For many years, I was friends with a woman who was funny, smart and interesting. She was also extremely critical. I never quite knew when this critical part of her would come out. It might be after having a nice lunch, or talk on the phone, but several days later, I’d receive a letter or phone message saying that she was very upset about something that I said or had done (or didn’t say or do). Many times, I had no idea what she was talking about, so I’d be scrambling mentally to figure it out…feeling terrible. Eventually I let the relationship go. It was just too tiring.
What I also came to see, is that the most relentlessly tiring and critical people were cupcakes compared to the one that lived inside my own head. …talk about never getting a break! If constant self-criticism worked, many of us would be perfect beyond measure, but it doesn’t. I cannot mentally beat myself into being “better” and neither can you. Incessantly looking for defects, just magnifies what is not right, and makes us feel perpetually inferior, afraid and insecure.
If we don’t like this quality in our friendships, why do we accept it in ourselves?
How about taking this weekend to refuse to think critically about yourself? Just for 2 days, treat yourself like you treat your best friend.
We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses. Carl Jung