The Fear of Criticism!!
It is unknown how we first came to this fear, no one can state definitively, but one thing is certain — people hold this fear in a highly developed form.
The basic fear of criticism may be part of our inherited nature which prompts us not only to take away his fellow-man’s goods and wares, but to justify his action by criticism of his fellow-man’s character. A thief will criticize the person he has stolen from- that politicians seek office, not by displaying their own virtues and qualifications, but by attempting to besmirch their opponents.
That was just a small example of the manner in which people behave under the influence of fear of criticism as applied to the small and petty things of life. Think about the clothing manufacturers that change the style every season. Why do they do that? It is to sell more clothes. Car manufacturers do the same thing year after year. Can you see a pattern?
Now we are going to take a closer look at how human behavior is affected with this fear especially when it is connected with the more important events of our relationships. For example let’s look at people who have reached the age of mental maturity (35–40 years old, we will use this as an average age), and if you could read the secret thoughts of his mind, you would find a very decided disbelief in most of the fables taught by the majority of the dogmatists a few decades back.
Why does the average person, even in this day of enlightenment, shy away from denying his beliefs in fables? The answer is, “because of the fear of criticism.” People have been burned at the stake for daring to express disbelief in ghosts. It is no wonder we have inherited a consciousness which makes us fear criticism. The time was, and not so far in the past, when criticism carried severe punishments -it still does in some countries.
What does the fear of criticism rob us from? It takes away our initiative, destroys our power of imagination, limits our individuality, takes away our self-reliance, and does us damage in a hundred other ways. Parents often do their children irreparable injury by criticizing them.
Criticism is the one form of service of which everyone has too much. Everyone has a stock of it which is handed out, gratis, whether called for or not. Onus nearest relatives often are the worst offered. It should be recognized as a crime, in truth it is a crime of the worst nature, for any parent to build inferiority complexes in the mind of a child, through unnecessary criticism. Employers who understand a person’s nature get the best there is in a worker, not by criticism, but by constructive suggestion. Parents may accomplish the same results with their children. Criticism will plant fear in a person’s heart, or resentment, but it will not build love or affection.
Symptoms of the Fear of Criticism.
This fear is almost as universal as the fear of poverty, and its effects are just as fatal to personal achievement, happiness and love, mainly because this fear destroys initiative, and discourages the use of imagination. The major symptoms of the fear are:
Self-Consciousness — Generally expressed through nervousness, timidity in conversation and in meeting strangers, awkward movement of the hands and limbs, shifting of the eyes.
Lack of Poise — Expressed through lack of voice control, nervousness in the presence of others, poor posture of body, poor memory.
Personality — Lacking in firmness of decision, personal charm, and ability to express opinions definitely. The habit of side-stepping issues instead of meeting them squarely. Agreeing with others without careful examination of their opinions.
Inferiority Complex — The habit of expressing self-approval by word of mouth and by actions, as a means of covering up a feeling of inferiority. Using “big words” to impress others , often without knowing the real meaning of the words. Imitating others in dress, speech and manners. Boasting of imaginary achievements. This sometimes gives a surface appearance of a feeling of superiority.
Extravagance — The habit of trying to “keep up with the Joneses,” spending beyond one’s income.
Lack of Initiative — Failure to embrace opportunities for self-advancement, fear to express opinions, lack of confidence in one’s own ideas, giving evasive answers to questions asked by superiors, hesitancy of manner and speech, deceit in both words and deeds.
Lack of Ambition — Mental and physical laziness, lack of self-assertion. slowness in reaching decisions, being too easily influenced; the habit of criticizing others behind their backs and flattering them to their faces, the habit of accepting defeat without protect or quitting an undertaking when opposed by others; suspicion of other people without cause, lack of tactfulness of manner and speech, unwillingness to accept the blame for mistakes.
After reading the list of symptoms of the fear of criticism, how many of them do you fall into? In order to break the power the fear of criticism has over your life is to become aware that you partake in criticizing someone. Once you become aware that you criticize others you need to stop and think before you speak.
I have always believed that when we criticize others it says more about ourselves than it does the other person. If you are truly honest with yourself how do you feel after you have criticized someone. You cannot be happy with yourself, how could you be when you are being hateful and mean towards another person.
If you want to be happier in your life you need to stop criticizing others and see that maybe just maybe that person is so happy with their life that they are willing to be who they are instead of what other people think they should be.
Part of your happiness depends on you seeing people for who they truly are instead of who you think they should be. Criticizing others is a way that stops you from seeing people for who they truly are.
Happiness is found when you can love people for who they are not what you want them to be.
Stay tuned because we are going to look at how the fear of Ill Health will affect your happiness.
Click the link below to join our Free Facebook group, it’s a safe place to ask questions and get answers on how to live your life in a state of complete and total happiness.