Black People : The Proper Way To Criticize

Jan 22, 2001
betwixt and between
Website Consultant
Hello Family,

It's been said that Sisters can't take honest criticisms from Brothers ... and that Brothers can't take honest criticisms from Sisters ... without getting offended or feeling as though they're being attacked.

Is there a proper way to criticize someone ... so that it is received properly?

If so, what is that way?

Sisters ... how can Brothers criticize you, and you not get offended?

Brothers ... how can Sisters criticize you, and you not get offended?




going above and beyond
Feb 9, 2001
Question: What is meant by "honest criticism" and would the opposite of that be dishonest criticism? I'm curious.

But sure there's a way to offer criticism but it all depends on whether you intend for it to be constructive or destructive. I prefer the constructive kind. But even as much as I like to think that I have demonstrated constructive criticism here at, on occasion I've been told where something I've written has offended people. Being told that always surprises me, but never offends me and I don't get defensive and leap all over the person telling me that.

Regardless of what our intent is, we must always be cognizant of the potential impact that our words have when people hear them or read them. Even though you may not have intended to offend anyone, if someone tells you that you did, I think we should always apologize and try to communicate better in the future. That's how we build bridges.

If someone is offended by anything I say to them, I would prefer it if they would tell me so that we can discuss it maturely. To sit and pout or stop speaking is immature in my opinion. To be rude and hurl personal insults is ignorant, in my opinion. I'm sure there are people here who have done that. I know when I was younger and didn't know any better, I used to. Many of us can stand to benefit from anger management seminars because we have learned to hold our anger inside until it suddenly explodes when we feel we're being attacked. There are better ways of handling a situation other than lashing out or shutting down at the slightest difference of opinion.

If you're not sure what someone means when they speak or write to you, learn how to seek clarification first before you make assumptions. It's better to find out what a person's intent was before you let them know how they made you feel. If you know that someone meant to be offensive, you still don't have to act the same way. I would suggest that people try to find the most effective words to tell the person, so that the situation doesn't escalate into an argument or worse.

I also think that, sometimes people try to convince themselves that they respect other opinions when they really don't. So the minute someone disagrees with them, they immediately think they're being criticized when they may not be.

The sender and the receiver must take responsibility for what they say and what they hear.

Queenie :spinstar:


Well-Known Member
May 16, 2004
i think thses are good questions desteee...

i think it all depends on perception and respect.... i mean jus like nnqueen said.. u may think ur sayin somin ok.. and the person who reads it doesnt....

but then we need to realize.. we dont want someone writin us smart comments...or even speakin to us in a rude manner.. b/c we ourselves wouold not tkae it....its jus out of respect..

also.. u can give harsh critism and it been benificial.. its jus the way its presented.. ...jus frist address the fact that one may not agreee .. instead of jus blablin off... and attackin someones thots


Well-Known Member
May 18, 2004
Taking criticism is always gonna be hard, especially for people who rarely get told what they do right, and will always offend people.

However, if the criticism is done in a constructive way, and is 100% honest, the person recieving it will eventually understand why it had to be said.

For a woman to criticize me, I feel she needs to be straight forward and not insult me. She needs to also NOT shower me with compliments she wouldnt normally say (or say all at the same time), just to drop a bomb on me. The tone should never be "all men" or "you men" etc....generalizations cause fights.

It is more likely a womans decision on what to do about my "problems" that would piss me off. Recently I asked a woman to come straight and tell me if I was just a friend. The next few phone calls and e mails included many criticisms of me, but she was straight forward and not harsh about it. All the anger I feel is based on the fact that I have been cut off and limited thanks to her reaction to those things wrong with me when she could have easily worked with the.

It aint only the criticism ladies, it is what you do about it that can add insult to injury and breed hatred. I am sure this is true of us men too.

Good thread Destee!!!


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