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How To Criticize And Still Be Nice

Iranian girl using sunglasses in northern moun...Image via Wikipedia

By Michael Cobb

How To Criticize And Still Be Nice

Have you ever encountered an experience when someone told you
how fat you've become? Maybe your boss have commented on how
bad your work turned out to be. Maybe you've heard from other
folks how people view you as cold and unapproachable.

Hurts, doesn't it?

Believe it or not, some people can be so tactless that they
are not even aware when they've hurt anyone's feelings. The
receiving parties, especially the sensitive ones, would be
offended by their remarks. This would result in conflicts
and arguments.

You know you're doing them a big favor by saving them from
shame or disappointment, but would they realize your good
intentions instead of feeling hurt by your brutally frank
comments or advices?

They might probably think you're too rude or impolite.
But what can you do if you really need to assert an honest
criticism, but you're afraid of hurting others' feelings?

Want to know the secret?

All you have to do is sandwich your negative comment between
two positive remarks.

For example, your best friend Paul is going on his very first
date. He's all excited and raring to go. Now Paul doesn't
have any fashion sense. He's wearing a bland shirt and old
jeans. You know all along how he hates to admit that he's
wrong. So what will you do to save Paul from an embarassing
first date?

Would you say to him that the outfit he's wearing is
repulsive? That would hurt his ego.

Well, you can first point out the things that you like in his
overall appearance. Comment on his well-groomed hair. Tell
him he looks cool when wearing his sunglasses. Ask him where
he bought his perfume because it can certainly attract women
like bees to honey. Be sincere and honest.

Then, insert in a nice and suave manner your point of view
and advice. You can tell him something like:

"Your shirt seems to be very comfortable to wear, Paul. Since
this is your very first date, I think Sandra (his date) will be
much more impressed if you would wear something like the outfit
that you wore on my birthday. You look smashing when you put
on clothes like that."

Afterwards, make another positive statement. You could say
something like:

"You would definitely make a big impact on Sandra. She would
fall heads over heels over your gorgeous appearance and cheerful
personality. Have a great time on your date, Paul."

Do you think Paul would be offended by such pleasant comments?
Not a chance. You have wittingly inserted a slightly negative
feedback into a plethora of acceptable and ego-boosting

People love compliments. They believe they got the qualities.
They want other people to intensify the great abilities that
they believe to possess. People wanted to hear their greatness
purported from someone else's mouth, and they would be very
glad if other individuals would know about it.

So if you want to criticize anybody, remember to praise him
first. It will leave a positive impression that you're a
nice guy. Then say what you have to say, but in a smooth
and non-offensive manner. Finalize with another positive
reinforcement to establish a foundation of goodwill.

Article provided by Michael Cobb. Visit Michael's Self Help, Self Improvement, Motivation and Personal Growth website at or the Self Help, Self Improvement, Motivation and Personal Growth Blog at for more great articles, tips and resourses.

This article may be freely used and distributed in its original
form on the condition that the above resourse box (including
links) and this paragraph are left intact.
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Thanks for your insightful thoughts!