November 13, 2013

This has been huge in my life lately - I tend to be really critical. I am  not sure where that comes from.. upbringing?  environment? the way we are born? I think this is really encouraging. I need to be intentional about not being so critical about such little things, things that aren't a big deal. Especially if kids are in our future. I wouldn't want to put that on them - kids are so easily influenced. What do you guys think? Has anyone struggled with this or have any helpful advice on ways you've progressed on being un-critical and letting things go? :)

10 hello's:

  1. I struggle with this mostly towards myself. I am overly critical when it comes to my looks, my body, my creative endeavors, etc. It is really a struggle I pray about often. I think I am a bit critical of some things in others, but I guess I have always just considered it having high expectations. Also, I rarely vocalize these criticism, but now this is something I will be paying attention to and working on. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Danni, one thing my mother taught me from a young age. ALWAYS look for the good in any situation. "There is always something good to find; sometimes you just have to look for it." This helps not to be critical, because you're concentrating on the positive.

    Have a great day!


  3. I needed that! Sometimes we just need to look at the bigger picture, and let the small stuff go. Thanks!

  4. such a lovely thought and image. we should definitely be our biggest supports! i also struggle with self-criticism but being aware of it is already an important step. thank you for the reminder :)

  5. One thing that has helped me with negative thinking is to always be thinking about the blessings in my life and the many things i have to be grateful for. The blessings far outweigh the negative stuff. It really helps me to be less critical of myself and others when my mindset is positive and grateful.

  6. this is great advice. this is definitely something i struggle with. and i hadn't even thought of it affecting our kids once we have them, ick!

  7. Oh, I should probably tell myself this every single day. But I do believe that you can never have too many reminders about the important things so thank you.

  8. excellent topic. I think it's something we're all just really good it..no training necessary :) (but environment does contribute to it as well. I come from a very critical family.)

    For example, my mom and aunt are highly critical and controlling (the two behaviors often go together)...and I really saw it the night we were in town for a funeral, and my cousin (age 21 at the time) arrived home with a new dress shirt to wear to the funeral. My mom and aunt began badgering my cousin to let them see the shirt...But my cousin was calm and stood firm and repeatedly told them "No, you'll see it tomorrow.". The more I listened to that, the more I learned about my family and that I don't want to be critical. But I didn't know how to stop being critical. I do know that the more I am critical of others and looking at their words/actions/choices, the less I have to look at my own words/actions/choices. If I can criticize them, then I don't have to look inward.

    Then I took a class for my church volunteer work and one phrase in particular stood out:

    "I am responsible for how I treat myself and how I treat others. I am not responsible for how others treat me, how others treat themselves and how others treat others."

    That one phrase alone freed me up and it's not even about being criticzl. If someone else has loose shoelaces, it's their responsibility (not mine) to fix it. If I pass along a phone message, it's not up to me to make sure the person follows up with the caller. (Thus I'm not holding in critical feelings that the person should be following up with the caller sooner than they are.) If I expect a dreaded conversation to go a certain way, I can let that go because I'm not in charge of what words the other person responds to me with.

    This ties in with my own self-criticism in that I have learned to let little things go. If I don't like the way an event went, I shrug and tell myself "They didn't ask me" which makes me laugh because of course the event coordinators didn't ask me for my opinion!

    The more I let things go that really are the responsibility of others, the less anxious I feel. And the less anxious and critical I feel, the less self-critical I am. I'm still learning to cheer myself on though. Once at the gym I completed 20 minutes on a machine that had been kicking my butt previously, and I absentmindendly told myself something I'd tell someone else, "Good job!" and my own response was enlightening: My whole face brightened and I felt great... even though I was the one cheering myself on.

    I hope this helps somewhat. I cannot tell you how life changing it was to hear that phrase about what I'm responsible for and what others are responsible for. It was like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders... and I didn't have to worry about everyone around me anymore. (not that anyone asked me to worry about them!)

  9. Thanks for posting this, I've been struggling with being critical and God has been making it quite apparent in my life these days. True, I think some of it is our upbringing- coming from conservative Asian parents, we're used to hearing about our faults rather than our strengths. I find that when I'm critical towards others, I'm most critical towards myself. What I've been doing is trying to catch those negative thoughts right when they happen, and try and turn it into something uplifting and positive. I've been praying for the Lord to renew my thinking so that I would focus on the positives rather than the negatives, to be more thankful in the everyday. It's really difficult to reverse years of thinking like this, but I'm taking it one day at a time! : )

  10. Oh I know what you mean. It's a huge habit. From a total stranger chewing her gum in the noisiest manner ever to my own actions - I'm critical of various things. My mom always told me I should be sensitive to other people's needs and try not to bother them. You know, "keep your chewing gum to yourself" thing. And I did, almost religiously. Then, I grew up expecting the same from everyone, and being bothered with the way they seemed so not bothered at all (does that even make sense?). I was critical of every noisy chewing gum bubble around. Manners, people!

    Then, I moved to London. Here, the world evolves around minding one's one business. It may even be the second most popular sentence after "mind the gap". It really changed me, I should say. Yes, things are not perfect. Yes, I'm not either. Then again, we are not meant to be. We are human, and humans come with imperfections. Chewing gums can be noisy but I have better things to think about and also, it's HER chewing gum, really. Not my business.


Friends, Thank you so much for reading + supporting my blog, and for taking the time to leave me a comment. Your comment support truly means so much to me. Have a lovely day! xo, danni