Dealing with critical people

When someone is being overly critical, it is often because we don’t stop them and because they know they can get away with it, unless we learn to object. In those circumstances, we must either understand the underlying message, ignore the message, or as a last resort, disengage.

Critical people don’t think about what they’re going to say before they say it. They’ll bleat something out, then think about what they’ve said after they’ve said it, by which time it’s too late to change anything.

But being critical of others stems from how we feel about ourselves. It’s also a reflection of what we’re dealing with at the time. If we’re having a hard time working through our issues, we’re going to feel angry. We take our anger out on those we love.

There is often a bigger picture to someone’s anger and emotions. We don’t just let off steam because we want to hurt someone. We won’t always know why we’re letting off steam, but letting off steam comes from our subconscious thinking: if our childhood experiences, or recent experiences are negative, it is those experiences that will make us angry.

Unfortunately, when we’re angry, all it takes is a split second to lash out, but it can take a lifetime to make amends. We must all take responsibility for our behaviour.

23 Jan, 2012

10 thoughts on “Dealing with critical people

  1. Everything you said here is true.

    I believe behavior is learned. Unless someone steps up and says something it will continue; unless someone objects to it and will not tolerate it. Then and only then will it change.

  2. I grew up with very critical parents and it has taken me a long time to really get over their words repeating in my head!

    I usually try to avoid people like that since they can really get on my nerves quickly. I’m just hoping that someday I won’t be so critical of myself so that I could enjoy living more often!

    1. I understand you totally Randy. We begin to believe that we are all the things our parents tell us.

      It’s good that you recognise some of your parents’ critical traits. I hope you’ll be able to change some of them soon.

      You deserve to enjoy your life.

  3. I agree with you. People need not take their anger and frustration out on others. They do need to suck it up and accept responsibilty for thier own actions and problems.

  4. I agree, 100% spot on!! I find it hard to express myself, mainly because I believe we weren’t allowed to be expressive as children.

    As an adult I try hard to express myself in a positive way, depending on the situation of course. As a mother, I let my kids kids express themselves, but there’s a fine line when it comes to expressing and respect.

    1. Thanks Bonnie. I’m not sure children get the fine line right and agree with you, there is definitely a fine line between expression and respect, but perhaps that’s down to a lack of boundaries.

      I also believe that’s partly down to a lack of maturity and a lack of the right discipline, in some cases no discipline at all.

  5. Having a disability and having my kindness is labeled as weakness. My girls have taken advantage of that to an extent and I’m currently working on their behavior to the best of my ability.

    1. It’s not easy bringing a child up, particularly because of the outside influences they have in their lives also.

      I can resonate with you and understand your dilemma. It’s easy to want to please people and through our kind natures, others will always take advantage. I’m not sure or speaking for myself, disability doesn’t really come into it. For me it’s all about character.

      As a child I always aimed to please my family. There were times when that worked to my disadvantage. People will always take advantage of kind people. It’s the nature of us being kind and wanting to please.

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