What is Negative Feedback?

Negative feedback includes: Criticism vs complaining. It may just be semantics, but there is a difference in the mindset and attitude.

When we voice a complaint, we identify a specific behavior that we’d like someone to change.

When we use criticism, we make it about a person’s self.

CRITICISM

about YOU

CRITICISM

When we use criticism, we make it about a person’s self. When you criticize, you’re saying “Here’s what’s wrong with it/you.”

COMPLAINT

about THE SITUATION

COMPLAINT

When we voice a complaint, we identify a specific behavior that we’d like someone to change. When you complain, you’re saying “I’m not happy about this.”

  • Criticizing puts more attention on the thing/person being criticized. When you criticize, you’re saying “Here’s what’s wrong with it/you.” 
  • Criticism focuses on their character. “You care more about your phone than the family” is a criticism.

  • Complaining puts more attention on the person complaining. When you complain you’re saying I am not happy about this.”
  • Complaining focuses on a person’s behavior. “I don’t like when I am talking to you and you are looking at your phone” is a complaint.

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