Feedback or Critique

Feedback represents audience response. It consists of statements through which participants or spectators take responsibility for their thoughts, feelings, and actions.

Critique, on the other hand, consists of complaints about comparisons with unmet expectations. Through critique, participants or spectators assert their power over the artist or teacher by instructing her or him regarding what to do differently. Different actions require adjusted thoughts and feelings.

I love feedback. I despise critique.

I have tried and tried to accept the advice that constructive criticism is helpful. I do not find it so. In fact, one negative critique of my first Fruition Academy class broke me down for four days. Four precious days of my life were wasted because I allowed someone else to have power over me. While I am open to accepting constructive criticism when I am in the role of apprentice or student –or when it is specifically solicited, I otherwise find it distracting, demoralizing, and dehumanizing. If I were to attempt to accept such critique and to allow it to change me, I would diverge from my true self both in concept and in countenance.

2 thoughts on “Feedback or Critique

  1. drdebbright says:

    Dear Jessica,

    It sounds like you have obviously been hurt by criticism and as a result, have twisted the definition of commonly used terms.

    Critique is not about complaints, nor is it totally negative. According to Oxford Dictionary,
    “Critique”: noun: a detailed analysis and assessment of something, especially a literary, philosophical, or political theory
    verb (critiques, critiquing, critiqued) [with object] Evaluate (a theory or practice) in a detailed and analytical way

    You may love feedback and hate critique, but keep in mind that feedback can be both positive and negative.

    Just as feedback is typically subjective, so is determining whether an employee is a star!

    Deb Bright

    • jrdreistadt says:

      Thanks so much for your feedback, or should I say critique! Despite the tone of my post, I’m really not much of a positivist. I think definitions are fluid and open to continual reinterpretation. I distinguished two contructs to make a point – that sometimes our feedback is for our own purposes, to control and impose our views and beliefs on others, while other times it is offered with love, support, and sincere appreciation. Critique, feedback, or whatever label we associate with input that embodies the former attributes is not something I find helpful; rather, I value input that helps me become more of who I could be based on my own existential human needs.

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