Criticism and Respect

DISCLAIMER: What I state below refers to no one. The recent drama inspired me to talk about this, but by no means am I targeting anyone in this post. It is written as abstractly as possible.

Hey so I figured I'd make a quick write up on a topic that's important to me. Having been on multiple teams, both inside and out of Smite, criticism has always been a tricky topic. The biggest dilemma is that everyone deserves criticism but people choose selectively when they want it. Let me further explain this in terms of Smite.

CC players are constantly working hard to get into the Pro scene. Ask any pro who's chatted with them, they’ll tell ya they seem hungry for advice and eager to learn anything that could net them their next shot. Ask people they've teamed with how they respond? Well the stories may vary. Some thrive off criticism and have the same attitude towards their teammates as they do pros while some see themselves above their peers and can't be bothered to hear what anyone else has to say. The latter will shut down every thought that isn't their own because they just don't respect anyone else. Therein lies the problem though, and the one common thread that seems to exist between every team, player to player, person to person, is respect.

No one is going to take criticism from someone they can’t respect, and on the flip side no one is going to deliver criticism well to someone they don’t respect. Telling someone “This idea is god awfully stupid because bla bla bla just never do that again.” vs “I think we might be better off doing something like this because bla bla bla.” means the world of difference in any team environment. The former sounds like someone is thinking to themselves “I just can’t take your shit anymore.” while the latter promotes more of a collaboration. It’s one thing when you look up to someone because you don’t need their respect to respect their opinion. You respect them straight up because to you they’ve proven themselves and are worth your respect. In a team environment however, everyone is equal and you’re going to demand the same respect you give your teammates. In a sense, respect is the trust you and your teammates share and without it everything falls apart.

The last thing I want to mention which I couldn’t find a way to bring up in the previous paragraphs is positive reinforcement. You can’t be on a team and always be known for saying something negative. The classic example of this is someone who only says something when things go wrong. The type of person where things are purely baseline happy/sad until that one moment where things go a little bad and everything turns sour. It’s borderline whining and isn’t going to help anyone care more about anything. You need to show your teammates why YOU think they’re good. If someone makes a good play, compliment them, show them you ACKNOWLEDGE that they make good decisions. Encourage that, remind them why that was a nutty play and to stay in that headspace. That positive reinforcement is going to allow you later to talk CONSTRUCTIVELY about how to fix certain issues. Show your teammates respect and they will offer it right back at ya.

As a side comment, if MULTIPLE people say something about you, and your attitude, or whatever it may be, feel free to defend it until you’re blue in the face but quite frankly sometimes it’d be better off to take a step back and realize there MUST be a reason everyone has something bad to say. This isn’t directed at anyone as there’s been multiple people in my life worth telling this to, but your image is what you make of it. No one is going to talk ill of a good person for no reason, and if multiple accounts all point towards the same fundamental problems, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate yourself and really become the person YOU tell everyone else you are.

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