I don’t know anyone who enjoys being criticized, do you?

Yet, we are all subject to it and we all tend to do it in varying degrees. We have the ability to reason, compare, and formulate our position on a topic or even a person.

But… let’s be honest.

Even “constructive” criticism can sting a little bit. When someone criticizes you, the basic underlying messages can be something like this: “You fall short.” “You almost made it, but not quite.” “You are not good enough.”

One of the reasons criticism hurts is because we genuinely care about what the person criticizing us thinks of us. It’s fairly normal to value a friend or family member’s opinion as we navigate our way through life. Sometimes it could be a parent’s approval we seek, or even a spouse’s.

But, then there is another kind of criticism that falls into the distasteful category. It’s that kind of criticism bred from condescension, bitter judgment, and vicious reproach. It can come from someone we are head over heels in love with or it can even come from complete strangers. It’s that special brand of criticism that cuts you to the core, slices and dices, slashes and burns your very spirit.

It comes in the shape of defining or belittling another person (as in telling them how they feel or how they should act). It comes from focusing on something one finds awful about another and exploiting that flaw nonsense. It comes from exploiting personal details about someone and using those things AGAINST the other, and then turning around and trying to justify it. It comes from the position that the other person is ALWAYS wrong, no matter what.

That last one is a vicious skill a few people I’ve known over the years seem to have ~ of making the other person wrong constantly. It could be one person being judged/criticized unfairly or it could be a whole group of people.

Some random examples of criticism and unnecessary judgment:

So what if someone accidentally spells your name wrong. Is that any reason to publicly embarrass them? No. Call them or send them a polite message in private correcting them. It is classy to protect another’s dignity (and kind of cheap to publicly shame them!).

If someone shares personal details of their life with you, it is a betrayal to use that information against them to put them down, belittle them, or trash them, no matter how angry you get. Where is the class in that? Where are the ethics?

Who cares if people want to talk about edgy and lighthearted topics such as sex or celebrity antics? Again, if you find that person so terribly offensive, drop them a message in private, handle it quietly and with some dignity. You might think they did something wrong, but that does not mean others will agree. Your displeasure is between you and the person you find so offensive. Others don’t need to be needlessly dragged into it.

When one makes a habit of hurt people, it makes me wonder what messages they’ve received in their life to make them think it is always okay to take away from others? Who are we to make someone smaller than us, less than us, more untoward than us, less virtuous than us? Sure there are behaviors we all disagree with, but I don’t remember anyone teaching me it was okay to trash someone over things I dislike about them.

I admit, I have done this, a hell many times if you count and I’m not proud of it… but I also learned a lot about myself from those mistakes. I learned exactly what kind of person I wanted to be, and I did not want to be a person who has to make others wrong all the time just because they do things I don’t like.

Oh, what were those lovely clichés my mom  taught me (yes, she is  very old-fashioned!): Live and let live. Treat others as you’d like to be treated. If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. I think there might have been something in there about not being a “good-person’, too.but it did have a tremendous impact on the way I designed my life.

I guess what I am trying to say is just because you have a strong opinion about something, there is no need to criticize or judge others and try to make them feel badly or wrong for doing or saying something you simply disagree with. Just walk away or shoot them a private phone call or email.

And, if you find yourself in a situation where you are that unhappy or you just can’t handle things, you should leave, whether it is a relationship, a job, or even aweb site…(such as orkut and other social networks,in my case!) We all have freedom and we have the ability to decide what is good for us, what we enjoy, and what we are willing to tolerate. If you find something so completely intolerable that it makes you angry over and over again, then leave.

No one forces us to stay in situations that make us unhappy. We keep ourselves there, both literally and figuratively.

That’s all, bugs…