A superpower of mine is being critical.
I can poke a hole in just about anything. I can find something to improve everywhere.
But, as you can imagine, this quickly turns into my greatest weakness.
I can be overly critical and focus only on what’s missing (just ask my wife). One night, this became apparent when Katie and I went on a double date.
We had just finished throwing axes and were sitting around this small bar finishing our drinks. The couple we were with both had their heads glued to their phone.
So, I did what I believe is the right thing to do when out socializing; socialize. I struck up a conversation with the bartender, who happened to be an excellent ax thrower.
After we had gotten home, I mentioned to Katie how the couple we were with was a tad anti-social tonight. While she agreed, she mentioned that they get socially anxious and resort to being quiet on their phone.
As someone who struggles with social anxiety, I provided a rebuttal that you could, at minimum, try to have a conversation and how that usually helps.
Then I realized, in my criticalness, that I talk when I am socially anxious. I don’t prefer silence, so I ask questions and keep the conversation going.
In being critical, I failed to see that I also have coping mechanisms for being anxious in public. Mine looks different than going on my phone but getting peppered with 100 questions isn’t much better.
That reminded me of a truth that I find myself coming back to:
What we point out in others is usually our shadow.
I was upset that they were not more social. But really, it was my shadow of needing to have a conversation to feel less anxious that was the issue.
Funny how life works.
What is something you can’t stand in others? Or a critique you find yourself giving frequently?
The next time you think about it or feel the urge to ruminate on it, look in the mirror.
Ask yourself, “Do I do something similar that I should address?”
🧠 + ❤️ // JO