Let's face it, giving constructive criticism is one of the great joys in life. I mean who among us has not been in the dentist chair and stopped your dentist mid tooth and told them - you're too gentle, if you don't really make me bleed I won't get the message that I need to take better care of my teeth, now make those gums pour please.
Or been on a the soccer field and told an opposition player - if you really want to get me sent off don't just pretend I hurt you, firstly punch me really hard in the balls, that way you'll be on the ground, I'll have rage in my eyes and he referee will assume I've done something awful.
Or told your boss at work - you should set up smell detectors in the bathroom to make sure people are really going, that way I'll have to take dangerous levels of laxatives to continue having regular hour long breaks on the toilet.
Or told your hang gliding instructor - let me fall once or twice, if by some miracle I live you wont ever have to do the weekly safety talk again.
Or told your bully - after you beat me I go and around the corner and cry over the physical and emotional damage you've done me, come get a photo and show it around, then I'll be completely destroyed way quicker so you can really focus on finishing off my fellow wimps.
It's awesome. But I know what you're thinking, while these efforts are all selfless, generous and helpful, they all have a tiny flaw - that's right, you really hurt the other persons feelings. Which is something no one likes doing. Because no one wants to find out they haven't been the best dentist, immoral sportsman, boss, hang gliding instructor or bully they're capable of.
That's why I want to invent reconstructive criticism - that's criticism that's constructive yes, but honest and brutal also yes, but then has a tacked on compliment at the end.
Take the above criticisms and tack on these complimentary highlights to them.
- it's not like I don't hurt at all, I mean one time I even fantasized about screaming 'OOOUUUCCHHH', so keep on dentisting.
- By the way, one of the times you pretended I hurt you, you were so realistic that I had to sleep with your sister in revenge, keep on cheating.
- Sometimes when I'm at home and I have horrible diarrhea I think of you, keep up the bossing.
- Plus if I die it'll let you remember that there's more to life than this practically dead sport you've dedicated your life to, keep on strapping yourself to people!
- You've hurt me physiologically so much that I had you registered as a sex offender, keep up the brutal soul destruction.
There, now doesn't everyone feel good.