Be still. Stay quiet. Shut to the up. Stifle. Whatever way most works for you, don’t say anything and wait.
Stay silent long enough for your second or third thought to sink in. Critical Spirit abhors silence and is instant to jump at another’s words and actions. Giving oneself time to think almost always generates empathy or at least sympathy for the other person.
CS: “I wouldn’t leave the house dressed like that, let alone come to church!” 2nd/3rd: “Hey–I remember shopping for suits at Goodwill. Maybe that’s the best they have right now. At least they’re here. And if they’re where you can see them, they’re in front of YOU, now aren’t they?”
CS: “What an unsafe rattletrap! That piece of junk doesn’t belong on the road!” 2nd/3rd: “Know what? It runs. Remember some of the wrecks you’ve had to drive? It might be all they have.”
CS: “Wow! Couldn’t they have found a better speaker? BOR-ing…” 2nd/3rd: “Well, he’s UP there, isn’t he? He’s doing his best – and I don’t see you up there.”
One with a critical spirit often criticizes in others what they see most in themselves. It’s worth thinking about.
One diagnostic question to the hypercritical one: How would YOU like being thought about and spoken of like you just were about somebody else?
What if they heard you or someone else told them what you’d said?
© D. Dean Boone, September 2016