Are you a critical person? I asked this in the forum yesterday because I realized there’s been a significant change in my own behavior on this front. While I’m definitely a critical thinker, these days I am loathe to criticize anyone and my reasons for this are pretty involved. I’m going to lay them out.
First, I’ve maintained this blog for nearly 25 years. I’m constantly criticized and failing people. After more then two decades of it, I understand the pain it causes but the level of denial and blindness on the other end is staggering. These are not qualities I admire.
I’m talking about looking at someone; in this case it’s me, but this applies to anyone. You look at them and their work or whatever. Their clothing if that’s what you’re criticizing. Their life choices. Their relationships, etc. You ignore the fact they’re living which means they are dealing with things. Fear. Fighting with their spouse or their parents or their children. It’s like the person is performing the task in perfect life conditions.
Illness is a big one. I kept this blog up while enduring six major surgeries in five years, never mind all the pain that made the surgeries necessary. Did you try to do this yourself before criticizing me? I’m thinkin’, no,
I used to write about the 8th house and how the shadow in projected… when someone puts the shadow on you and stands in the light, you can see them clearly. It’s funny. Anyway, I have learned from this so that’s one thing.
Another thing that’s had a significant impact on me is all the people running around telling people to WAKE UP. Maybe these people have all day long to run around and research. The poor bastard working a ten-hour shift on his feet does not have the option. This does not make him dumb and ignorant and clueless and retarded.
It appears to me the critical person is standing in a hall of mirrors where everything said about the other applies to themselves? I’m sure you can see why I don’t want this to be me.
Last, I am aware that we’ve all been encouraged or programmed to do this to each other. It’s apparent when you turn on the TV and everyone is lumped into groups. The Dems do this or thing this. The Repubs do or think this other. It’s simply not true.
Brown people, this.
Black people, this.
White people, this.
Church people, this.
All of this false. Do you know any of these people? Each of them is an individual and if you actually talk to them, it’s undeniable. But they preach this and cram it down your throat; repeat, repeat, repeat. If you listen, you wind up looking down your nose at anyone if not everyone, all day long.
So now we’re here… and go back up to the top. You’re judging someone. You’re criticizing them. Do you know anything about them, really? What they are going through; what happens to them overnight?
I think this is good time to look at this with Mars and Mercury and Neptune forming a Mutable T-square. Cascade of hate flows your mouth but are you thinking?
Last, it’s the time we’re in. As a collective, we’ve been put through so much stress, it’s astounding. Stress makes people ill. Illness can kill a person. I feel things are bad enough for everyone; the last thing I need to do it get out there and hurt a person.
So yes. I am loathe to criticize anyone. I give everyone the benefit of the doubt and further, I think this will be very important when Saturn transits Pisces.
What do you think?
I agree Elsa. I mean we all judge things and people from our own but also the collective’s perspective and our perceptions can be distorted. I can be equally upset or angry with something or a group of people and at the same time have empathy. This softens the judgements or anger that just pop up sometimes. Then I ask “why”? Why do I feel this way and is it true. As I go through this process criticism or judgement starts to dissolve.
One thing to keep in mind, we’re all in a digital prison to some degree. A person may drawn conclusions that seem crazy to you but if you say their “stream”, it would make sense.
Also, brainwashing is real as is illness, cognitive problems, hormones, side effects of drugs. There’s this about losing a 10 year chunk of your life…
People ARE influenced. If you fall under the spell of someone influencing you for nefarious purposes… well, this is pretty common, actually.
Thank you so much for touching on this concept. I’ve also heard it put this way:
When you speak out to others about your perception of their flaws, faults or choices they make, you are interfering with their sovereign, personal journey. When you cant keep your opinion of their situation to yourself, it’s actually not about them, it’s about you. You are not here to get into the path of someone else’s healing process or to instruct or comment on the lessons they are here to master. We are here to master ourselves and allow others to master themselves in their own timeline.
This is a good attitude. Boundaries. Wait to be asked…
I am critical and sometimes judgmental. My dad is hypercritical, mostly of himself but he took it out on me as a child and into my adulthood. I couldn’t help but take his criticisms to heart. I turned that nastiness inward, on myself, for years. I’m sure I still do. And turned it outward as well. I made so many assumptions about people over the years, with a mind prone to suspicion. I’m able to check myself now, but it’s still with me and I don’t always catch it.
Sometimes I get angry at people’s choices or beliefs. I might only see a blip of them and it’s like it’s their entire identity. Or I’m bothered by what I think they’re doing that I disagree with. I feel like it’s all connected in forming a giant problem, and we’re all messing up so people need to get their acts together lol. As if I don’t? Remembering this, I can take a step back and try to work on my own problems. (“Change yourself to change the world”)
I’m either frustrated by the state of things, or I’m seeing that we’re part of a big picture that I will never comprehend and I therefore need to mind my business.
I understand this post but at the same time be it 10-15 yrs ago or now…if a person doesn’t have an open mind to ‘new information’ and/or information that goes ‘against what they believe’ and actively dismisses it, defends it, looks the other way and fluffs off into ignorance lala land.
…Well then yes I will be critical and I wont apologize or defend it.
‘Waking up’ does not require 10 hrs a day of research just an open mind.
Being criticized can sometimes be a “good thing.” It shows that what you’ve said has made someone take notice and possibly “feel” something. We are judged and criticized constantly by others. That’s human nature. Since social media became a way for people to communicate more readily, it’s much easier to judge, and criticize
Others hiding behind a false name and not in person so everyone can contribute their two-cents worth. If what is written cannot be said to someone in person, then don’t say it.
I agree being criticized is not a bad thing. Meanness and criticism are not one and the same.
I have said to plenty people (particularity in the last 2 yrs) right in the midst of a discussion
‘your lack of open mindedness in all its simplicity makes me critical of you’…because blablabla….
Why not be honest about it!?!
I agree with you, hazel. It does not take 10 hours a day to do the research, but to be open minded…so true. We do not have to know everything, but there are really ignorant people out there and majority of them, like army of fantastically ignorant sleepy people, i do not have to know them because they are very easily recognized in their speech by absolute absence of morality. My conviction is we must be more critical for the sake of the truth and not for the enjoyment of the condemnation of people.
Oh yes, wouldn’t see it any other way…’for the sake of truth’ that’s well put!!! Of course you’ll get those that argue well how do you know that’s ‘the truth’…i say quit the bullshit…GUT and DISCERNMENT go along way. There are still plenty folks out there that can put political bullshit aside (cause all is now politicized) and see things for what they are.
a..long way 😉
It’s was nice to have this conversation with you, gives hope that there are people with DISCERNMENT skill as you said and sense of morality. (sorry for the late reply)
This is a lovely piece, Elsa, thanks. I do a lot of judging, of others, of myself. A month or two ago i stumbled on this quote from the poet Rilke, and i’ve been retrying to integrate it since:
“You must only take care to eliminate from the tone you use all consternation and reproachfulness. My friend, this is important: fight harmlessly.” Matt x
Yes! That’s a good one. 🙂
So true … “Another thing that’s had a significant impact on me is all the people running around telling people to WAKE UP. Maybe these people have all day long to run around and research. The poor bastard working a ten-hour shift on his feet does not have the option. This does not make him dumb and ignorant and clueless and retarded.”particularly resonated!!!! ….and even if they have had some time but point blank refused to look … well that’s where they are at … what can you do other than accept that, each to their own at the end of the day,always bearing in mind that none of us know anything to be 100% true.
I agree with you as well. If you know where to look, then fine.
But the way it is now, you may as well be telling a person (like me) to go on the “dark web” and find things out cicra 2002. Really? Like how? Dark WTF?
And if I do manage to get to this place, how am I supposed to know what’s fact or fiction, among all the crazy and/or shills with misinformation?
This is one hell of an endeavor. One that a person is probably “called” to do.
That’s another thing. A person’s eyes open when and if… to anything at whatever time. Oh! I do X because my mon did Y. I may run into something like that and wish I knew sooner, but so?
Each of our lives unfold in their own way at their own speed. Most importantly, the person who catches on LAST may be the one with the critical piece!
I don’t think a person can simply go out there and learn at this point, without some help/guidance from someone, real or ethereal. There is just too much suppression / and misleading information.
It also takes eons to grasp situations and try to recalibrate your internal filing cabinet on all levels… emotional/physical/spiritual/sexual/intellectual and more!
Sorry. There are a good number of people out there working and two and three jobs trying to feed their kids and all. Or take care of demented parents, OR BOTH. How can an operation of this magnitude be managed with all that?
I have learned a lot and equate it with learning astrology, which was a subversive act at the time / place when I took this path. I am supposed to be an astrologer and maybe you are too. Or maybe you have other things you’re responsible for and you rely on me for the astrology. This is really how I see it.
8th house? Mars Mercury? Of course I am going head for TABOO whatever and look into it, fearlessly. The person next to me is allowed to not have the same interests I do, or aptitude, while having other worthwhile interests and aptitude for things while elude me completely.
I also see people getting important info in ways that the hardcore people may not even know exist. And these new ways are actually probably a lot more efficient. So we’re all going to get there… most of us are. But people take their own path.
I lurk zoomer hangouts where much of this stuff is mentioned, casually. That’s another thing. How you react to something will probably be quite different from another person’s if they are from a different time and place. SO?
We don’t know who has the answer or a key piece of the puzzle but they may drop it by at anytime.
Also – people told me things like I *know today, years ago. Decades ago. Did I listen? Not really. I blew them off.
Often this is the case – we beat people up (especially our kids) for things that we did ourselves, and then some. Faith is a better play… my opinion, of course.
“I don’t think a person can simply go out there and learn at this point, without some help/guidance from someone, real or ethereal. There is just too much suppression / and misleading information.”
It’s so bad!
“Faith” … all getting where we’re meant to get “on our own paths”… neptune at it’s best???!!! Love it!!!
I am more apt to make excuses for people. If I hear criticism toward someone. I have had people come down on me for that also.
Reading this, what occurs to me, is we’re online, mostly these days. It’s not like it used to be… you knew the people you were involved with. You knew their wife / husband / family / kids. You were in a lot better position to “judge” their situation.
Now, on the internet, you can just make this stuff up, making it fit whatever narrative. Somehow, if people can realize they’re essentially peering through a mere peephole at a person’s life, when observing them online, it might help.
This is my view – when I see someone telling someone who they are and what their problems are, what they should and shouldn’t door, UNASKED, I just think they need a therapist. If for nothing else but to learn about boundaries, which everyone needs, unless they want to be insufferable.
In whatever case, I’m glad you consider defending a person, regardless of the reason. It’s better than piling on.
I was thinking about this the other day, about how we know people online vs offline. Or maybe it’s the method of communication, as well. The texts or messages can sometimes omit the tone, inflection, emphasis of what’s being said. And even the order of the texts/messages will not reflect the instant or real sequence of the conversation, especially if you cannot easily link a response.
In person communications will reveal facial expressions, moods, where you can read the person and either lean in or back off topics, depending on the situation. And with the people you see in person, you’re definitely more apt to know their backgrounds, living situation, comfort levels, etc. Things that are said in error or taken the wrong way can be met with explanation or apology, with the consideration that you also know XYZ about their lives and where they’re coming from.
And yes, sometimes when the criticism begins with one thing they think you’ve done wrong, devolves into a whole pile of everything else unrelated to that thing, you wonder if maybe it’s NOT about you 100%. Maybe you’re some representation of something deeper and unresolved.
I am not a fan of organised religion. But l have known some people who are brilliant at it…they are the ones that embrace All people for real, as equals, just as they are, and don’t think the natural world is for their private use alone.
Last week l let go of two ‘old’ friends both religious and l finially let them have it too in writing. One thinks he and everything male is superior. Women are hand maidens who always stand second because the bible tells him so. The other thinks she is superior to Aboriginal people who should be taught Christianity and need to forget their cultural ways. This was done forcibly in this country in the past and the results have been crushing…
Does this make me judgemental? Yes, l suppose it does. It’s my turn. I can’t embrace everything–l am not that good.
I don’t– can’t respect the ‘content’ of all opinions, but l know everyone is entitled to theirs.
Ever since l was a child l never wanted to go to heaven and spend all eternity with people l didn’t like. I just want to be dust in the end and be part of all things…
I am not as “judgy” as I used to be for many of the reasons mentioned here, plus life is just too short to spend it being miserable about yourself or others. I take things far less seriously than I used to. As far as politics, to me, it’s all a silly charade. I’m aloof when it comes to political divide and squabbling over social agendas and things like that. I tend to feel a little bit sorry for people who participate in the game instead of judging them.
Elsa, This is such a fabulous post. I’m especially struck by your comment: “I kept this blog up while enduring six major surgeries in five years, never mind all the pain that made the surgeries necessary.” We can’t know another until we walk in their shoes. I appreciate all the effort it took for you to keep producing!
I think the best way to be nonjudgmental about people whose race, religion, sexual preference, etc. is different from ours is through to work together. Actors and musicians come together from different backgrounds to produce a work of art. And being exposed to different cultures enables one to appreciate each person as unique.
I’ve been lucky to live and work with a wide variety of people, so if I discriminate, it’s not against people, it’s because my taste is discriminating. I am silently critical of certain things I find distasteful: Sloppy dress, rude manners, arrogance, etc. People who repeatedly make bad decisions and always want your sympathy.
And then, on a wider level: child abusers, animal abusers, batterers, mass murderers, etc.To be completely nonjudgmental would mean to be apathetic and easy to control.
i think maybe part of the trick is having boundaries without judgement?
i also don’t see the point of being punitive, in general. i’d rather teach.