If one was to look back on their life, they may find that they have come across at least two types of people. One on hand, this could relate to people who are supportive, and on the other hand, it could relate to people who are not.
When one thinks about the former, they could think about a number of experiences they have had where someone has been there to assist them. Perhaps this is a time where they think about what took place whilst they were at school, or it might relate to their career.
Now, this is to say that these people only told them what they wanted to hear; what it comes down to is that their intention was not to cause them harm. As a result of this, it would have allowed them to express themselves in a way that was life-affirming, so to speak.
Thus, if one did a good job they would have told them, and if something wasn’t right, they would also have told them. But regardless of what someone said, they wouldn’t have had the need to feel bad about themselves.
Still, if what someone said did have a negative impact on them, it would have been the result of how they interpreted it. And as it was not the other person’s intention to cause them harm, they may have made it clear to them that it wasn’t personal.
Through receiving this kind of response, it might have allowed them to realise that there was no reason for them to feel bad. One may have come to see that they are simply human after all, and this means that they are not always going to get everything right.
The Other Side
However, while it could be said that this will be the ideal, it is not going to be something that always takes place. One may find that this is how most people have been in their life, or they could find that this is something that rarely takes place.
Instead, one could be in a position where they have spent a lot of time around people who have been only too happy to put them down. And even though this is the case, it doesn’t mean that they were aware of what they were doing.
During their experiences with them, they may have found that some of these people were critical from time to time and there were others who were always this way. In this case, it is going to mean that it is something that defined them.
If they always acted in this way, one may have come to see that they were not the only ones who wanted to keep their distance. Other people could have described them as cold, and that they were lacking empathy.
One way of looking at this would be to say that it wasn’t possible for them to see that one was doing the best they could. It’s as if they believed that one did what they did on purpose, and as a result of this, they needed to be punished.
Through having this outlook, it could be said that it would have been normal for them to believe that they had the right approach. As if they treated people with respect, they would have believed that it wouldn’t have had an effect to on them.
However, when one has the tendency to be critical of others, it is not going to matter where they are or what they are doing, as they will always find someone to pull apart. Through experiencing life in his way, they could come to believe that just about everyone is incapable.
In this case, one will see themselves as being nothing more than an observer of life, and this means that they will believe that they are not playing a part in how they experience life. And even though they will believe that most people on the planet are incapable; they are likely to see themselves as being perfect.
One could find that no matter where they go to eat, there is always something wrong with the food, and while this could be a sign that they are a chef, this might not be the case. It will then be normal for them to criticise the people who serve the food, as well as the people who made it.
Along with this, one could be the manger, and they could find that no one ever does anything right. But if they do, it might not be possible for them to acknowledge what has been done right.
When it comes to the people they are attracted to, they may also find that they end up with people who are also incapable. These experiences will give them more reasons to believe that they are above others.
And even though it will be a challenge for them to experience empathy, they may find that they end up with people who find it easy to experience it. When one experiences life in this way, there is a strong chance that they lack self-awareness.
Yet if they were able to tune into themselves and to see why they are experiencing life in this way, they may find that the reason they see other people as being incapable is because they see themselves in this way. But as it is too painful for them to own their own issues, they end up projecting them onto other people.
Through doing this, it causes them to disconnect from their own pain, and this then allows them to feel good about themselves. The trouble with this approach is that it won’t allow one to deal with what is taking place within them, and this is why it won’t be possible for them to stop themselves from being critical.
When one sees themselves as being incapable, there is also the chance that they feel worthless. This is likely to be a sign that they are carrying toxic shame, and if this is the case, it could be due to what took place during their childhood.
One may have been brought up by a caregiver who was abusive and/or neglectful, and this would have meant that their developmental needs were not met. So instead of receiving the love they needed to grow and develop; they ended up being harmed.
If one can relate to this, it will be important for them to reach out for external support, and this can be provided by a therapist and/or a support group.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.