How to Stop Criticizing & Judging Others

If you want people to despise you criticize them.

If you really want people to hate you criticize them in public.

I recently had someone offer to go into business with me; he wanted me to come on-board and help him start weekend workshops for women.

He wants to do weekend retreats where he teaches women about their hormonal changes and helps them to plan their lives around the physical changes in their body so they can retire well.

He wanted me to teach women about money and emotions. I wasn’t very keen at first because I really didn’t know this person. So I asked to sit in on one of the workshops.

During the workshop one of the young ladies confessed a personal issue she was going through in her marriage so I asked my potential partner if I could coach her in front of everyone so they could learn how to coach themselves. He agreed.

The next day I met with my potential partner and he was livid – he thought I was stealing his spot light and was being competitive. He told me he understood my behavior because “all women are by nature insecure because their hormones are constantly changing.”

Did I mention that this guy’s main clientele is women?

When I explained that all this was bogus and rather sexist, he told me I couldn’t take constructive criticism and I needed to grow a thick skin.

I told him I was okay with my thin skin and wished him luck finding another partner.

Many people think it’s okay to judge others and project their insecurities onto them and then turn around and call it constructive criticism.


People Remember Criticism More than Praise


Research by a University of Washington professor has found that criticism destroys relationships and is one of the leading causes of divorce.

Can you imagine what criticism does to your relationships?

As human beings we’re hard wired by natural selection to remember the negative events in our lives.

Psychologists have found that one negative event in our lives requires multiple good events to make us feel better and get us back to normal.

This fact is even reflected in our language - all languages have more words for negative emotions than they do for positive emotions.

We’re more influenced by bad events and people than we are by good events and good people.

So every time you criticize someone, you need to praise them several times, so they can remember how good you made them feel.


Praise Reinforces Positive Behaviour


Research by social psychologists has found that praise, not criticism reinforces positive behaviors in people.

When managers criticize employees, employees go out of their way to “pay back” the criticism and balance the scales by decreasing productivity, which leads to a decrease in profitability.

So criticism not only destroys relationships, it also destroys profits!


How To Stop Criticising  & Judging Others


1. Criticize the incident and not the person


Don’t get personal.

The thing that annoyed me about the man who wanted to partner with me was how he implied that I was insecure because I was a woman and my hormones were constantly changing. He couldn’t tell me what action I'd taken that was wrong. 

This is important because criticism brings up feelings of anger and even shame, which can be counterproductive.


2. Praise people openly but criticize privately


When you criticize people in public you attack their ego and wound their pride, which has been known to start many wars around the world.

The war of Troy was as much about a man’s ego and pride as it was about a woman, Helen of Troy.


3. Don’t humiliate people when you criticize them


One of my ex-boyfriend’s once told me that when you criticize people you should first praise, criticize and then praise again.

I think that makes sense, because people respond to praise and gratitude.

The more objective your criticism is, the less personal it becomes and the less emotionally charged it is.


4. Stop criticizing yourself & be your own best friend


There's a saying that hurt people, hurt other people.

The same can be said of the critics - people that criticize and judge themselves, criticize and judge others.

My life changed the day I decided to start communicating with my inner critic and turn my inner critic into my own best friend.

I leave you with a quote by Maya Angelou, “people will remember what you said and how you looked like, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”


Are you critical of others?

Has this impacted you financially?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.