Shooting the breeze on iMessage, a topic came up that might be worth digging into... it all started with an impromptu creative critique of some local/regional advertising. Someone in the industry and close to the creative was quite critical of a piece that they sent me. That's fine, in one sense: everyone's entitled to their opinions (until you're not). When it comes to creative solutions, there are many considerations: marketing strategy, market research, focus groups, business goals, marketing personas, brand voice, channel, time of year, etc. etc. So, I mean, lots of smart people prolly put some good thoughts into what the creative and execution might be, right? But, let's say we are in a proper time and place to offer a critique...
Agnostic, constructive creative critiques should be an opportunity to discuss, take note, iterate and improve - on both sides. Anything else is just destructive vitriol.
But, all too often, undisciplined and vitriolic subjective critiques take on two very ugly proverbs, that when combined are very unbecoming. Ugly even:
1) People aren't happy unless they're complaining. I've seen this throughout the advertising agency world throughout my career: people love complaining. It imbues a sense of power and dominance. It can feel good. It is culturally acceptable.
2) Misery loves company. Separately, they're toxic. Except that they're natural bedfellows too. But if the first proverb is the slope, the second is the lubricant. And people seek to find others who support their negative thoughts and words. Like a virus.
So - this is one part #showerthoughts and one part serious conversation. Your thoughts and words are powerful; how you choose to wield them can either be a weapon or a paint brush. Cutting people down aside - is it worth your energy?
I'm not a literary expert, but as I get older, it crosses my mind that ancient literary conventions like proverbs - short, pithy sayings to convey advice were probably made for a very good reason. Easily dismissible, they are nice, easy sound bites that can act as simple mental triggers to be better.
What say you?