I was out with some friends recently when I noticed the conversation take an unpleasant turn.
Every time someone walked in the door the people I was with would critique them, picking them to pieces if they didn’t like their clothes, hair or shoes etc.
It was a tad unsettling.
I love people watching. I love seeing all sorts of different people. I find it fascinating. Of course I have had negative thoughts about how certain people look but I tend to keep those to myself.
Criticizing others seems far too common and in some cases a bit of a team sport.
Here are my tips on how to be less critical of the people around you.
Stop bagging things just because they aren’t your cup of tea
I don’t have any tattoos, personally I would never get one but I certainly don’t criticize people for having them. Several of my closest friends have more than one tattoo.
In my opinion, the world would be a kinder, gentler place if we respected other people’s choices (even when they are not the same as our own).
Don’t assume you know something about a person by their appearance
This ranges from clothes to hair to the way people act. Don’t assume you know someone’s life story because of the way they look on the outside.
Just because someone is wearing a short/tight dress doesn’t mean they are ‘full of themselves’ and know they look wonderful. It can often mean just the opposite, they may be feeling insecure. By wearing something revealing they are hoping to get noticed which will temporarily boost their self-esteem.
Stop criticizing people’s bodies
Volumes could be written on this topic.
We are downright nasty when it comes to other people’s bodies. I’m not sure what gives us the right to think we can judge people so harshly.
There is so much more to someone than what they look like on the outside. So much more!
Just a thought – if you are sitting on the couch watching ‘The Biggest Loser’ eating a bowl of ice cream criticizing the contestants you might was to rethink your approach!
Understand nobody’s perfect
We seem to be caught up in wanting people to be perfect. Magazines Photoshop people so much, they barely look human then millions try to copy the same look. We rush to plastic surgeons and put ourselves through torturous procedures over a perceived flaw.
Please stop this obsession with looking perfect. Stop beating yourself against a brick wall chasing a concept that does not exist!
Give young people a break
Remember you were young once too and while you might not have dressed in the same manner as some of the twenty-somethings today (short short skirts for example) I bet you wore some ‘interesting’ outfits yourselves.
Before criticizing other people, think about your old photo collection. If there are not some shockers in there I’ll be surprised, even more so if you grew up through the 80′s. Fashion wise it was brutal! Hairstyles alone were cringe-worthy.
The next time to go to criticize someone’s outfit think of your worst ensemble ever and have a laugh to yourself instead!
Take a step back from celebrity slamming
Nothing seems more subjected to critique than the world of celebrities.
Morning talk shows rip the look and actions of celebrities to pieces. Panels of ‘experts’ give their opinion on the most minute (and might I add irrelevant) celebrity activities.
One thing I’ve noticed is how few interviews with see with the actual celebrity themselves. Nowadays we talk about them, not too them.
Then there are the gossip magazines and Internet. One week someone is too fat, a month later they are too thin. Then they wear a dress that the ‘experts’ don’t like or God forbid get a haircut and the Internet breaks. Clearly people care but I can’t help but question WHY?
Stop having fun at other people’s expense
Originally this wasn’t in the post but as I was writing, it dawned on me that it should be included.
I shudder at this thought but I also realized that some people pick on other people for fun.
I can’t say this strongly enough – stop. Stop now.
This sort of behavior is mean-spirited and toxic. If you are constantly picking on other people for fun, you need a hobby. You need more substance in your life. Go out and find something that you are passionate about and leave other people alone.
Are you criticizing them or yourself?
Sometimes I can’t help but wonder – who are we really criticizing?
When we pick on other people it is perhaps something in ourselves that we are unhappy about? Are we in fact, projecting our dissatisfaction or insecurities onto someone else because there is an element in our own lives we can’t quite face or come to terms with?
To be brutally honest, I’ve noticed this situation with one of my friends. When I find myself being overly critical of her, it usually means there is something about myself that I am angry or disappointed with. I see my faults reflected through her actions and it frustrates me.
Perhaps ripping into other people let’s us not have to focus on ourselves. While we are criticizing others we think it keeps us shielded from taking too closer look at ourselves.
Instead of criticizing other people opt for kindness. Opt for acceptance and understanding. Opt for a live and let live approach.
Give it a try! See how being less critical and more open and caring can rock your world and the lives of other people!
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