We all know that person; that person that cannot just hold their tongue. Nope, not the foot in mouth person! Instead, the one in your mind which always seems to be wagging a finger. The one who always has something critical to say; about your hair, your shoes, the way you dress, you relationships, your church and something else to say about everyone and their mother! Listening to them can be draining and exhausting; such behavior is a recipe for disaster even the most basic of relationships.
Something is certain when you criticize someone; they automatically become disheartened. Hans Selye, the psychologist, said; ‘As much as we thirst for approval, we dread condemnation’. Is this not true, the idea that someone somewhere does not see the value of your work or respect the quality of your struggles. Perhaps the only thing criticism stirs up in the recipient is a desire to defend their position. So why are so many inclined to do it.
However, many people deliver criticism wisely in the correct place, correct time, and in a constructive way. Frank A. Clark knew what he was talking about when he said; ‘Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.” But what does this look like in practice, let me suggest three ways of doing this;
1) Not saying everything. Holding your tongue will enhance the likelihood of someone listening to you when you speak because they’ll be sure what you had to say was necessary
2) If you must criticize, make it constructive. Place words of affirmation in your sentence so they can leave your presence with their heads held high.
3) Don’t criticize in text, words have power, and when emotional, we type faster than we think. Once you send the message, the damage is done.
One thing is for sure, the critical person pushes people away, after all, why would I want to be around you when I know you will always have something negative to say about me. Initially, someone who tells you the truth seems like a breath of fresh air. Their honesty may be revered in this day and age of superficiality, yet as they continue to hiss their words at you, it becomes evident that there is a difference between candor and castigation.
They do not know when to stop, the critical spirit within them is in control, anyone is a victim; siblings, friends, church, spouses, children, employees, and strangers alike. Why are so many people critical? Do they do this because they think they are helpful? Have they classed this as candor? How do you feel about critical people? How do you deal with them?
Do share your thoughts below! You know Dami loves to chat!
Until next time.