Loving-kindness is simply being kind to self and others with love. Simple, yes? Sometimes, not so much. How often have you heard others at work, or have even engaged in conversation with others aimed to criticize your colleagues for their lack of skills, annoying behavior, or mess-ups? It is more common that one might think. I have yet to work in an organization that does not have employees who engage in gossip and finger-pointing. Even after all the mandatory training on communication skills, harassment, and diversity, negative talk runs rampant within organizations and within families, too.

We have become masters at being critical and judgmental of others, and also of ourselves. What we often do not recognize is how much criticism affects our wellbeing. Many times, criticism comes out of our own self-doubt and lack of self-esteem, and subconsciously is a way of boosting our own ego. However, it actually has the opposite effect. Criticism adds fuel to the fire and serves no purpose other than to make life miserable for everyone. 

Self-criticism and self-judgment is an even bigger problem among some more than others. We berate ourselves for saying, doing, and thinking the wrong things. We drudge up the past in hopes of changing it, and say things like, “I wish I hadn’t done that,” or “If only I had said this.” You know as well as I do that we cannot change the past no matter how hard we try. Technology is good, but humans have not yet mastered time travel, except in the movies. 

Negativity and criticism can impact our health. Negative thoughts change the way we feel and can alter our health. Negativity and criticism have low vibration levels that can lead to negative situations occurring in our lives. When we respond negatively, we get negative results. Like attracts like. We reap what we sow. 

So, what is the solution to the criticism dilemma? Loving-kindness and self-compassion. Click here for more about Loving-Kindness.