How To Stop Criticizing Others Starting From Today
You like things going your way, because, well… you know everything and everyone else is wrong. But, this type of attitude pushes away the most important people in your life, yet, you don’t know how to stop criticizing others.
Have people told you that you have a tendency to criticize every little thing? Is your partner complaining you’re picking on him/her all the time? Are you too controlling in relationships? Do you allow your loved ones to be themselves or do they have to walk on eggshells around you?
Criticizing others for the smallest things is devastating – both for you and the people you point your fingers at.
Critical personality manifests as destructive behavior towards yourself and your surroundings. However, it can be stopped completely if you only become aware of it in the moment of truth and then consciously choose a different action.
Ending the cycle of judgment will enable you to enjoy yourself more around other people rather than being so irritated all the time when things don’t go as you visualize them.
Enabling others to feel comfortable around you will deepen your connections with others because we all like to be ourselves rather than faking it.
It’s all nice in theory, yet, criticizing others has been a huge part of your personality so long that you got deeply attached to it. Now, you identify yourself through that toxic habit and you have no idea who you’d be without it.
How to tell if you suffer from excessive criticism?
We all have the tendency to criticize others according to our personal views on life. But for some, this behavior becomes an unhealthy pattern that shows up almost daily and really damages the life quality of the sufferer and those around him or her.
Here are some of the signs:
- If you are bothered about minor things about people and put your emphasis on these negative observations obsessively. (whether you say it out loud or keep it to yourself).
- When you tend to ignore the good traits of people and focus on what’s “wrong” with them and the flaws they need to “fix” in themselves.
- You feel like you’re right all the time and everyone else around you is stupid for not seeing the reality as you do.
- When you feel the need to control the situation or others’ behavior or feelings.
It’s a myth to think that people with a judgemental personality tend to criticize themselves as well. Some of them do and some completely lack self-observation. (Narcissists, for example, will never self reflect on how they behave and make others feel).
Those who are criticizing others incessantly feel miserable inside. They feel small, unimportant, and irrelevant, so they need to feed their fragile ego somehow.
And what’s the easiest way to get an ego boost and feel better about yourself almost instantly? Devaluing others.
See, it doesn’t make you a horrible person. It’s just your protective mechanism.
Explore The Inner Motive For Criticizing Others
You got so hurt in the past, maybe you were traumatized in childhood, that you needed to find a way to protect yourself from any additional harm.
So you turned to criticize others’ method, unconsciously, to protect your broken sense of self.
In a way, you’ve been criticizing people all along to ensure your survival. Your mind looked for efficient ways to keep you safe.
But does that really keep you safe and fulfilled?
Criticizing others make you lose so many connections and you probably miss out on great opportunities.
Here’s the thing- we are social beings and our need to form close relationships is our nature and we can’t escape it.
So criticizing people relentlessly goes against your own nature, which is to build close bonds with others.
The continuous picking on someone ruins you from the inside and the person being picked on. Here’s why:
Criticizing Is The Opposite Of Efficiency
Your criticism, especially if it happens all the time, puts the other person in a defensive mode.
When someone is entering a defensive state, there’s no way they can listen to a word you say. Even if they want to, they can’t. Their body and brain are too busy with survival and not with learning and processing new information.
Even though you’re positive your criticism can make others change these flaws, it really doesn’t. All it does is shut them down and wanting to get away from you.
Your criticism then becomes absolutely ineffective because the other person’s prefrontal cortex is not functioning at the moment, as the primitive limbic system takes over.
Besides, the people you put down, if they’re not strong enough or grounded enough, sooner or later, will develop poor self-esteem.
Is that what you really want?
WOULDN’T YOU RATHER BE A SOURCE OF INSPIRATION TO PEOPLE RATHER THAN A SOURCE OF PAIN?
Note: It’s important to mention this – when you’re criticizing somebody else when it’s necessary about an important matter and when it happens once in a while – that’s absolutely fine.
Then, the other person is not automatically prepared to defend himself and is interested in improving the relationship (even if it doesn’t happen right away.) Your relationship is, in this case, getting stronger and healthier.
How can you improve yourself and accept others?
The best way to foster any change is to understand yourself.
Get to explore why you do the things you do, why do you feel this uncontrollable urge to put others down.
Then, make a decision that you’re not interested in feeding this unhealthy protective mechanism anymore.
And in the moment of truth, no matter how hard it may be, choose another strategy.
Instead of lashing out, try to express your needs and feelings without destroying the other person’s sense of self and dignity.
Rather than telling them where they’re wrong, focus on YOU, and how to feel about it.
Pick your battles
Not everything is worth controlling or micromanaging. Start with letting go of the small stuff and allow your loved one to make decisions – like where to go and what activities you should do on the weekend.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Conserve your energy. Become that grounded and stable person you secretly want to be without letting every wind blow shake you.
Only when it truly matters, use compassionate communication to convey your messages without activating the limbic system in the other person.
If this fight or flight system is turned on by your critical words, then whatever you say is pointless, they won’t be able to listen to anything you say and you’re just wasting everyone’s time.
The world would be boring if everybody is the same
These small differences between us make us special. Oftentimes, those small things made us connect to the other person in the first place.
It is alright to let people be; it is their right, it’s their life, and it is who they are. You don’t have ownership of their wants and needs.
Now it’s up to you – do you really want to keep complaining or start opening your mind and heart, break down the walls you built and let others in?
The easiest way would be to ignore your shortcomings and continue seeing everyone else but you as stupid and wrong.
But that doesn’t really serve you and like I said above, go against your nature as a social creature.
If you’re ready to stop criticizing others and get to know yourself then get access to my free tool. It was created to help you rewire your brain and overcome constant criticism and judgment.
If you intend to ever put an end to the inner forces that propel your behaviors and paradings, then start shifting your behavior at the moment your criticizing tendency rears its ugly head.