It’s so much easier to see flaws in others, to see how they need to change, than to see ourselves. I can spot a critical-judgmental response in a friend or relative, and have a hard time noticing it in myself. No doubt this is why it’s so hard to change. And no doubt this is a common cause of conflict between people.
Our built-up defences make it hard to bend, hard to admit wrongs, hard to say we’re sorry, hard to ‘make amends’ and we certainly can’t do any of that if we aren’t even aware of our sometimes offensive impact on others. It’s a mad cycle: we become that way in reaction to feeling judged, criticized, perhaps rejected, from an early age – then we turn around and inflict the same kind of attitude on others – including those we love.
But we reserve our strongest critical-judgmental attitudes for ourselves, reinforcing how we have always felt: inadequate. One way to begin changing might be to work at breaking the habit of judging and criticizing ourselves. It’s a lot like breaking or developing any habit: practising; reminding ourselves, etc.
In my case, this has made it possible recently to begin blogging, and speaking in front of groups. A large part of this first step, has been trying to accept my flaws, accept my right to be imperfect, accept my right to impress no one.
I waited most of a lifetime, postponing sharing until some imaginary day in the future when I would be adequate. Now at last, I realize I can share my very inadequacies, my learning experiences, my new insights and epiphanies.
And this has been one of them …. ? 🙂