Kick Criticizing

Kick the Habit of Criticizing



Oftentimes, when we are confronted with an undesirable situation or event, we tend to criticize or find fault. “What’s going on around here? What happened here? Who did this?” All these questions may not necessarily be suggestive of a criticism, but somehow, they are poised in that direction.


Criticizing is a reaction second to nature. People find faults more often than they find solutions. This is because it’s always easier to spot the problem and it is sometimes difficult to find the solution. This results to criticism, leading to drawbacks that are oftentimes consequential.


Clean your own backyard before you tell others to clean theirs. When you criticize, complain, or speak ill of other people, be sure that others have no reason to do the same to you. It would be better to avoid criticizing other people for good. What other people shortfall off, could be possibly corrected by your good deed or action to compensate for the shortfall.


To criticize, complain, or condemn others is futile. This only creates more problems than the original ones. This strays away from the real issue being criticized. The result is at times dangerous because criticizing hurts a person’s pride and self-importance, and this leads to resentment. The usual reaction of a person being criticized is to defend himself.


Keep in mind that humans are the highest forms of creatures in the animal kingdom, which is why we are filled with mixed emotions, various thoughts and feelings no other creatures can match.


Let us cite a simple illustration. Suppose a homeowner hires a housekeeper who is responsible for the upkeep of her property. Let us suppose that after a certain period, the homeowner finds the work performance of the housekeeper unsatisfactory. The homeowner can do either of the following:


  • Tell the housekeeper straight forward that she is not satisfied with the housekeeper’s performance and criticize her; or


  • Ask the housekeeper to accompany her in visiting a friend. The homeowner’s purpose is to show her housekeeper her friend’s home that she finds satisfactorily maintained. During the visit, her friend’s housekeeper can give tips to her housekeeper on proper work procedures.


If you’re the homeowner and you choose the first approach (by criticizing), it is likely that your relationship with your housekeeper might get strained. The effect of criticizing has a lot to do with the attitude of the person being criticized. If she takes it lightheartedly, this may not lead to resentment. But if she takes it defiantly, the effects can at times be disastrous or disadvantageous. Criticism makes a person defensive. Your defensive housekeeper's reaction is to find justification for her actions.  


On the other hand, an act of diplomacy, free of criticism, could be the right approach to better understanding and cooperation between two people. Going back to the case between the homeowner and housekeeper, the second approach shows the homeowner’s subtle way of conveying her message to the housekeeper - how she wants the job done to her satisfaction, without resulting to strained relationships.


Oftentimes, when we ask a person to do a certain job that results in an outcome that falls short of our expectations, we don’t give the person a second chance to prove his worth. Some factors may have to be taken into consideration depending on the situation at hand. At any rate, improvement free from criticism, with room for a second chance to prove one’s worth, is a welcome change.