The Critic Complex

Those who can, do.  Those who can’t, teach…so the saying goes.

But if there is any truth to that saying, it stands to follow that those who neither do nor teach, criticize.


But not everyone is skilled at critiquing. So many people think that everyone deserves the benefit of their perspective.  The truth is, opinions are like belly buttons.  Everybody has one and many of them smell really weird. Most criticisms can be reduced to “socialized observations.”  And those observations are often not based on facts that are pertinent to reality.

My socialized observation about criticism:  Most criticisms are a feeble attempt to assess a situation from a comfortable distance, in a way that justifies the critics imagined superiority.  Criticisms help you come to a conclusion that makes you feel as if you have a handle on the subject without actually having actually handled it.

The reason someone becomes skilled in a thing is because they have taken the time to gain an understanding of it, then having taken that understanding and put it to good use.  That is why those who can…do.

Those with such understanding, having consistently applied it, now have an extensive knowledge of a subject. They are able to communicate it to others and enable them to apply the knowledge as well.  So, it’s not that they cannot do.  It is more the point that they can help others do, too. That is why those who CHOOSE to no longer do… teach.

Both those who can and those who choose to no longer do, have taken the risk of getting INVOLVED in the PROCESS of doing a thing.  This requires an investment of time, attention, effort and passion…getting your hands dirty.  It requires attempts and failure and a willingness to get up and keep trying until the inevitable success. That’s painful stuff, all that trying and failing and trying and failing. It can scar the soul to fail and fall.  But scars heal.  And scar tissue is tough, which makes it harder for you to scar the same place again.  Which creates more of a willingness to try again more fearlessly. That is how great skill is developed.

This also creates compassion for anyone who is trying and failing.  Anyone who knows what it takes to succeed has very little time or inclination to discourage someone else trying to succeed.  Teachers and doers have this in common. They are also GREAT encouragers.  They know the value of a kind word to a weary heart and the value of sowing positivity to reap it.

WHICH BRINGS ME BACK TO THE CRITIC COMPLEX:  Anyone who is preoccupied with the knowledge and efforts of others is not invested enough in gaining knowledge for themselves and engaging in productive efforts for their own life and the lives of those around them.  This is the kind of person that prefers to maintain a safe distance for the sake of ‘perspective.’

It also affords them the luxury of ‘clean hands’ at the expense of a filthy conscience.  The other aspect of a critic’s complex is that they KNOW there are other things in which they should be involved.  There are things to which they ARE gifted, that they should be investing themselves more whole-heartedly.  There are people around them that need what they have to offer without the benefit of their ‘socialized observations.’ Instead, they make themselves feel more accomplished, more superior, by   breaking off little pieces of their mind to anyone who will entertain such foolishness.

Now, this brings up a very important comparative observation:  What is the difference between critiquing and criticizing?

A critique is a teaching tool.  Observations made by someone by whom success has already been achieved that would serve to improve the skills of one seeking to succeed.  They are usually provided with instruction and often times with a set of hands and eyes and ears that know what to feel , seek or listen for.

Criticism, like I said earlier is not based on anything truly pertinent to the reality of the one seeking to succeed.  It is opinion, customarily about some aspect of another’s behavior that has no real effect on the improvement of the skill set required for success.  Criticism is easy to dismiss, when you know who you are, what you are trying to do and the worth of what you’re trying to do.

FOR ALL WHO BEAR THE BRUNT OF CRITICISM…brush your shoulders off and keep your focus on the task at hand. You will look around and notice that your critics have moved on to the next big thing that they themselves cannot do sooner or later.  And you will already be a success and they won’t even matter anymore.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. quita1020
    Aug 22, 2012 @ 20:48:16




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