Every one of us will have times when we are criticized, sometimes fairly, but more often unfairly, creating stress in our hearts and minds and sometimes in our relationships. It could be someone at home, your workplace, your church, your school or even your social circle always trying to find fault in things you do or maybe always speaking negatively about you ,trying to make you look bad or maybe blowing some minor incident out of proportion. Usually anyone doing any of these is definitely not trying to help you, but is simply trying to drag you down.
Over time through personal experience, I have learnt and realized that criticizing someone doesn’t bring about lasting changes, instead it incurs resentment. Criticism is futile sometimes because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous because it wounds a person’s pride, hurts his sense of importance and arouses resentment.
Hanes selye a great psychologist said ‘As much as we thirst for approval, we dread condemnation’. The resentment that criticism engenders can demoralize employees, family members, children and friends and still not correct the situation that has been condemned. Most times when we convey things in a pleasant tone of voice, resounding the benefits or importance, it stays and often makes impact. Using my own experience, I have equally noticed that when one is being criticised all the thoughts that comes to the persons head is ways to justify himself.
Naturally we know how to justify our actions,(both reasonable and unreasonable) even when we are not criticized, not to talk of someone who is being criticized. We all have this in us, not because we are bad people but it’s just human nature in action. In our society we see wrong doers (evil perpetrators) blaming everybody but themselves. Let’s look at the major evils befalling our society today, take the ‘bokoharam sect’ which is a deadly sect, yet they speak up justifying their deadly acts by saying they have an un spelt course they are fighting for:(scrap of western education and in their dreams trying to Islamise our Gods nation Nigeria) Or is it the Niger Deltan Militants that cry for marginalisation, but they convey their issues by perpetrating all sorts.
Certainly constructive criticism can be helpful, but most times, it is not conveyed the right way, instead it is often presented, with an intentional sting. When you and i are tempted to criticize someone, we should always remember that they will try to justify themselves and condemn us in return. In other to achieve the desired change in them we should be careful on how we pass it on.
Like Lincolns favourite quotations ‘Judge not, that ye be not judged’. It is important we remember that we are dealing with creatures of emotions.
Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to figure why they do what they do .This is a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism, and it breads sympathy, tolerance and kindness and it is worthy of note that it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving