There are people with easy criticism. They are always ready to judge, always have a sharp word on the tip of their tongue and consider themselves superior to others. These people don't let anything pass. They take advantage of it to criticize what we say or do. But they criticize us even if we remain silent or do nothing, because their goal is not to help us improve or correct a mistake, but only to assert their opinion. Criticize.
Relating to people like this is complicated. Withstanding constant criticism is not easy, so sometimes they bring out the worst in us by making us lose our patience. However, deep down these criticisms hide an enormous emotional fragility. This is no excuse for their behavior, but it helps us understand what is going on in their inner world.
What are the people who constantly criticize others like?
Psychologists at the Universities of California and Tilburg have subjected hundreds of people to a series of tests to evaluate their personality and have found that even the most critical and contemptuous ones share these characteristics:
• Poor amiability. These people feel little empathy for others and an obvious inability to put themselves in their shoes and understand both their opinions and emotional states. Sometimes that lack of empathy prevents them from realizing the damage their criticisms can cause.
• Envy and narcissism. The most critical people are used to constantly confronting others, they envy their luck. But they also feed the narcissistic idea that they deserve better luck than others because they believe they are superior.
• Anxious attachment style. They are people with low self-esteem, a tendency to apprehension and difficulty in assertively communicating their emotional needs, so they resort to criticism and drama to achieve their goals.
• Fixed mindset. Critical people often attribute achievements and successes to immutable skills and competences, not effort. They don't believe it is possible to change.
• Social dependence. These people have enormous concern for social status and hierarchy in different contexts, so they attach great importance to the judgment of others.
• Perfectionism. Perfectionist tendencies manifest through a propensity to criticize others and a deep fear of being judged.
All of this means that although people who criticize others can be very annoying, underlying their attitude is enormous emotional fragility, a hyper-reactive and extremely sensitive ego that tries to calm down through negative criticism.
Criticism as a protective shield
Many times criticism says more about those who criticize than about those who are criticized. Criticizing involves judging a situation or a person. But in this process we are usually not impartial observers, our subjectivity conditions the whole process.
Therefore, criticizing is often an expression of emotional fragility, of an ego that feels constantly threatened and reacts by defending itself through criticism. As Alphonse de Lamartine put it, "criticism is the power of the impotent". These people reaffirm themselves by taking away value from the other through their criticisms.
In fact, many of these people grew up in environments where they were constantly subjected to negative and destructive criticism. They grew up being judged, feeling inadequate and insufficient. Growing up, they hid behind the protective shield of criticism.
Recall that the people who seem the strongest are often the most fragile because they have had to protect themselves behind thick armor. These people are also very sensitive, so they react impulsively and criticize everything that threatens them.
After all, a mature and balanced person, at peace with himself and with the world, does not need to constantly criticize others. So the next time you meet critical people, think they need help reconciling with themselves.