We can pick our friends, but not our relatives or coworkers. What’s annoying, is dealing with those who are constantly critical. You know who they are, and we try to avoid them. What they do is offer unsolicited advice, pass judgment, and are negative and impossible to please.
We can also be critical ourselves. It’s human nature to critique almost everything, usually in the hopes things will get better. So we constantly judge everything around us, usually subconsciously.
Unfortunately, there are some who will verbalize their thoughts outward, which should be kept quiet.
Once things don’t go our way, or we happen to be in a bad mood, is when it becomes easy to be critical. Those who are miserable, prefers miserable company.
Those who are critical, feels better when around others who also shares the same negative attitudes.
Most however, prefer to react positively, which requires needing to cope with those who has critical viewpoints, as we battle to keep our emotions under control.
At times, it can become challenging to deal with those who constantly criticize, such as a parent, relative, or coworker, especially when we need to deal with them daily.
Understand What Motivates Critical People
Those who are hurting inside, tends to hurt others. Those who constantly complain, were usually criticized as children.
As a result, they didn’t develop a sense of healthy identity or security, because it was clouded by constant judgement.
What they have is a low opinion of themselves, and because of that they suffer from low self-esteem.
Consequently they feel their best, when attempting to achieve unrealistic standards they set for themselves or others.
Critics are often motivated by the need to feel better about themselves, by putting others down.
Once we understand what their motivation for the need to criticize is, does is develops empathy and compassion towards them.
Listen To Their Cry For Help
Although those who are critical often lack discipline, diplomacy and tact, they’re also capable of analyzing those around them, as well as judging situations accurately.
You might just be tempted to discount what you hear, but instead listen carefully to what they’re saying between the lines, especially if they’re a loved one.
There’s often plenty of valuable information they disclose, underneath the sharp edges of their critique.
How To Effectively Confront The Critic
It’s never easy to confront interpersonal problems, but it’s usually the best approach.
Made sure you stand up and tell those who constantly criticize, how you feel about the way they interact with you.
Doing so won’t guarantee any change, but what expressing your thoughts and feelings does, is places you in a better position to manage your own behavior and emotions.
What expressing yourself emotionally does, is decreases your chances of growing embittered, and doing or saying something you’ll regret.
Focus On The Truth Not The Criticism
If someone happens to put you down, fight the temptation to dwell on the criticism. If there is something you can learn from the message, then do so and then move on.
So instead of ruminating on the bitter remark or the negative comment, choose to accept it as being constructive criticism, and how it can help you to maximize your potential.
Be Careful What You Share
It’s never a good idea to share personal or vital information, with those who are chronically critical. Providing such information, does is gives them additional arsenal.
What critical people often tend to do, is take classified information and take them out of context.
They may also misinterpret or exaggerate the information, while placing a negative spin on it.
So learn and be aware of how to discern what you reveal to them. When in doubt, don’t share.
Don’t Begin Criticizing Others… Yourself
It can be easy to be seduced into criticizing others, when you happen to be around someone who’s constantly critical themselves, or complains a lot.
Joining in on the criticism only serves to legitimize their behavior, and then the transition into gossiping isn’t far behind.
The criticism currently might be about someone else, but eventually it may be directed towards you.
Limit Your Time Spent With Critical People
If you can’t avoid someone who constantly criticizes, then learn to limit the time you spend with them. This however can be difficult to do, if they’re a coworker, parent, spouse, or boss.
It’s in your best interest, to let the person know your level of interaction with them, will be based on their willingness to communicate in a more constructive and appropriate manner.
Discuss with them if possible, their tendency to constantly complain or criticize, and make them aware.
Control Your Response To Those Who Are Critical
Make sure you pay close attention, to how you respond to the criticism of other.
If you tend to instinctively react with anger, or are hurt or intimidated, then what you’re doing is encouraging their behavior.
Those who are critical, are often motivated to behave the way they do, because of the response they trigger in others.
Once you learn not to overreact, is when they’re likely to move on to someone else.
Try Understanding Their Needs
The emotional “gas tank” of someone who’s critical, is often low. Criticism is often an outward expression of an inward need, to be heard or to feel worthwhile and significant.
So it’s no surprise by giving them a sincere compliment, congratulations, or demonstrating empathy and concern, can improve your relationship. Those who are conscientious, won’t mistreat others.
Even if they’re making progress, maintain realistic expectations, as those who criticize, won’t change overnight.
Keep in mind they’re also likely to revert back to their old ways from time to time, especially when stressed.
Having realistic expectations, will help guide your interactions with them, for a healthier relationship.