Be quick to praise, but slow to criticize

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

I think when it comes to most things in life, especially someone else’s art, we should all strive to be quick to praise the things we enjoy, but take our time before criticizing what we don’t.

I was thinking about this over the past week as The Internet dealt with a new album from Taylor Swift. It came out while I was sleeping Thursday night and by the time I woke up Friday morning The Internet was raft with exceptionally strong opinions already. Just over a week later and the internet now has a number of, “actually, there’s more here than I initially thought,” articles coming out.

I’m not here to weigh in on the quality of the new Swift album, but I will say that while I can sometimes tell if I like an album immediately, many of my favorite albums of all time are ones where it took me a few listens to appreciate what they were doing.

And I think this applies to much more than Taylor Swift, of course. Ponder this when a friend of family member shows you something they’ve worked on. Hell, in many cases this applies at work too. If your gut reaction is joy, share that! If that first reaction is critical, maybe take a beat and make sure that’s how you feel before sharing it.