Why do some people only criticize others

10 tips for everyone who likes to judge others

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Judging others doesn't just hurt the people it affects. Above all, it also harms the person from whom the criticism originates. So be nice to others and show them (and yourself!) A little compassion.

BuzzFeed.de © Maritsa Patrinos / BuzzFeed

Even if you don't see yourself as a person who is quick to judge others, you have certainly had a weak moment and pulled on someone.

For example, how about your best friend who is with someone you don't think is good enough? Or with your colleague who is wearing an outfit that you don't think should be in the office? This type of criticism can be extremely hurtful to other people and at the same time it is stressful for the person from whom the criticism comes. Why should you spend your time criticizing other people's decisions when you can instead focus on your own growth?

"When we judge someone, we compare ourselves to them," life coach Karin Ulik told BuzzFeed. “Criticizing others helps us feel safe about ourselves. In this way we control our life and our surroundings, often unconsciously. But if we become aware of this, we can change that too. "

Judging and criticizing other people are natural patterns of behavior. We all do. But there are ways to change that habit and show more compassion to others (and to ourselves). When you're ready to get off your high horse, here's some advice from the experts. They show you how to be less critical and instead be more loving and empathetic.

1. Ask yourself why you feel the need to be critical.

Let's be honest: the urge to be critical usually comes from the fact that we feel insecure about ourselves. We don't really judge another person's choices. Rather, we try to justify our own decisions by criticizing other people.

Life coach Esther Gonzalez Freeman tells BuzzFeed that if we "turn our thoughts into curiosity," we can try to be less critical. This helps us find the reason why we want to criticize other people in the first place. She recommends asking yourself, "What about me?" Or "Why is this bothering me?"

"This kind of curiosity and self-reflection helps us better understand why we want to feel better in the first place," says Gonzalez Freeman.

2. Be aware of what triggers your criticism

We often criticize other people out of a reflex and not consciously. Try to find out when you are particularly irritable or feel like you want to criticize others. You can actively counteract these moments. Karlyn Percil, Emotional Intelligence Coach, tells BuzzFeed that we can trigger new behaviors (such as being less critical) when we become aware of our emotional habits.

Percil recommends that we ask ourselves the following questions:

- Am I more biased when I'm under stress?

- Am I more critical when certain people are around me?

- Do I tend to be more critical in the morning or in the evening?

If you know what is triggering your bias, you can counter it.

3. Try to understand the reason for the other person's behavior.

Most of the time, you probably don't know why a person is acting the way they do. But if you think about it, you've probably acted strangely and certainly had your reasons for it, right? So be respectful of other people and try to put yourself in their shoes.

Raffi Bilek, therapist and director of the Baltimore Therapy Center, gives the following example: A mother gives her child a swing while looking at her smartphone. You may immediately think that she should pay more attention to her child. But instead of focusing on that thought, you'd better ask yourself why she's doing this.

“Maybe she's writing to someone about an urgent matter,” says Bilek. “Maybe she was in the hospital for a week and has to catch up on her job. At the same time, she also has to look after her child because she has not found a babysitter. "

BuzzFeed.de © Maritsa Patrinos / BuzzFeed

4. Use your breathing to come down when you get too critical of yourself.

Okay, we've talked a lot about criticizing other people now, but self-criticism is also harmful. The next time you judge yourself because of your thoughts, your actions, or your behavior, you should pause for a moment. Instead, focus on the breathing technique Lisa Diers suggests. She is a body recovery coach and nutritionist. When you breathe in, tell yourself “I am” inside and when you breathe out “enough”. Repeat the process as often as necessary.

Diers says: "If we couple our breath with a favorite quote or a positive mantra, we can embody that and at the same time calm our nervous system."

5. Rephrase your critical thoughts.

Life Coach Ulik suggests that you should write down your critical thoughts and rephrase them positively.

"For example, if you keep questioning a friend's fashionable taste, you might think something like:"Wow, Kati is wearing such an ugly shirt again today. What is she always thinking about?“, Explains Ulik. "Your positive formulation could be: , Kati seems to feel good, no matter what she is wearing. How does she manage to be so confident? "

Maybe that seems strange to you at first. But Ulik says that by rephrasing our negative thoughts in a positive way, we actually learn to put ourselves in our friends' shoes. As a result, we understand them better and feel more comfortable with ourselves.

6. Smell essential oils.

Getting upset about another person's words or actions can make you angry and lose self-control. To come back to yourself, calm down and find your focus, the social worker Reverend Sheri Heller suggests sniffing essential oils. Grounding yourself will help clear angry criticism from your mind. You will learn to use your energy to resolve the conflict and to better empathize with the person you are criticizing.

“Angry people who judge others need to learn where their aggression is coming from and how to use it effectively. This is the only way they can tackle and solve relationship problems instead of hurting other people, ”Heller told BuzzFeed. She adds, “It's important to take time for yourself. This will help you learn to recognize when you are upset. This in turn helps you to concentrate less on retaliatory measures and the pointing of blame, and more on solving the causes of your aggression. "

7. Try the five senses mindfulness technique.

If you don't have essential oil on hand, social worker Madelyn Gallagher suggests trying a mindfulness technique called the "Five Senses". This will help you ground yourself and turn your negative thinking into compassion. “Describe five things that you can see in this moment, four things that you feel physically, three things that you hear, two things that you smell and one thing that you taste. Focusing on five specific things helps you stay in the here and now and better assess the intentions behind your review, ”Gallagher told BuzzFeed.

BuzzFeed.de © Maritsa Patrinos / BuzzFeed

8. Be lenient with yourself when you feel guilty about judging others.

Criticizing someone and judging yourself for it is an emotional mess that you don't have to do to yourself.

“Remember that it is human to judge others. Just because you do that doesn't make you a bad person, "social worker Fara Tucker told BuzzFeed." Remember that criticism is often a protective mechanism. For example, we judge others first so they can't judge us and we criticize when we are vulnerable or fearful. Take care of the part of you that wants to protect yourself and is suffering in some way. "

Reverend Heller adds that you can also increase your self-esteem by taking care of your body and mind. “It shows more self-esteem when you take care of yourself. You will notice that you will treat yourself and others with greater respect, ”she says. So conjure up a delicious meal, go to a concert, watch a movie, visit an exhibition or a show, treat yourself to a massage, take a vacation or a day off for your mental health or ask friends for support.

9. Force yourself to meet new people, places, and ideas.

Our instinctive criticism is often based on a lack of experience with certain people, behaviors, or actions. It is influenced by our own prejudices and the ideas and truths we grew up with. To break up some of those deeply ingrained beliefs, psychologist Lucio Buffalmano suggests traveling more. “The more you get out of your familiar surroundings with your customs and traditions, the sooner you get used to it other stuff“He tells BuzzFeed. "And you react less suspiciously of everything that you initially condemned."

10. Remember that everyone is doing their best.

When all else fails, take the advice of marriage and family therapist Sarah Epstein and ask yourself, “What if the person tries their best?” By asking this question, you will feel more compassionate and lenient towards other people and less negatively towards them occur.

Epstein says, “This question grounds me. This enables me to get rid of my critical thoughts. When a person is doing their best it is much more difficult to judge. But if we have the feeling that someone is not making an effort, then we respond with criticism. "

This article first appeared in English.