Most of the time when people speak, they aren't really saying anything of importance--they are really only talking to hear the sound of their own voice. More often than not, the people who are speaking, and who are speaking very highly of themselves, are usually the ones who are quick to criticize and judge. The answer why is obvious--they have insecurities and they don't know how to solve their own personal problems so they focus on others. They are called aeolists. An aeolist is a pompous person who only pretends to have inspiration or personal insight. Just the way a liar speaks more than he should to compensate for the lie, the more someone talks about themselves the more they are trying to corroborate those thoughts to themselves so they can believe them to be true. They need that confirmation for themselves to be able to continue living the life they think they have. I have written about comparing yourself to others in past articles and how comparing your behind the scenes to someone else's shining final cut is degrading, but today we are looking at the situation from the standpoint of the person who is the one being compared who has no major self-perception issues and is trying to fathom the criticism she is getting from others. My advice to you; brush it off and don't ever think there is something wrong with you no matter what the criticizing comments are because those who are judging you and comparing themselves to you have their own personal complications that have unfortunately made them that way and the only person who can save them from that pain is themselves. If you are the one being criticized whether it is for your work or it is a personal characteristic, don't look down and question your thinking rather question their thinking and understand where they might be coming from and brush it off. Because sometimes when others don't say nice things to you they really aren't describing you, they are describing themselves.
Everyone has insecurities and everyone is living through some kind of struggle. So remember, the next time you are about to criticize someone ask yourself (a) if your opinion was asked for in the first place (b) if your opinion is valuable to this person and (c) will it be constructive criticism to help them grow or are you only going to say things to be negative? And if you are the one being criticized then listen and take it into consideration but don't let it consume you.
Photograph by Joshua Allen Harris