Do you often feel you are being critical of others? Are you worried about how others feel about you? This is a common issue people have. In this article, we look at why we get so critical and what you can do to get over beingcritical.
If the world was a flat disc, all people would be living as close to the center as possible. That is because the further you get from the middle of the disc, the harder it becomes to stand upright. You might think that sounds odd. Well, think about how tall a column of dominoes is. They start to get unstable the further they are from the center. Of course, in that case, gravity is the culprit. Gravity isthe force that causes friction between the dominoes, causing them to topple.
The Dark Side of Criticality
Now, here’s where it gets interesting. The force of friction has a counterpart: resistance. So, the opposite of friction is also resistance. I’ll explain. In order for things not to slide around on the flat-disc model, the people there must resist against the force of friction, or “fight” it. Otherwise, they would slide away. This is the same with us in real life. Except, the people in our model are resisting against the force of beingcritical. And, just like with the forces of gravity, internal forces cause us to act in ways that aren’t in our best interest. Forces like being judgmental and critical tend to cause us to experience a lot of unnecessary suffering in our life. And, they also lead us to act in irrational, unexpected and sometimes even violent ways.
What it feels like to be “Critical”
In essence, when we are being judgmental and labellingand criticizing the behavior of others, we are doing similar things to what we see on the flat-disc. We are sliding away from our center and heading towards the dark side of being critical. And when you do this, someone will take notice. In fact, they will react. And, this reaction is what will cause a battle of opposites. There are countless examples of this dynamic in our everyday lives. For example, take a worker who has a bad attitude at work. As a result, his boss “fights against” him. And, since heis reacting, he’s going to experience suffering – most likely in the form of being yelled at – and then he is probably going to react back. And, so goes the battle with resistance and reaction.
The “Becoming” of Criticality
Next, let’s assume the person in the example just describes himself as a “bad guy”, and he’s really trying to figure out a way to stop acting like one. That is, he wants to stop “sliding” towards the “dark side” of being super obnoxious andrating everybody at his company for every little thing. So, he does what every other “good guy” does and begins to judge and label himself for how bad he is. He might berate himself for not being more appreciative of all he has. Or, he may berate himself for not valuing himself enough. He might berate himself for not being more responsible. Or, he might berating himself for not being more genuine. In any case, he ends up becoming the critical person he is fighting. Even though he is fighting it, he is basically putting himself in a prison of negative thoughts and harsh judgments. And, as a result, he experiences the same suffering he is trying to avoid. And, sincehe is actively labeling and judging himself, he is, in fact, “fighting” the same force that is causing the suffering in the first place. And, when this happens, he will just create more of what he doesn’t want. So, he’s not actually solving the problem. He is actually making the problem worse by continuing to react against the very thing he wants to get away from.”
When In Doubt, Be Kind
Now, you might ask yourself, “What is the upside of being super nice all the time?” And, if you really think about it, there’s not really any. After all, “nice” people are not celebrated for their kindness. Rather, they areusually criticized for being weak. For example, people who don’t have any boundaries are often labeled “pushovers”. Or, someone who is too “nice” is often criticized for not being “real”. This is why being kind is socially frowned-upon. However, being kind is really the best way to help yourself and to help other people who struggle with being offended, defensive and judgmental. When you find yourself getting worked up about the words someone else says or does, pause for a moment. And, before you make any decisions in response, simply watch. Watch what you are thinking, feel what you arefeeling, and sense how your body is reacting to the situation. And then, when you’re ready, act out of kindness. The force of love and kindness is infinitely more powerful than the forces of criticism, judgment, and resistance. And, it’s free. So, why would you choose anything else?”
The last part of the article also explains the benefits of the “being being” in a “beingdoing” language. It’s not about being passive and always being in a state of bliss. It’s about understanding that all things are “boundaries”. And, it’s all about being fully aware and listening and responding to what life really wants you to do. So, it will all come down to your attitude. You can choose to stop “sliding” and start “resisting” the “force of being” bybeing kind. Or, you can continue to resist and end up on the “dark side” where suffering and chaos reign. The choice is yours.
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