Criticism: Our Dis-Ease

Criticism: Our Dis-Ease

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When someone asked me why I would write a book on criticism and call it “Criticism – Our Disease”, I told them that criticism was the silent psychological disease. It is a disease of epidemic proportions in our society and one that has the greatest effects on more people than any other single interaction that occurs to each one of us.  We have all been criticized in our upbringing and I am fascinated by the variety of ways that we handle criticism.   I am amazed at how instrumental criticism has been in forming our personalities and in forming our psychological defenses.  The effects of criticism are so quietly devastating at very deep psychological levels that if it were abolished we would raise much healthier children and have a society with individuals with a much stronger sense of positive self-regard.  There is a strong need for each of us to be aware of our use of criticism, to amend it, and to reduce it.

In this world of varying beliefs and multiple “truths“, it is my purpose to bring forth a few universal truths that can be applied to the greater understanding of mankind and that hopefully, these truths will have some universal application in personality development and personal interactions.  In my first book, “The Nature of Human Feelings”, I focused primarily on the description of the six natural and universal feelings that occur in all societies under very predictable circumstances.  The contribution of that particular book was intended to simplify human feelings to the point wherewe can predictably understand and communicate about feelings by understanding the cause and the effect of each of our Human feelings.

In this book the focus will be on the interaction effects between individuals when criticism is the focus of the interaction. The effects of criticism are insidious. When people are around someone being criticized or are being critical there is always DIS-EASE.

Criticism, rejection, and abandonment are the three most traumatizing psychological effects on an individual. The most pervasive of these three as criticism. It exists in repeated fashion over years of an individual’s life. As such it is constantly reinforcing to the individual and his or her psyche because of the never-ending incidents in our families, education and society.  Because of the
repetitiveness of criticism it continuously reinforces the negative self-image of the individual being criticized.  Only the crimes of physical and sexual abuse have a stronger affect on a person’s life.  The frequency and universality of criticism in our society has a much greater overall effect on humans in our society than the isolated incidents of the other types of abuse.  It is for this reason
that I believe that criticism is the most universal and most negatively destructive force in our society.

In only one instance does criticism ever have a positive effect.  That one instance is where the individual is sufficiently matured to be able to weigh the value of the criticism in a positive way, without any of the emotional overlay of the effects of criticism. That is, the individual must be developmentally mature enough to emotionally detach from the criticism itself and from the person being critical.  For the majority of us, however, criticism feeds our negative self-image and our ever-present doubts about ourselves.  Criticism almost always has negative emotions attached to it. It is as much the negative emotion attached to criticism as the criticism itself, which affects the person thoughts and feelings toward himself. When yelling or screaming or finger pointing
accompany criticism, as it often does, the emotional consequences are extreme. None of us likes to have another person feeling negatively towards us or to be sitting in judgment against us. Criticism places you in that position.

This book will discuss and explain the consequences of criticism and will bring the reader some means of understanding and coping with this ever present destructive problem.  Once we have an understanding of the dynamics of criticism, there will hopefully be greater motivation to overcome our critical ways.  I believe that everything that we do in a critical way can be done better and without the devastating psychological effects if it is done in an educational manner.

My style of writing is such that I am basically a person of few words and I do not like to make elaborate examples and explanations about what it is that I am trying to convey.  I have a tendency to write very heavy thoughts.  As such, it would help the reader to slowly read the contents of this book, taking time in between sections to reflect and ponder the particular issues
at hand in regard to him or herself. Only through reflective thinking will you get the most out of what you’re about to read.  This is not a quick skimming book.   It is not one that you can read while watching television or doing other things; it will require a certain degree of thought.

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