"Criticism is the only reliable form of autobiography.” It tells you more about the psychology of the criticizer than the people he or she criticizes. Read More
I tend to be self critical only. I will beat myself up but actually am much more lenient with others. My sister however is very critical. She actually walks thru my home with an imaginary checklist and then comments as she goes...oh this is nice or, with a face of disgust, give her opinion of disapproval...as if my job is to please her esthetic point of view or to meet her expectations with regard to how she feels things "should be". She and I were once close but as time went on, I found myself unwilling to want to share things with her because the rules for her life must be forced on others. If I didn't respond as she would, it was clear she was disappointed. If I didn't scream and yell as she would in a situation, she made it clear my reaction was "wrong", or too nice...in fact, she scolds me for being too nice often.
I used to let it bother me, but as I said earlier, I choose to associate with her less and less because dealing with this kind of person is simply unpleasant.
I'll bet this blog post will be shared widely by those who are embroiled in one argument or another as a way to justify that *they* are the wounded parties. Yet, all too often, I see people assuming that because someone disagrees with them, somehow they are being personally criticized. Sensible adults who argue points in a debate are criticizing a *position,* not an individual, and it is the super-sensitive individual "right-fighters" who cannot see that. If we all went around walking on eggshells versus debating issues, we'd never come to a non-enabling decision ever, rather like assuaging an alcoholic by pouring him another drink, versus insisting that he not come around us while inebriated.
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Steven Stosny, Ph.D., treats people for anger and relationship problems. Recent books: How to Improve your Marriage without Talking about It, and Love Without Hurt.
Who says marriage is where desire goes to die?