About Criticism

We critisize others more often than we think. Make a mental note of how often you find fault with others and why you do it (both with devotees and nondevotees). See if you can go a day, a week, a month, or more without saying anything bad about anyone.

(Calling a thief a thief is not considered fault-finding if one’s motive is to help or improve the situation.)

Becoming free from the tendency to criticize is best achieved by changing the way you see others and the world. If your general attitude is to see with the eye of appreciation, you will tend to notice the good in others instead of the bad. If you are to become free from fault-finding, this change of vision is essential.

For example, you may see someone doing something you consider wrong or improper. If you are developing the tendency to see with the eye of appreciation, you’ll naturally ask yourself, “What else could this mean?” This causes you to develop a broader and more compassionate understanding of why the person is acting this way.

You react to what you think is happening. If you think what is happening is wrong, improper, horrible, offensive, etc., you’ll likely react with complaining or criticism. Or worse, you’ll react with condemnation.

By asking, “What else could this mean?” you allow yourself to see the same situation in another light. You may still consider the action wrong, but now you have a perspective that allows you to better understand why the person acted this way. This perspective will cause you to respond with understanding rather than condemnation.

With this understanding, it’s possible to break your addiction to fault-finding. If you can go at least thirty days without finding fault with anyone, you will begin to develop a new healthy habit. Furthermore, you will be in the good company of those devotees who refuse to speak or hear about the faults of others.

How will you succeed? Decide to change your attitude. Instead of looking at what’s wrong in others,  look at how you improve yourself.

If you are not up to the challenge, ask yourself why you think you are unwilling to  give up fault-finding?