Too many people confuse constructive criticism with bullying. Having been bullied in school myself, I learned the difference between the two at a very early age. To distinguish between bullying and tough love, we much first know the difference between destructive and constructive criticism.
Destructive Criticism is intended to tear the recipient down with name-calling, taunts, digs and the like. Destructive criticism is also continuous, happening repeatedly over a long period of time (over several months or years). Its purpose is to cause discouragement and fear or to wreck the self-esteem. In short, it is designed to do harm. Destructive Criticism is Bullying.
Constructive Criticism is designed to build the recipient up and help him/her grow by reminding them of what they did wrong, then teach them ways to improve or to right that wrong. It is designed to prevent the person from making the same mistake again. Constructive Criticism is meant for discipline and can come in the form of consequences for wrongdoing. Therefore, it doesn’t always feel good to the recipient. “No pain, no gain.”
Bullying is meant to confuse, hurt and to keep you down.
Tough Love is meant to teach, mold and grow you.
Bullying demeans you and tears you down.
Tough Love betters you and builds you up.
Here are examples:
Destructive Criticism: “You’re stupid!”
Constructive Criticism: “What you did was stupid.”
Destructive Criticism: “You’re a moron.”
Constructive Criticism: “You’re acting like a moron.”
Destructive Criticism attacks the person.
Constructive Criticism attacks the deed or act committed by the person.
To be continued in part 2…