I’ve made a terrible discovery about myself not very few weeks ago. I am a bitter critic; unsympathetic and unmerciful critic!! How did I make this discovery? Well, I noticed a pattern in my thoughts regarding others. I tend to criticize the people I know harshly. Of course I do it silently inside my head, but that’s the worst part.
First before I talk about this issue I need to clarify a point. There’s a difference between criticizing and prejudging. I don’t prejudge people, like I don’t assume facts about them from how they look or how they talk. I always make the effort to know others myself and not rely on what I hear about them. But criticizing is pointing out the faults in others. Of course everyone has flaws and I talked about that in Chasing Perfection. Today I am not going to talk about accepting others flaws, but about how not to always bring it out.
When I criticize people what I basically do is concentrating on the bad things they did, their unpleasant habits, their poor choices, and so on. I know this sounds horrible and, as I’d like to say, inhumane. The reason why I didn’t know I am doing this appalling act is because I do it silently. I didn’t realize I was doing it until recently; maybe it’s entering adulthood which’s forcing me to become more mature and more aware of my thoughts and actions. Anyway, I am not in any position to judge other people’s decisions, choices, or actions. Why? Because I too have made the worst decisions and done many bad things and still have habits that I am trying to break, and it all affected my life greatly. So who am I to judge? Being a perfectionist is also a reason why I criticize 24/7.
You know now why I called it “silent” but why is it “deadly”? It’s deadly because concentrating too much on the bad things in someone makes you blinded and unable to see their unique amazing qualities. It also develops some form of mild hatred towards these people. All this affects your mental health negatively.
If this sounds familiar, then try the following to kill this lousy critic inside of you:
1. Give others a break: we all make mistakes, you and me included.
2. Put yourself in their shoes: try to imagine yourself in their situation. What are you going to do? How are you going to act?
3. Have some empathy: Try to understand what they are going through and why they’re doing what you’re criticizing.
4. Fix you’re own problems first: Before you look at other people’s fault, look in the mirror first. What are the things you need to work on? Write a list and you will be surprised.
I am currently applying these principles in my life in hopes of becoming less criticizing and more understanding. I hope this will be helpful for you too.
Wish you a peaceful happy life.