when we criticize others, we do so because it makes us feel superior to them. we may not realize that that is why, but it is. when we see someone and think/say “look at them with their …” what we are truly saying is “I’m better than you because …”
while it is good to hold yourself in high esteem, it isn’t good to down on others in order to feel good about yourself. so before you jump into criticism, stop and ask yourself why. are you doing this to better that person or to place yourself above them. there’s a difference between constructive criticism and ego-building criticism. think about this a minute.
when we criticize people what we are really doing is separating ourselves from that person. you’re saying, “we’re different,” and the criticism points out why. we are creating a divide between ourselves and others via our criticism. we are not alike, that’s what criticism is saying when in reality, nothing could be further from the truth.
we all have so much in common that if we focused on that instead of how we differ, we’d be amazed. for instance, we all have good qualities, we all have worries and stress, we all have family and friends who count on us, we all have responsibilities that must be met, etc. none of us are spared the everyday dealings that make up our distinct life situations. we all have a reason to get out of bed in the morning. maybe it’s a job, or your kids, or a pet that needs walking. whatever it is, we all have them. so you see, we are all very alike.
one of the first things people criticize is appearance. before a person has even spoken, others are making snap judgements about them based solely on their appearance. perhaps, it’s their attire or tattoos or maybe it’s their complexion or skin color or weight. when we criticize others based solely on their appearance, we forget the fact that none of us are how we appear on the outside. we, are much more than how we appear on the outside. our souls, our life energy, is more than the shell that carries it. we are huge, we are light, we are love, and our outsides are simply the vehicles for our greatness.
so criticizing someone based on their appearance is actually quite pointless because often times, if you give a person a chance and get to know them, you’ll find that your original opinion differs greatly from who they really are. you might even feel bad about the snap judgement when you’re proven wrong.
this isn’t to say that all people are good. I think all people are capable of being good or bad but a person’s appearance is a terrible indicator of whether a person is or isn’t good. I’ve met people who on the outside seem good, and they put on a great show but then this same person turns out to be a thief or a gossip or a backstabber. their appearance fooled me. I’ve met other people who looked bad and who I would’ve steered clear of yet they turn out to be good people, always looking to lend a hand and help their fellow man. appearance is a horrible way to gauge a persons inner self and it is the inner self that is the most honest depiction of a person, never the outer self.
we find reasons to criticize others and what we fail to realize is that often times what we find so off putting in someone else, is usually something we possess ourselves. when we point out someone else’s perceived flaws, what we’re really doing is pointing out our own flaws. of course, we don’t see it that way. sadly most people never see their own flaws. most people think that there is nothing wrong with them but actually, there is probably more wrong with them than the person who they are criticizing. more than likely, what they don’t like about someone else are the same things they don’t like about themselves, if only they could be honest with themselves, they would realize this and the criticism would stop.
when we look in the mirror, and see ourselves, we either like what we see or we don’t but all we see is the surface self. a mirror can never reveal to us who we really are. yet, despite knowing this, we still look at others and make snap judgements or criticize. we know our outward appearance isn’t really us and yet we still view other’s outward appearance as them. they are not how they appear. absolutely not. they are more just as we are more and we diminish ourselves and the world by continuing to see people as their outsides and judging them. we do ourselves and the world an injustice by continuing to be judgmental and critical. until we stop, we’ll never truly know love or happiness.
we will never truly know acceptance.
and that is really what this boils down to. ACCEPTANCE. when we learn to accept people for who they are, we learn to love. when we learn to accept people, we become happy. more importantly, when you learn to accept your SELF, you have no need to criticize others because you don’t need to make yourself feel superior to them. you know who you are and accept yourself so you don’t need to make yourself feel good by knocking someone else down. only those who are truly unhappy with themselves will find pleasure in hurting others. once you are happy with yourself and accept yourself as you are, you’ll stop finding pleasure in criticizing or judging others. once you are happy with yourself and accept yourself, the criticism directed towards you from others simply rolls off of you like water off of a duck’s back. it doesn’t affect you negatively. in fact, you are able to hear the criticism and examine it objectively to see if their is my truth to it. if there is and you see it, you make moves to change yourself for the better. if their isn’t any truth you to it, you can discard it and don’t need to dwell on it, relive it, and become bitter by it.
criticism is a two way street. obviously, if you can dish it out, you oughta be able to consume a healthy portion of it, right? wrong. unless the criticism is constructive, that is to say that it is issued with the aim of making you better, than all criticism is poison and when you consume it in great dosages, it kills the trueness of your being. no one wants this. no one wants to be murdered. and no sane person wants to kill anyone else. so keep this in mind when you fix your mouth to criticize someone. you are killing them. you are a killer. stop.
Eckhart Tolle worded this best on page 159 of A New Earth. “It is always the case that both victim and perpetrator suffer the consequences of any acts of violence, oppression, or brutality. For what you do unto others, you do to yourself.”
in order to make this world a better place, the place to start is within yourself. bring to the forefront, your inner self. this is the truest part of you. it isn’t even “a part” of you. it IS YOU! let’s it come forward, let it announce to the world that you are here! it is through your very presence in the world that you exact positive change. you lead by example. so when you feel the urge to criticize someone, don’t. and when you witness someone criticizing someone, politely and firmly, stop them. little by little, you will see a change around you and like a pebble into a still pond, the ripples will go on forever outward and then return to you.