Do you know the difference between a ‘subjective criticism’ and an ‘objective criticism?’
Most (older) men and women do, but many (young) men and women do not concentrate too much on the difference between the two.
Anytime one expresses a criticism of someone’s behavior based solely on their own likes, dislikes, and personal opinions, this is representative of a subjective criticism.
An example would be a man expressing to a woman, “I do not like women who smoke cigarettes. That is so un-lady like and shows a lack of class and social refinement.” The problem with this criticism is that the woman who is the target of this criticism did not ask this man for his opinion on her smoking habits, but he offered his assessment to her anyway.
Very few men and women desire to hear an evaluation of their behavior that they did not ask for. What woman really cares if you hate yellow blouses or blue shoes? Unless a woman is your wife, fiancée, or long-term girlfriend, the average woman does not want to nor need to hear your unsolicited thoughts on what you dislike about their physical appearance, their personality, and their overall behavior.
When a man and a woman engage in an exchange of harsh, subjective criticisms and personal insults, this is simply known as arguing, which is to be distinguished from debating. Similarly, when a man expresses a high degree of harsh, subjective criticisms toward a woman mixed in with at least a few personal insults, this is known as bashing.
On various social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, you will see many Black women bashing Black men’s behavior and vice versa. It is so commonplace now that most men and women who engage in it do not view it as inappropriate in any way, shape or form.
If you are experiencing bad weather, and you choose to criticize a pending thunderstorm, will that result in any less rain or lightning? No.
If you are driving on a busy highway, and you choose to criticize the heavy traffic that you see ahead of you in your automobile, will that result in the passing lanes becoming less congested at some point in the next five minutes or so? No.
If you are watching a professional basketball game on television, and you choose to criticize many of the judgment calls made by the referees involved in the game, will that result in your team gaining a better chance at winning? No.
For the most part, expressing harsh, subjective criticisms of other people’s behavior and hurling personal jabs and insults at them is a waste of time. 99.9% chance, you are not going to motivate any type of change or modification in that person’s behavior as a direct result of your harsh, subjective criticisms of that person. Most men and women do not usually respond well to subjective criticisms because they perceive such criticisms as an attack on their ego and an attack on their self-esteem
Anytime one expresses a criticism of someone’s behavior based on a mutually agreed upon set of criteria, this would represent an objective criticism.
An example would be an employer expressing to his employee, “You know from reading the employee handbook for this company that you are supposed to clock in for work no later than 8:00 AM, but it is now 8:13 AM. This means you are thirteen minutes late, and tardiness is frowned upon for any employee of this company.” What makes this an objective criticism is the person being criticized agreed to show up for work on time (in this case, 8:00 AM).
No one can validly argue with or debate an objective criticism, which is why they usually sting so much when delivered. When a person has made it known to others that they consider a certain aspect of another person’s behavior to be inappropriate and/or detrimental to that person’s goals and objectives … and that person exhibits that specific aspect of their behavior anyway … that person should expect to receive an objective criticism from others.
CRITIQUING vs BASHING
Just about anytime one begins a criticism with “All men do this . . .” or “All women do this . . .” it is usually representative of bashing. Basing serves no one well in the long-run.
The best option is to always assess things in a valid and objective manner, and proceed from there. The end result will be an objective critique that no one can really argue with or debate.
The habit of bashing members of the opposite gender is tearing apart the relationship between Black men and Black women each year that goes by. Many men and women have been left with hurt egos and hurt feelings that are sometimes beyond repair.
Moving forward, make every effort to issue an objective critique toward members of the opposite sex whenever possible and appropriate.
You will not regret it.