Once in a golden hour,
I cast to earth a seed.
Up there came a flower,
The people said, a weed.
-Alfred Lord Tennyson
It is easy to fall into the habit of condemning others, even those we love most. We criticize the way someone eats or how she speaks, Oh! You are so lean. Eat something! Oh No! You look so fat, why don’t you go on a diet. You can’t even handle a child, you really need to change your parenting style and what not! But are we even aware of the disadvantages of extreme criticism?
Disadvantages of Extreme Criticism:
We focus on every minute details and find fault with the smallest of issues. Without realizing that if we keep focusing on every flaw in someone, it will continue to grow in our minds until we perceive it to be a big problem in that person. Some of the disadvantages of extreme criticism are:
1. Damages Dignity
The constant criticism makes people feel worthless. It feels like their pride is gone, and they think as if their existence doesn’t matter. As anyone who’s been on the receiving end of criticism knows, these words cut deep and eventually make them doubt their ability to do things right.
2. Causes Resentments
Whatever the reason, well-intended or not, there is far more criticism these days. Most psychologists agree that criticism does not lead people to change behaviour. Instead, it creates anger and defensiveness on the part of the person criticized.
3. Negative Energy
When you throw negative energy at another human being, you are hurting him or her, whether you realize it or not. You hurt their self-esteem and self-worth, which changes who they are and how they view the world around them. At the same time, you are pouring negative energy on yourself too because I believe What goes around, comes around.
Would you like someone to do or say something to hurt you? Of course not! So be nice. Be mature. Let’s not forget, everyone makes mistakes. They are vital for wisdom and growth.
Embrace The Beauty of Diversity
Would you want to live in a world where everyone looked, acted and thought exactly as you do? It would be a pretty boring place. To live a happier, more peaceful life, begin to see that the richness of the world comes from its diversity.
If we all have the same ideas and values, nothing would progress. We need a variety of ideas for things to change in society.
If you do not agree with someone’s opinion, just take the time to listen to their side and their justifications. Listen to understand, not speak. Don’t criticise before you understand their point of view. Every day is an opportunity to learn and grow. What you learn could strengthen your beliefs or even flip your beliefs.
“That was excellently observed’, say I, when I read a passage in an author, where his opinion agrees with mine. When we differ, there I pronounce him to be mistaken.”
– Jonathan Swift
Rather than looking for things to criticize those around you, why not begin to respect the differences? Often, we observe in others the weakness we most need to address within ourselves. So stop blaming and condemning. Accept complete responsibility for the way things are and change yourself before changing others.
As Shannon L. Alder said:
Often those that criticise others reveal what he lacks.
Here are some of the books on diversity to help you understand the beauty and importance of diversity for our better and peaceful future.