogmatic. Or even worse (and probably much more often), no criticism at all. I'm probably making all kinds of mistakes that they can see, that they don't tell me about. I think people often fall into this trap where they quietly tolerate and tolerate till they can't stand it any more, and then they're so upset that they can't express themselves with any grace. Plus, people don't get much education in the art of constructive criticism. Jeeves knew how it was done.



jimmy m
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25 Apr 2022, 11:23 am

How do I deal with constructive criticism? I think criticism falls into two categories, destructive and constructive. Many times when you receive criticism in a group setting it is most times destructive criticism. But when someone provides criticism when you are alone (one on one), I will normally accept it when it is given.

Then I will analyze it in order to determine if it is accurate. The point here is I make the ultimate decision. The final analysis is mine and mine alone.


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ToughDiamond
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25 Apr 2022, 12:23 pm

jimmy m wrote:
Many times when you receive criticism in a group setting it is most times destructive criticism. But when someone provides criticism when you are alone (one on one), I will normally accept it when it is given.

Then I will analyze it in order to determine if it is accurate. The point here is I make the ultimate decision. The final analysis is mine and mine alone.

Yes if others are watching I think it does make it a more sensitive matter, and it's often more diplomatic to deliver the criticism in private.
And I completely agree that the decision rests with the one who has been criticised. The problem comes when the critic fails to be constructive enough, then pride can get in the way of clear thinking. I gather it's a principle of diplomacy that people often need to be given a dignified way of softening their stand or capitulating.



Joe90
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25 Apr 2022, 12:36 pm

Quote:
I have a bad habit of offering advice. I suspect this is an autistic trait.


I barely offer advice because I never know what advice to give them. So all I can do is empathise.
Some advice can be annoying. Advice is OK for someone expressing anxiety, but if someone is expressing depression (or depression-related stress) then advice is not always wanted.

Also, it doesn't always do to make jokes whenever people are feeling down or frustrated, because people aren't always in the mood. If they don't find a joke funny because they're really having a hard time and just want sympathy or answers (not advice exactly) it doesn't do to tell them to get a sense of humour and walk away. The best time to joke is when they have cheered up a bit - then throw in a relevant joke. But a joke shouldn't be the first thing you do. That's what I'd be told by Aspies here if I said I'd made a joke to a depressed NT who was reaching out to me, so when vice versa the same rules should apply.

Lastly, answers and reassurance are the most important thing when someone is feeling down or worried. That's sometimes what I'm asking for when posting a thread on something that has triggered me. I feel that by making the post sound as emotional as possible it will get people to offer me reassurance or answers if it's to do with current events. Usually though, people don't get that message and still give jokes or advice that I wasn't asking for. Not just on autism forums but on NT forums as well.


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Pteranomom
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25 Apr 2022, 2:12 pm

I've gotten tons of constructive criticism, but I write and join writing-critique groups specifically for that purpose.

Criticism can be helpful IMO if it meets one or more criteria:

1. You asked for it, eg, critique groups
2. It comes from someone you trust--someone whom you know has your best interests at heart
3. It comes from someone skilled at the thing you are trying to do
4. It is phrased in a polite way



Fnord
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25 Apr 2022, 2:19 pm

People have given me what they claimed was constructive criticism, but it was never helpful.

For one thing, I did not ask to be criticized.

For another, I did not know that I "needed" to be criticized.

Finally, their criticism did not include and constructive advice, only criticism.



kraftiekortie
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25 Apr 2022, 2:24 pm

I've received constructive criticism countless times.

I've received destructive criticism disguised as constructive criticism countless times.

I've received blatantly destructive criticism countless times.



Jayo
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25 Apr 2022, 5:43 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
I've received constructive criticism countless times.

I've received destructive criticism disguised as constructive criticism countless times.

I've received blatantly destructive criticism countless times.


Well, the saving grace of your middle statement is, at least you recognized that it was disguised! As they say it's an Aspie trait not to pick up on the underlying intent or emotion behind a statement or series of statements.
Or maybe it was so oozing with sarcasm and derision that you couldn't help but recognize it; it wasn't more subtle and insidious. Some obnoxious folk will notice our deficiency with the latter, so they'll attack us with the former just to see where our threshold of cluelessness is, and many times (in one's younger years) when they have an entourage or d-bag buddy of some sort with them. :x



Jayo
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25 Apr 2022, 5:49 pm

ToughDiamond wrote:
Yes, but nothing like often enough. Usually it's been somewhat impolite, negative, loud, aggressive, or dogmatic. Or even worse (and probably much more often), no criticism at all. I'm probably making all kinds of mistakes that they can see, that they don't tell me about. I think people often fall into this trap where they quietly tolerate and tolerate till they can't stand it any more, and then they're so upset that they can't express themselves with any grace. Plus, people don't get much education in the art of constructive criticism. Jeeves knew how it was done.


What you've just described is called "gunnysacking". (You should google it.)
Yes, people just passively ignore some bizarre error or oversight that you made, which they're not accustomed to... they just self-talk themselves in their heads that it's a one-off, it'll subside... and then when they see that their expectation of "normal human" is not met, they blow up.

THIS actually seems like the corollary to the sort of thing that third parties (including my father) told me when I had a conflict with someone else i.e. a bully, they'd say "well it's six of one and half a dozen of the other" or "maybe there's something you're doing that he/she doesn't like also" - never mind the fact that my actions or words were not based on malicious intent...



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25 Apr 2022, 7:15 pm

Jayo wrote:
What you've just described is called "gunnysacking". (You should google it.)
Yes, people just passively ignore some bizarre error or oversight that you made, which they're not accustomed to... they just self-talk themselves in their heads that it's a one-off, it'll subside... and then when they see that their expectation of "normal human" is not met, they blow up.

THIS actually seems like the corollary to the sort of thing that third parties (including my father) told me when I had a conflict with someone else i.e. a bully, they'd say "well it's six of one and half a dozen of the other" or "maybe there's something you're doing that he/she doesn't like also" - never mind the fact that my actions or words were not based on malicious intent...

You're right, it's a known phenomenon with a name. And your parent's feedback does seem unhelpful to the problem you had. It might have been OK if he'd merely probed the matter by asking "was there anything you did that might have contributed to his aggression?" but I get the impression he'd already decided that there was.



Imedatingayandere
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25 Apr 2022, 7:33 pm

it's normally just

>Your using your disability as an excuse

>Your complaining about your circumstances

>it's all in the past get over it (ignoring it's societal abuses so it really is something that happens as a general issue)

>nobody wants to hear that

etc



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25 Apr 2022, 9:58 pm

Fnord wrote:
People have given me what they claimed was constructive criticism, but it was never helpful.

For one thing, I did not ask to be criticized.

For another, I did not know that I "needed" to be criticized.

Finally, their criticism did not include and constructive advice, only criticism.[/color]


I usually shrug and move on, if someone gives me unwanted "constructive" criticism.
If they persist, I simply put them on my "ignore" list.
People don't have to read posts. 8)

It ain't rocket surgery, eh? ;)


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Laughter is the best medicine. Age-appropriate behaviour is an arbitrary NT social construct.
Don't tell me white lies. Gaslight me at your peril. Don't give me your bad attitude. Hypnosis, psychosis. Tomarto, tomayto. There are *4* lights. Honey badger.
If I'm so bad, pass me by. ;)


And one more thing,



Also, as George Carlin said, "I have no stake in the outcome." I'll stick around for the comedy.

"A stranger is a friend gang-stalker you haven't met yet."
Truth may be inconvenient but it is never politically incorrect...The Oracle of Truth has spoken...8)
Read my lips:-I am not a fan of the orange man.-I would never vote for the Republican party given the chance.-I am interested in being objective and rational.


naturalplastic
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26 Apr 2022, 1:59 am

Many times.

Constructive

and

Destructive

and in between.