Have you noticed
how some people just seem to find fault in everything? You go out with
someone and buy them coffee but the cup is just not big enough (or small
enough) or the chairs around the table should be blue instead of green,
or the flowers on the table are just not fresh! Some people have the
habit of commenting on, and criticizing just about everything. What is
it going to take to be positive and to look at the brighter side of
No one wants to
spend a day with a critical person. If you have tried it you know just
how it feels. When someone continues to find fault in you, or the
objects around you, or the way you run your life, then you feel as
though you want to run from them as fast you can. Commenting on a
person’s possessions or circumstances is almost the same as insulting
the person themselves.
Criticism is an expression of disapproval and always follows a judgment.
It almost implies that our life needs a ‘performance review’ and in
this case we have failed… at least in the eyes of the beholder! The fact
is that criticism usually tells us more about the critic, than the
are usually critical of most things and most people, usually because
they are unhappy people and want to share their dissatisfaction with
everyone else. Unfortunately their complaints will not change the world
or other people, and so they will never be happy.
Critics have a time
and place to carry out their ‘vocation’, but unsolicited advice,
especially when delivered with an air of superiority, never goes down
well. Knowing what to say, when, and where, and with whom, is an art.
But if we have a tendency to be critical (and who isn’t, from time to
time?) then the lesson we really need to learn is how to be happy with
It is not our true
nature to focus on the sad or bad. Focusing on the faults of the child
will never make him or her grow up to be a ‘somebody’. Rather, he will
always be seeking the approval of adults or peers even when he is in his
rocking chair because that is how he has learned to measure ‘success’.
The soul blooms
when there is love, acceptance and acknowledgement. It’s much nicer to
be complimented than complained about. Take birthdays as an example; the
day when your inbox is filled with good wishes and blessings from all
over the world. How do you feel?
Try taking a few
moments every now and then to just see the goodness in all the things
around you and all the people in your orbit at any given time. The
critic can always find something to complain about in any situation, but
it is really simply a point of view which is coming from a deep seated
negative attitude, which can be shifted.
Even if you can see
that something or someone needs improvement and can benefit from that,
just try in that moment to accept the situation or the person… comment
later if need be… but in that moment control your emotions, just try to
expand your tolerance level, and increase your acceptance level. This
very deed may help the other to seek guidance for improvement, or invite
comments. But moreover, you will feel better for keeping a positive
vision. You will find your relationships will improve in leaps and
Anther major aspect
to this whole exercise is to master the ability to remain quiet with
the mind and the lips for a while, especially when I want to jump in or
to react. If my mind is like any unleashed dog that barks and bites at
anything passing by then it means I do not have a grip on my mind or my
Learning to stay
positive is a training we must give to the mind if we are to survive and
not get stressed and stained by life. You may, for example, see the dry
bare tree and think how ugly it is, but switch your thoughts to how
momentous it is that the tree is still standing, and see its majesty
instead. Someone may not get you exactly the gift you wanted, but at
least they had the thought. Or, you may have a challenge with your
colleague at work, but hey, think again, are YOU perfect? And would it
really hurt to be co-operative rather than critical?
more kindly and shifting our vision towards appreciation and gratitude
for the people and things around us are the best antidotes for
criticism. When I feel a sense of contentment within, then I don’t
notice the little things around me that would otherwise bug me. And if I
feel content with myself, then I am less likely to feel hurt by the
criticism of others. Instead I can send them positive thoughts and good
wishes, for they are the ones who are in need!
It’s time… to
shift your mindset and take a positive view. Being critical is
destructive and unproductive, so for your own good and the good of
others… it’s critical not to be critical!