Stop Blaming & Criticizing Others

Stop blaming and criticizing others

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to discuss the ways we use judgment, criticism and blame to protect ourselves and hide our real pain and feelings.

First a quick update:

Its effect on your health, common causes, signs & symptoms, and how it causes food cravings and belly fat. Listen to my comprehensive 20-minute audio on how to recognize the physiological effects of mental, emotional and physical stress on your health.

Now, let’s talk about blame and how it damages your life.

This week, a journalist from “D la Repubblica”, the weekly magazine for the Italian newspaper “la Repubblica” interviewed me about an article she is writing on “mass narcissism” in the Western culture. She asked me what I believe to be the opposite of narcissism and I said the qualities of compassion and empathy.

Empathy is about understanding and entering another person’s feelings while compassion is about actually feeling someone else’s pain and desiring to relieve them of that pain.

Surprisingly, to express compassion and empathy to others, you must first begin with yourself. You must first become aware of your feelings as well as accept that we are all humans, we are imperfect and we all make mistakes. We must accept that it is okay to experience moments of self-doubt, fear, insecurity and disappointment. We must also accept that we will, at times, make the wrong decision, the wrong choice.

Often the greatest challenges for most people, particularly men, is the simple skill of feeling one’s own pain, of being aware of one’s deepest feelings. In other words, for us to be compassionate to others, we must be able to also be honest with ourselves about our own pain; we must be willing to admit that pain to ourselves, and for most men, that is a hard thing to do.

Why is this point significant and timely?

The economic crisis is affecting people in many different ways and on many different levels. The resulting physical, mental and emotional stress is one explanation of the recent spates of violence, mass murder and suicide.

For we men, it is very hard to admit to others and thus, ultimately to ourselves the pain that we experience. That pain can take many forms – hopelessness, failure, fear, helplessness, self-doubt, anger, jealousy and resentment. Sometimes it is hard for us to admit that pain because we tend to be so rational and intellectual (stuck in our heads) that we are simply not even aware of what we are actually feeling.

I would like to use a personal example to illustrate this point.

On one occasion, I had met a lady with whom I had a powerful connection with similar interests and values and a great sense of humor. Very soon into the friendship, I found myself criticizing and judging her; complaining about what she wasn’t doing, finding fault with her and even accusing her of lacking compassion. We wasted quite a bit of time arguing and of course, intellectually, I was able to justify every one of my points.

Being stuck in my ego, to prove to myself that I was right and justified in my position, I walked away thinking to myself how screwed up she is and blaming her.

A few days passed and then I had a sudden awakening and revelation.

I had been using criticism and judgment as a wall around me to protect myself from feeling my own pain – the pain of the hurt from past relationships. I was transferring my pain from a past relationship onto her. Above all, it was a successful strategy of pushing her away so that I would be safe, not have to become vulnerable or admit what I was truly feeling – in this case – failure, betrayal, rejection and a lack of love from a past partner.

Ultimately, what I was afraid of was to open up and with sincerity, vulnerability and humility admit that I was in pain, hurt from the past, angry at myself for poor choices and poor judgment.

Yes, I was afraid of my own pain.

Many of us seek out ways to avoid facing our own pain, ways to numb or escape the pain from both the past and present – often things that occur in everyday life. The subconscious attempt to escape pain is one of the primary causes of addiction, stress, illness and even weight gain.

Denial, though, is never freeing.

Denial always leads to other painful consequences such as addiction (and its subsequent price), self-sabotage, shutting down emotionally and blocking out friends, family and love.

I felt great relief and release when I called my friend to apologize for hurting and criticizing her and when I was able to admit to her (and myself) that I was transferring onto her my pain and that my actions were my attempt to create a wall to push her away.

To release the chains that bind you, one must begin by exploring and facing the pain that exists beneath the surface. I suggest writing down what you feel. Begin with and complete the sentence “I am angry at/with/because.” Anger is usually the initial response to being hurt or injured – physically or emotionally. Next, go deeper, and ask yourself “What else do I feel?”

If you are still having a challenge with the above, then I suggest you complete the following sentences:

I feel afraid of…

I feel guilty because…

I feel sad because…

I feel ashamed because…

I feel regret because…

The act of admitting to yourself what you feel is often a big step forward to releasing you of those feelings versus being stuck in resistance, denial and escape.

If you would like further support and assistance, use my hypnosis CD “Feel good about yourself – be more confident.” It works on a subconscious level to release emotions and create new empowering beliefs.

Add your comments and questions to my blog and read my past Success Newsletters, if you have received this newsletter as a forward and would like to receive all of my newsletters please enter your email address on the home page.

I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & Clinical Hypnotherapist

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1 reply
  1. Avatar
    Cher says:

    “I am angry (frustrated) at my Dad. I am angry (frustrated) with my Dad because…he’s so angry and stupid all the time.”

    I am sometimes angry (frustrated) with Mum cos she is so closed minded.

    Anger is usually the initial response to being hurt or injured – physically or emotionally. Next, go deeper, and ask yourself…

    “What else do I feel?” I feel that they are missing out on so much life cos they are ignorant. It is so healthy to be open minded and they aren’t, It is beneficial to be non judgmental and they aren’t, and they aren’t accepting of others. They think about others way too much and pass judgment on how wrong they are living their lives. I feel cheated that I have parents that are like this.

    If you are still having a challenge with the above, then I suggest you complete the following sentences:

    I feel afraid of…not ever being able to be exactly who I am cos my parents and I are so different. They would not accept me for who I am because of how critical they are. And they don’t, as soon as I give them an inch, they disapprove. I am afraid that I will have to move to another state in order to feel that I am living fully.

    I feel guilty because…N/A

    I feel sad because…men aren’t capable of loving me.

    I feel ashamed because…N/A

    I feel regret because…I wish I knew then what I know now cos then maybe I would’ve been further along in life than I am now.

    I need to not feel cheated, not feel sad, not be afraid, not feel regret and not be angry.
    How can I not feel…

    Cheated-I just need to keep reminding myself that my parents do love me and that they just don’t know any better. They are more the child than I am.

    Sad-Remind myself that I am happier now that I am single.

    Afraid-I guess it’s not really fear, it’s frustration that I don’t feel free AT ALL! And they are too blind to realize how much it frustrates and hurts me. Even if I have told them. They don’t see it. I can remind myself that it is their fault that they lack the courage to see the truth. I only need to be concerned with my own life anyway.

    Regret-If I could’ve handled my depression better, than I could’ve overcome it and got my life where it is now. I wish I had the tools that I have now back then. Remind myself that there are lots of 30 something’s that are still struggling. My parents are in their late 60’s and they still don’t know.

    Angry-Tell myself that they just incapable of knowing how to better their lives. I need to turn that anger into a healthy accomplishment.

    Wow! I didn’t know I had these negative emotions stuffed inside. I find myself smiling and happy about anything. I go all day thinking about how blessed I am and being thankful for the miracles God has given me. Maybe, when I conquer these 5 emotions, I will be even more happy! I’m happy that I am always able to feel what I feel and do my best to fix what needs to be fixed. Since I know that God gave me the right to live my best life, it is a compliment to Him that I accept it and live that way. Walking the road less traveled is exciting to me!

    Patrick, what else can I do?

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