Criticism Never Helps
Criticism Never Wins
Criticism is something that seems to have invaded our way of life, particularly in the U.S. We criticize the President, we speak poorly of our leaders, our schools, our coworkers, our neighbors, immigrants, our boss, and worst of all, the people closest to us-our spouse and children. Mud-slinging has become as common as eating and breathing in our culture.
Criticism is a bad habit that we are often unaware of and it's also a contagious disease. How many times can you remember walking up to coworkers, to hear them cutting down the supervisor or boss, and before you know it, you're joining in? We easily get sucked into the mud-slinging without realizing the damage we're doing to ourselves and others.
Criticism damages others, because we are damaging their reputation and others' view of them. Other people should be able to formulate their own opinion of that person without our negative influence. Our personal opinion is ours, and should not be pushed on anyone else. When I see this kind of gossip and criticism, I'm reminded of Jr. High girls who are great at backbiting and criticism to form alliances and distance friends from each other.
Relationships suffer greatly from criticism. It is hard to overcome the damage of criticism between friends, and although forgiveness may have taken place, the memories of hurtful words linger. Marriages suffer greatly from criticism when partners choose to criticize each other rather than build each other up. If love is like a plant, criticism is like pouring poison onto the plant every day. What marriage can survive daily poison?
Children who are constantly criticized by their parents develop low self-esteem and have a much harder time in life. They don't believe they are worthy of love and respect, and their relationships later in life suffer. Parents who criticize their children do more damage than they realize, and all the toys in the world or gifts will not undo that damage.
Criticism damages us, whether we realize it or not. When we criticize someone, we are throwing respect out the window and anytime we do not respect others, we are stooping to a lower level. We are saying through our criticism that we are better than that person, which is not true. We may not do some of the things the other person does, but we do plenty of things that aren't great. We each have our own faults and weaknesses, and ours are no better or worse than the next person's.
When individuals feel insecure and inferior, they often resort to criticizing others. Somehow it makes them feel better about themselves-for a short while. In the long run being a critical person leads them to feel worse about themselves.
Criticism rarely accomplishes anything good. It doesn't step up to the plate to make things better, to help others, or to improve the world for anyone. It highlights the negative things in life, and negativity produces more negativity. I know people who are so critical that they cannot find anything positive at all in their lives. They end up in a downward spiral of negativity and eventually no one wants to be around them. I have seriously considered "unfriending" someone on Facebook because every post is a negative post. Depression often sets in and they end up in a hole that is hard to dig out of.
Mother Teresa once said "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness". In other words, cursing the darkness will not improve anything, but taking positive action, such as lighting a candle, will help dispel the darkness which will benefit everyone.
Is it time for you to light a candle?