Constructive criticism is often nothing more than people dumping their garbage on us. It says more about them than it does about us. In psychology, it is a projection. In everyday life, we often see it as hypocrisy. Unless we are aware of this, such garbage can lead us on pointless paths and to bad decisions.
Why Are People Dumping Their Garbage on Us?
People often talk to release pressure. Secrets, fear and joy are examples of this pressure. Psychology knows this as the talking cure. Venting is a form of this cure. It also tells us why people have a hard time keeping secrets. We see people cannot “contain their excitement.”
Many things can trigger this pressure in people. Advertisers do it with their ads. We can do it with our words and actions.
Examples of People Dumping Their Garbage on Us
People who talk a lot will often complain about those who do. This is a very simple example of people dumping their garbage on us. As another those who are disorganized will often complain about how disorganized others are.
Thus, by criticizing us they position themselves in their own minds as an authority. By default then they are not disorganized. They do not see the hypocrisy. They release the pressure.
This can also appear as shame and guilt. We might do something extra for a meeting. It unnerves them. They will not see it this way. They might say we are “going over the top,” “providing too much detail” or “explaining too much.”
Our personal qualities also strike nerves in people. Let us say that they are organized. Let us also say they see that trait as critical to success. If we then succeed without being organized, this will unnerve them. We have other traits that they do not have. These traits more than compensate for any disorganization they think we have.
The Harm of People Dumping Their Garbage on Us
People dumping their garbage on us can cause us to change the way that is natural for us. Many times our worse choices come when others talk us out of them. We end up leading in a way that is not right for us. Besides, if constructive criticism was really that good, they would offer it as advice.