Criticism: What do you get out of it?
This week during one of my dialogues with my husband at the dinner table criticism came up. We were talking [about something I can no longer remember] and suddenly we were criticizing each other. This made me think – definitely not for the first time - how quick we are jumping into criticism. This time though I decided to blog about it.
After this compelling conversation and even before any writing thoughts, I did what I usually do whenever I feel there is more to the topic than I am ready to recognize: I journaled about it. I put my thoughts on paper, giving myself the chance not only to visualize it, but also to digest it emotionally. I’m glad to share what I’ve uncovered, but before that I’d like you to read what I’m writing next.
Criticism can show up in different forms. We can excel at criticizing ourselves or others. Perhaps you tend to look at everything you do with a critic eye, despite your efforts or the positive outcome it may come out of it. It could be a stain going unnoticed while cleaning up the floor; yelling with your little one in a moment of despair; a relevant information you forgot to mention to your boss; something you said and can no longer take away. If on the other hand, you’re prone to see other’s faults, then you’ll easily react to someone else’s behavior that you find disapproving or different from yours.
It probably happens even before we realize it and without bad intention surely – you tell yourself in a heart bit. After all, what’s the harm? I’m only human and I’m sure other people do the same. I dare to ask: What is it that you attain with criticism? Where does it lead you? Regardless of being critic to yourself or to others, what are you taking from it? How sustainable is criticism? Will it make you want to change or make you feel frustrated and judged instead?
Among the sense I made to myself, one significant take-away was that: Constant criticism tears relationships apart. No matter if it is the relationship with yourself or with others, even when others cannot hear you or read your thoughts. Criticism make us feel that we fell short every time, in comparison to ourselves or to others. What if instead of criticizing, we acknowledge our own decisions proudly and celebrate our uniqueness? By embracing ours and others’ singularities, we expand our lenses within our Selves and into the world. By reinforcing ours and others’ achievements, we switch perspectives and tell ourselves a story worth living.