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Why do we criticize others and how can we stop doing it?

For those who like to slander, the proverb says “The dog barks, the caravan moves on.” It is no coincidence that they say if you want to know a person, listen to what he says about others. Critics are treated rudely, but often we do not realize how we too follow their example. And often this happens unconsciously. It seems to us that we are just expressing our opinion. Maybe it’s human nature to criticize everything and everyone? Let’s understand why we love to grumble and how to get rid of this habit.


Why do we criticize others (and ourselves)?

Renee Zellweger in the movie Chicago

Some people react particularly strongly to the imperfections of the world, but no matter what they say, everything said says more about them than about the object of criticism. After all, the sun, sky, moon and stars exist no matter what we think about them. And our words do not change the essence. Therefore, any criticism and praise is a reflection of the speaker.

From a scientific perspective, criticism is an unconscious reaction to a threat. For this reason, people who are considered competitors are slandered the most.

In fact, the fiercest critics had previously suffered from their parents’ excessive demands. In this context, they created an evaluative understanding of the world. Lack of self-love is projected onto others.

Also, “picking up someone’s bones” is a great way to socialize. People unite not only over common interests in football or fashion, but also over hatred of something. This is kind of the starting point. Criticism literally constructs a mythical image of an enemy against whom we must unite. It often happens that two friends start gossiping about someone just out of boredom or an awkward silence in order to “fill the gap”. Otherwise they would just fight. So criticism plays the role of a distracting factor.


Is there constructive criticism?

Just as there is a difference between white and black envy, there is and is not constructive criticism. In the first case, the person’s goal is to help the interlocutor find the right solution and do the job better. Unsolicited criticism, on the contrary, reveals the speaker’s ill will (jealousy, envy, and contempt). Moreover, such words are often accompanied by misinformation and strong negative emotional connotations. A person cannot cope with increased emotions.


How can I stop criticizing?

Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz in the movie “Bandits”

Comparison is a game you will always lose. For this reason, a person who is dissatisfied with himself will always look for his shortcomings and his advantages in others. Where our focus of attention is directed is what we notice. First of all, it is important to catch yourself in the moment of criticism and ask how I feel. Now try to write on paper a list of shortcomings of certain people, including yourself. Then try to “reverse” these qualities. For example, arrogance can be replaced by initiative, etc. The aim is not to exonerate those who do not deserve it. It is important that you do this exercise only for yourself. To make it easier for you to get rid of negative emotions. After all, everyone has the right to like or dislike. Think about what others like about the people you criticize. Someone’s ridiculous appearance is sometimes compensated by a charming smile and a beautiful figure. And finally, find the strength to praise this person. Suddenly you recognize him from the other side. After all, nothing is as valuable and cheap as kindness. And most importantly, you can always learn something from the object of criticism. Improve yourself!

Source: People Talk

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