Ever come home in a stinker of a mood and seen a whole bunch of stuff that hadn’t been done; like, “Doesn’t anyone care around here?” Critical words catapult out. But could it just be that we are transferring our anger onto, somewhat, innocent others? Or, do others do that to us—deploying their inner hurt over us in a way that scolds us?
Whichever way it occurs, the person on the receiving end of criticism should justly feel transgressed, for, besides the issue they are being criticised for, the anger is loaded with unprocessed and unconscious hurt on the part of the criticiser.
So much better than criticism: is working on those aspects that have caused our anger in the first place. Then, and only then, can we see those things we would criticise in their real light. Oftentimes those things we would condemn others about are not really that important at all.
The Real Causes Of Our Anger
Many may dispute this, but the truth is our anger comes from so deep within us, when we criticise the matter of our criticism is not about the issue at all.
Sure, we are justifiably disappointed or dissatisfied, but that disappointment and dissatisfaction is just as easily communicated in absolute calmness—even catering for exasperation. We may go further with the person we are criticising by treating them respectfully.
But as we venture into the special journey that takes us to the origins of our anger, we find it may be almost completely inaccessible. The psychoanalyst might help us access it. Certainly there are unconscious processes at play. From this, we can gather that much of our anger is propagated from mysterious places.
When we criticise there is an edge of anger in our words, and such an edge, no matter how subverted it may be, is a transgression against love. Especially when it comes to our loving relationships, we should want to overcome the battering aggression that underpins our criticism.
What’s Going On Inside The Criticiser?
This is the real question—not the issue highlighted by the criticism, itself.
What is so wrong that the criticiser sees things so negatively? Their viewpoint may defy rationality, in that, would many people agree with both the issue they have and the method of their communication? The issue is probably valid, but the method (criticism) defeats the validity of the issue. The issue they have is rendered void by the harmful communication method.
The criticiser has their own work to do in assessing the source of lack within them causing them to criticise; to determine what prevents them from communicating with respect. Often it is unresolved sadness, and a genuine lack within, that is buried under the anger.
People, who criticise, by communicating with anger, transfer their lack onto others. This anger is best dealt with before we communicate. As we all get angry, and are all tempted to criticise, we all have a job in processing our feelings of lack before we hurt people.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.
Graphic Credit: Zara.