Are you a critic of others?

Every conversation counts

Nobody’s returning my phone calls lately, which I find really annoying.

When I become critical like this toward other people, it’s quite possible I may be “projecting” (in psychology speak) or “noticing the speck in my brother’s eye without noticing the log in my own” (according to Christian teaching.) Thankfully, my own time spent being coached and learning transformational life¬†distinctions has taught me to turn my gaze inward and reflect on how I may, in fact, do the very same thing. Take my inbox, for example: My business accountant, credit card processor, and at least one friend sent emails I have yet to return–for services or favors I requested of them.

It’s taken discipline to remember the “you spot it, you got it” principle at the height of frustration. Doing so has a dual reward: I instantly engender compassion for my fellow human while I simultaneously get to discover something new about myself, after which I can choose a more productive path. So my unresponsive calls? In some cases, I’ve let them go for now. In others, I’ve laid aside my agenda and called again to inquire first into the other person’s needs. In still other cases, I plan to express my disappointment, acknowledge that no agreement was in place to warrant my expectations, and ask how we may strengthen our communication lines moving forward.

When I stop for a minute, shift my perspective, and choose to silence my outer critic, it’s amazing what possibilities open up. Stress is diffused, I’m back to liking my peeps once again, and I just avoided a hunt for something chocolate. In a strange twist of transformational fate, healthy living triumphs again.