Saturday 11 February 2023

Why Do People Criticise Others?

We're all victims of criticism, but that does not make it less painful. When we are criticised we may feel embarrassed, angry or even unworthy and incapable. In fact, Winston Churchill compared criticism to physical pain and was not wrong by much, since a recent study has shown that the experiences of rejection, criticism and humiliation are processed in the same brain area that processes pain.

Obviously, not all critics generate these negative experiences - there is constructive criticism that makes you think and helps you grow. To detect that, it's important to understand what motivates people to criticise, if their reasons are valid or, conversely, are only a strategy to reassert their power, complain or humiliate.

Here's a list of 15 potential reasons why people criticise...
1. They feel threatened by some of your qualities and use criticism as a weapon to try to balance the game.
2. They are convinced that they have a right to special treatment and conditions and think that they are not getting them.
3. They like to feel responsible for the situation in every moment and get scared when they feel that are losing control.
4. They want to gain something.
5. They think they are helping you, because they are offering a part of their wisdom or experience.
6. They think that only their views are valid, then criticise you when you dare to suggest something different, which is often considered a personal attack, because, deep down, these people are often very insecure.
7. They try to attract your attention, but since they’re short of social and/or emotional skills, fail to do it in an assertive way, so they end up criticising, complaining or whining.
8. They seek admiration and approval.
9. They feel frustrated because they have tried to express their own needs and opinions in a more assertive way, but you haven’t been paying attention and, consequently, they discharge all that anger in the criticism.
10. They feel wounded by your (perhaps unintentional) words or actions, but don’t dare to say it directly and hide this dissatisfaction within a criticism.
11. They’re projecting their fears and insecurities.
12. They try to take revenge on you for a situation never completely assimilated, so they turn the criticism into a tool of humiliation and shame.
13. They need to feel powerful.
14. They have perceived your words or attitudes as a criticism, so went directly on the counter attack.
15. They envy or admire you, but do not manage to express those emotions properly, so they end up criticising exactly those qualities.

How to react to criticism?
The way to react to criticism depends largely on the situation and the reasons that cause it. In fact, there are cases where is better not to do it, because reacting to criticism would only serve to further enhance the other person and satisfy his/her desire for leadership and control. In these cases it is best to ignore them, because trying to defend ourselves would only lead to a dead end. Therefore, if you can, pretend that nothing has happened.

When the person who criticises you is important for you, it is desirable that you pay attention and let them know that you care about them, even if you do not agree with that opinion. You can also point out to that person that you respect their ideas and efforts, but always asserting your independence and the right to make your own decisions.

When it comes to a criticism made in public and you want to defend yourself, you're better focusing in on dismantling what they have said, always keeping calm. Often a quiet, concise and intelligent response is enough to make a good impression on the others. In any case, you should always reflect on criticism and, if it contains an ounce of truth, correct your behaviour, an attitude that shows maturity.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Headless (2015)

Blimey! Hold onto your hats - well, heads, actually. This is not one for the faint hearted for sure. A gore-fest from start to finish in whi...