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Donna Labermeier Headshot

Why Criticizing Others Is a Lot More Harmful Than You Think

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Have you ever noticed how some people don't think twice before criticizing someone else? Or how their tolerance level for ideas that are different from their own is practically non-existent, making them argumentative and easily angered? Well, the truth is, there will always be differences between us, and since I, myself, do not wish to criticize others, I must preface this by saying that I'm sure those folks are simply unaware of the repercussions of their behavior, or I am certain they would not continue.

Therefore, my goal is merely to point out that if, in fact, all is interconnected, meaning everything affects everything else, then perhaps we need to investigate why it's so important to consciously choose where we put our attention and how we spend our time. Are we finding fault and tearing down or lifting up and helping to heal?

So let's examine three ways in which the act of criticism creates a destructive force of energy, reaching much further than we imagine...

Negative Energy:
When you throw negative energy at another human being, you are hurting him or her, whether you realize it or not. You have the ability to interfere with another's self-esteem and self-worth, which changes who they are and how they perceive the world around them. At the same time, you are throwing negative energy out into the universe for yourself. What you put out is what you get back. Would you want someone to do or say something to hurt you? Of course not! Be nice. Be mature. Let's not forget the Golden Rule. Everyone makes mistakes. Mistakes are necessary tools of wisdom and growth. If you truly feel that someone is wrong, then don't give them any energy! Focusing your attention on them only gives them more power.

Psychology 101:

When you make derogatory statements about others, the centered people in the room know exactly who you're really talking about... yourself! When an individual lashes out at another, it's a defense mechanism. Their behavior is a product of feelings and issues they are trying to cope with that have nothing to do with the other person. It is behavior that makes them appear "less than." They are announcing to others that they are not centered, and that there is an imbalance of harmony in their life which requires them to place blame somewhere.The ego is at work here, and whenever the ego takes over you can rest assured it is not going to be a positive experience. The ego only looks out for number one. It is self-centered, not centered-in-self. Big difference! Respect yourself by respecting others. Honor and love yourself and you will never dishonor or hate another.

Collective Consciousness:
Are you adding to the awareness, enlightenment and evolution of mankind by acting in a way that raises the vibration of the planet as a whole, or are you sending us backwards by fueling lower-vibrational energy? Let's set a positive example for our children -- the future of mankind. Yes, we still have wars. Yes, we still witness injustices. No one is immune to feeling sympathy for the human suffering that goes on in the world. So the question then becomes, are you one to perpetuate these things by spending your time and attention choosing thoughts and words of anger and dissension, or are you one to spend your time trying to elevate the planet by uplifting others and inspiring hope for a peaceful future? Anger begets anger. Violence begets violence, and that is why there is so much pain in the world. However, we should never be accepting of behavior that blatantly harms another human being, either. So for those who profess to stand strongly against the atrocities of humanity, put your passion to work by doing all that you can to come from a place of love and be of service to those in need of help -- not from a place of anger toward their situation and hate for their oppressors. If you engage in the latter, all you are doing is simply adding strength and momentum to the energies you claim to be fighting against, which only perpetuates the endless cycle. We can't solve the world's issues with the same mindset that created them. It is our pure and loving intentions, devoid of ego, that will support the highest good of all mankind.

Each personal shift in self-awareness and act of focus on the good and the positive -- no matter how small it may seem -- assists and supports the transformation of the entire planet. This is an active role that we can all fulfill individually. When you don't feel like you have found your purpose in life, this is always it (no matter what form it takes or in what medium you express it): Your purpose on this planet is to be consciously aware of radiating love and kindness from your being in order to teach by example and contribute to the expansion of a harmonious and peaceful unity consciousness. The most important and far-reaching changes are those you make within.

Humanity is interconnected. We are each part of the whole. There is no separation. What you do to another, you do to yourself and to the planet. What affects one person does indeed affect us all. We are not powerless to change the world. Every single human being is significant and has the power to make the world a better place. Let's concentrate on that energy, the energy we want to increase, not on the negative energy of all we see that's bad in the world. Some say that violence and suffering is the reality and criticize others for not appearing painfully aware of it, however, I say it is because we are aware of it that we must strive to create a new reality and stop reinforcing and feeding the old, painful one. Even the smallest positive contribution is truly meaningful and causes a shift in the right direction.

We know that we're all different, have our own opinions and everyone is never going to agree on everything. Having said that, the bottom line is as it always has been. If you can't say something nice, well, you know the rest...

"You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean, in a drop." Rumi

For more by Donna Labermeier, click here.

For more on emotional wellness, click here.

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