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Criticism

 

Explanations > RelationshipsStatus Games > Criticism

Description | Example | Discussion | So what?

 

Description

A simple status game that is played is through the use of criticism.

Ways you can do this include:

  • Asserting simply that they person is wrong.
  • Showing that their reasoning is incorrect.
  • Saying that the information being used in the argument is invalid.
  • Appearing shocked that they would say such a thing.
  • Criticizing the person, implying they are stupid, bad or otherwise wrong.

You can also criticize people who are not there, which gives the benefit of denying them a response. You can even criticize whole organizations, from businesses to religions to political parties.

Example

You're wrong. I can see what you are saying, but you've not got all the facts.

Goodness? Why on earth would you think that? It makes no sense at all.

That was a rather daft thing to say.

Discussion

When you criticize others, you cast them as wrong and perhaps even bad or evil. You put yourself on a pedestal, playing judge and jury so you cannot lose or be wrong. You also cast the target position into a lower social position.

Criticizing others takes the attention away from you and is often used as a counter to being criticized yourself. The stronger the criticism, the greater the need will be felt to defend. False criticism will likewise make people leap to defend themselves, which again takes attention away from yourself or the subject previously being discussed.

A secondary effect of criticizing a person is that others will fear that you may criticize them. They hence avoid getting into your sights and so afford you status.

The 'critic effect' is where a person seems wiser simply because they are critical. This effect alone helps boost status. You do not have to criticize others -- you can attack movies, governments, products and so on.

So what?

Be careful with your criticism. Done well, it is accepted and results in the person realizing they are wrong and that you are clever.

You can use criticism to build status with another audience rather than the person or group in question.

Be clear and assertive in your criticisms. Have confidence. Act as if you are fully in control of the facts, even if you do not. Show you have a superior ability to reason and make sense of complex things.

See also

Assertiveness, Critical Listening

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