It was easy to say nothing critical on my days off. Sure, I was a little critical of another driver (but only one!). And then I might have been a bit critical of myself when I dumped a cake on the counter while trying to get it out of the pan and it broke into a million pieces, but I stopped myself as soon as I realized what I was muttering.
I even did this "Be Less Critical" self-hypnosis thing. I read this page, which lets you buy a download, then I search YouTube and found this for free. Same name, same thing? I'll never know, because I'm not forking out $14.95 for the paid version.
Then I went back to work. I'm in management and we don't have in-house human resources, so I get to hear about whatever HR problems arise. If you manage people, problems come up. That's just the way it is. Before I was promoted, I thought I'd love to know what all was going on, what my managers were whispering about. Now I'd love to not know.
When I hear about those problems, it seems that I find it very difficult to not say critical things. My eye was twitching yesterday as I tried to keep my comments positive or neutral. I'm pretty sure that's a sign I've identified a problem area in this challenge.
It's not like it's necessary to say critical things. They just come out; I guess I'm in the habit of making critical comments to other managers. But it's a habit I should break. It's not necessary, it's potentially hurtful, and it doesn't help me, either.
I was also critical of some thing in a conversation with my friend Sam, but I can't remember what it was now. Food, maybe? She suggested that perhaps it didn't count because we were talking about things rather than people, but I think it still counts. Same thought-to-verbalization pattern.
Two days to go and this week has really been a challenge. I've learned a lot about myself and I'm paying much more attention to the words that come out of my mouth. I'm failing right and left, but I think that's actually a good thing, because I'm becoming more aware.
I wonder what would change if I could stop saying critical things for a long time. Would the way I think change also? In the past, I've given up reading comments on the internet and watching/following the news every day, especially news about random violence, and I believe giving those things up has left me better balanced and happier. I'm curious if giving up needless criticism could add to that.
Week Fifteen: Spiritual - Say Nothing Critical