Criticizing and complaining has ingrained itself so firmly in our everyday lifestyle, that it is almost impossible to get away from it! We do it almost subconsciously, without being aware of the effect it has on us and our everyday lifestyle. However, it is no surprise that it is doing us no good. It is holding us back from becoming the best version of ourselves in many ways. In fact, let us hold ourselves accountable for the negativity, and try and stop the cycle of endless criticizing and complaining.
How is Criticizing and Complaining affecting your everyday lifestyle? Let’s find out!
Why we criticize and complain?
Complaints are nothing but a mismatch of opinions and expectations. So, we never really run out of reasons to complain. However, we are always going to have needs, beliefs, desires, expectations, and habits which are bound to collide with those of another person. In fact, we don't have any control over that.
However, criticism is taking that complaint a step further and leaning on the fence of being judgmental. Criticisms generally arise because of failing to express your feelings in the best way. Hence, it comes across as being hurtful and an attack, and the real issue remains unresolved. This is because
Complain: Did you come in without taking off your shoes again?
Criticism: You are such a slob. You always toss your things
Get the drift? The complaint was followed with a criticism. Now the person on the receiving end feels the need to retaliate.
What does it do?
- Criticizing and complaining are both extremely destructive to relationships when it is a dig at one’s personality or character, rather than the isolated behavior. It is essential to keep complaints isolated and not an attack at one’s entire being.
- Also if it is belittling and insulting rather than problem-solving, it might be a little rough. So think it through and don't be petty.
- Criticism demands submission which humans are generally against, and since they are not expecting it, the other person automatically gets defensive.
- It also devalues on and their other efforts. For example, if your roommate usually does the dishes and has occasional incidences of not cleaning the house, claiming he ‘never picks up after him’ might be devaluing to his other efforts.
How to avoid or deal with it?
Incidentally, there is always a better way to work your words. Let us exercise some ways we can express ourselves better
Admit: Take responsibility for your harsh words (if any) and admit that you could have done better.
Express: Let the other person know how you actually feel, rather than a blanket term. Tagging your feeling as hurt, angry, let down, misunderstood, etc. is far better than feeling ‘mad’.
Address the issue: Address the issue so that your partner knows exactly what you are upset about, in clear, calm words. There is a saying that goes "never touch the pot when it's hot, or else you will get burned." The same thing goes when frustrations run high. Never start a negotiation when you are still upset. Simply walk away and pick up the conversation later when cooler heads prevail.
Set expectations: Have a problem-solving attitude and come to a conclusion which will resolve the issue as opposed to escalating it. therefore, set your expectation and express what you need, and let it go.
There are some things that we can control, and the other which we cannot. However, knowing one from the other is extremely important, as it relieves us from a lot of unwanted stress and agitation. Hopefully, by understanding this further, we have helped you get a clearer picture on where to hold off and the alternative ways of action.