Saturday, February 2, 2008

Criticism vs Caring

Have you someone in your life who equates criticism with caring? If so, you are not alone. There are many folks who think that the two are synonymous. But they aren't. Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain, and they usually do. The wise person knows that caring is expressed through encouragement and conscious effort to explore what the other person is experiencing or doing and what that does for them, regardless of what it does for us. This is not to say that if you see someone you love conducting themselves in a destructive or self-destructive manner, that you can't call them on that. In fact you need to. But if whatever they are into is harming no one, then simply explore what passion it brings forth for them.

I used to have a mother-in-law (now x-mother-in-law, and you are soon to find out why) who took it upon herself to criticize absolutely everything there was about her daughter. Her daughter was a bit of an emotional mess as a result of it. She actually felt fear of her mother more than love from her mother. It also got so that she did not feel love for her mother. Admittedly, when I was younger I was a bit intimidated by this woman. I soon got over it. I also soon got over her daughter. I learned and I moved on. This was good for me.

I find when counseling people that this is an issue that often comes up. Their mate, their parent, their "best" friend criticizes them constantly. And it isn't always up front either. Sometimes it is very subtle, yet the message of "you are not good enough, nor will you ever be" still comes through loud and clear. When they are confronted about their behavior, they will often respond with,"Oh, you are just too sensitive." Well, actually, you are probably just sensitive enough that your BS detector went way off the charts! Remember...any fool can criticize, condemn and complain, and they usually do. My wife (current) drew that quote from somewhere. I don't know where, but it always stuck with me. And, admittedly, she has sometimes had opportunity to use the line on ME. Stops me in my tracks. I find that it is certainly a good reminder to moderate my own behavior as well as that of others.

So do your best to always be caring in your relationships. You don't have to dote upon the person, just be kind and show them you care. You can do that in any number of ways, each of which will leave a loving footprint on their hearts.

Blessed Be

Trent

4 comments:

Ron said...

I want to leave a note so you are aware your words are being read and are most helpful.
I really don't know what to say other than thank you!
Ron

Trent Deerhorn said...

You are most welcome, Ron. I am happy to hear that they are having a positive ripple effect.

Blessed Be

Trent

Krymson said...

Wow...this is huge in many ways. There are so many forms of criticism. I think the most dangerous form is passing judgment on someone, even those we are close to...that can be the most painful. I say this because you never truly know someone's reasoning for chosing a particular course of action unless you ARE that person. I completely agree with encouraging someone in doing whatever it is that makes them happy as long as it does no harm to anyone or anything, even if I wouldn't necessarily chose the same for myself. Its our differences that keep things passionate and exciting in the world! Thats exactly why I chose my opposite in the man I married...and holy Ben & Jerry's Half Baked!!... Do the sparks fly!!

Peace,
Krymson

Trent Deerhorn said...

AS long as the sparks fly, the fire will never go out!

Blessed Be

Trent