Updated: Mar 24
We all have our own set of instilled values based on life experiences. While having values is very positive and important, there's also a risk of getting over-enthusiastic and expecting others to automatically share our instilled values and behave in a certain way.
Being critical of ourselves has many consequences. When we're hard on ourselves, we are also hard on others. When we are consistently being critical of everything around us, our ability to thrive as well as our happiness, suffers.
Life is simply more enjoyable when we accept the difference of others as well as ourselves.
It's important to realize that there's no single way to live life or view the world, despite how our values were instilled or developed. When we're being highly critical of ourselves and others, we are limiting our personal growth and life enjoyment.
How can we remove our expectations and be less critical? Here are three ways to tame your inner critic.
1. Be aware of critical thoughts. Monitor your thoughts and remind yourself to be more open-minded. This is your cue to change your thought process.
2. Pause for five seconds and take a deep breath. In most cases, you're safe until you open your mouth. When you find yourself feeling judgmental, stop and take a short pause. This will interrupt your thought pattern and give you a chance to think before you say something that may cause you distress or offend the other person.
3. Remember that the past doesn't have to equal the future. Everyone has been through something in life that has dictated their actions, thus everyone makes mistakes. Understand that although people will most likely make a mistake, possibly offending you or going against your personal values, with just a small bit of understanding and communication a person can understand how to not offend you in the future. Do not render judgment so quickly. You wouldn't want to be judged by your greatest mistake, nor would it provide an accurate view of you. Give others the same consideration.
Remember, if you have a habit of being overly critical, you'll get more out of life if you reverse that tendency. Taming your inner critique is a great away to be patient and understanding with not only others, but with yourself. Besides, the people that annoy us, may actually be able to teach us about ourselves.
So, don't be so quick to be critical about someone or their actions. You might find that your first impression of them was the wrong impression!