I seem to remember that the Rambam speaks about avoiding machlokes (quarrels) and loshon hora (bad speech).
He says something like this: there are three possibilities in any statement about the faults of people and only one of these is said with an intention to hurt. The others are mistaken. Therefore one should always seek to clarify the issue with the person who started the criticism. The chances are only 1 in 3 that there was ill intent.
Where is this Rambam to be found?