None of us are strangers to criticism.
We have all felt the sting of someone’s disapproval.
No matter how positive you are as a person, you have to admit that it pains a little when someone criticizes you.
And if you lack self-esteem or are a pessimist, it can even be a traumatizing experience!
But why do people criticize in the first place?
Why do they do it when they know it will hurt other people?
Well, to be fair, not all criticism is bad.
When you want to express your disapproval of someone’s bad behavior towards you, you need to speak your mind!
The same is true of other valid reasons.
However, there are people who are constantly being critical of thers, and use criticism as a weapon to put other people down.
Therefore, you need to be aware of the main reasons why people criticize others.
This will help you determine how to respond if ever you are on the receiving end and also to better forgive them if necessary.
Below, we talk about these 15 main reasons.
- 1) They Are Concerned About Others’ Actions
- 2) They Might Be Trying To Help
- 3) They Might Feel Threatened
- 4) They Want To Exert Dominance
- 5) They Want To Make Others Look Bad
- 6) They Want Attention
- 7) They Might Have Strong Opinion About A Subject
- 8) They Seek Admiration And Approval
- 9) They Feel Frustrated
- 10) They Might Be Responding To Others’ Criticism
- 11) They Don’t Want To Deal With A Problem
- 12) They Simply Don’t Understand Others
- 13) They Are Narcissists
- 14) They Might Be Judging Others
- 15) They Might Be Taking Revenge
1) They Are Concerned About Others’ Actions
This is one of the few good reasons that make people criticize others.
If you are concerned that someone is not doing their job properly, not behaving as they should, or not taking their responsibilities seriously, you might want to straighten them up.
This often comes out in the form of criticism.
And, to be frank, it’s necessary sometimes.
Only then does the other person realize their mistake.
If your criticism can make a positive impact on someone’s life, so be it. What matters is the way you will convey your message. Be constructive to help the person improve 🙂
2) They Might Be Trying To Help
Sometimes, the one who is criticizing someone might be doing it to share their wisdom and experience.
They genuinely might be trying to help the other person solve a particular problem or situation.
However, they might not be able to find the right words or the right way to express themselves.
In such cases, even their words of wisdom might come off as harsh criticism.
It might look like they are trying to slam your way of doing things.
If this is what’s happening, then it’s better to just clarify things with them instead of assuming their intentions.
3) They Might Feel Threatened
Sometimes, people act in the most irrational way possible. ( at least for you lol)
They might think that they are driven by logical reasoning, but it’s actually their emotions that influence them.
For example, when someone is threatened by you, your abilities, personality, and influence, they feel like they need to “level the playing field.”
By criticizing others, they might feel like they have reset the balance.
They think that they have exposed your flaws and have proven to the world that you are no better than them. It could be related to a self esteem issue….
4) They Want To Exert Dominance
Some people want to exert their dominance no matter where they go. ( talk about toxic relationship…. )
They want others to know who is the boss. This is probably due to their controlling nature.
Or maybe they have a mountain-sized ego.
Regardless, people like these often use criticism as a tool to establish their authority.
This typically happens in work settings or at social gatherings.
Some people feel that by tearing others apart, they can play the alpha and that everyone will see them as superior.
Most often though, the opposite happens.
5) They Want To Make Others Look Bad
There are some people who are just plain evil. ( for whatever reasons….)
Or at least, they act that way.
For example, if someone uses criticism to specifically make others look bad, there is no doubt that there is something wrong with that person.
For whatever reason, they feel a need to make others look bad, regardless of whether or not it benefits them.
So, they come up with anything negative to say even if it doesn’t actually apply to the other person.
This probably makes them feel better about themselves ( even if it makes the other person feel horrible and rejected.)
6) They Want Attention
Have you ever observed that kids tend to whine a lot when they want the attention of their parents?
Well, there are a lot of adults who do this too!
But they use criticism to get this attention.
It’s not that they want to criticize others.
It’s just that they don’t have the necessary social skills to garner interest from others.
Initially, they might try to be assertive and get people to notice them.
But after this fails, they inadvertently use criticism to get some eyeballs.
And more often than not, they are successful in doing so!
7) They Might Have Strong Opinion About A Subject
This is something that we have all witnessed.
Different people have different religious, political, and ideological views.
Now, when two people with opposing views get into a discussion on these topics, it’s only a matter of time before things start heating up. ( and whe know there are currently many topics that divide people…..)
Eventually, we see that they deviate from the subject and start attacking each other verbally.
They start criticizing whatever flaws they can find in each other.
This happens because of the strong opinions each holds about their beliefs. They feel a need to defend what they believe in.
8) They Seek Admiration And Approval
This might seem a little bizarre but it’s true.
Some people actually use criticism as a way to get admiration, respect, and approval.
For example, if someone thinks they are an expert in a particular field, they might want to criticize others to show that they are well-versed in their field.
Here, they seek approval and admiration.
Another example is that of elder people.
Often, they want to feel important and respected.
So, they end up criticizing others to show their greater wisdom and experience….
9) They Feel Frustrated
Frustration can make a person do a lot of things.
So, a frustrated person criticizing others is quite understandable.
Not to say that doing so is okay, but we can at least see why they are doing so.
Most of the time, when you feel like the other person is not getting you, ignoring you, or doing things to piss you off, it’s natural for you to get frustrated.
And in the heat of the moment, you might start criticizing their behavior and actions.
Here, you wouldn’t be completely at fault.
But there are indeed better ways of making the other person realize their mistake.
10) They Might Be Responding To Others’ Criticism
This one is pretty straightforward.
When someone is criticizing you, you might be tempted to return the favor. ( Share the fun?? lol)
At that moment, all you care about is finding their flaws, pointing them out, and shutting them down.
Especially if they were the one who started it and their criticism of you was uncalled for.
11) They Don’t Want To Deal With A Problem
This is a cheeky one.
Many a time, if someone doesn’t want to address or deal with a problem, they might use tactics to get others to back off.
The idea is to change the subject and make things so unnecessarily heated up, that people forget about the original problem at hand.
So, for example, if a wife wants to confront her husband for his extravagant spending of money, the husband might start criticizing her bad habits.
In this case, the husband hopes that things escalate so much that she forgets all about the original problem.
12) They Simply Don’t Understand Others
Think about it.
Why would someone criticize you out of the blue?
One very common reason could be that they simply don’t understand you or your choices.
For example, let’s say you are a tech-driven person and you like to use a lot of gadgets for your various needs.
Now, a friend or a family member might not understand your indulgence in tech.
As such, they would criticize this habit of yours. They are not necessarily doing it to hurt you.
It’s just that they don’t understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
And they might also think that they are saving you from a bad habit.
13) They Are Narcissists
Some people are just narcissists.
They think that they are above everyone else and that whatever they think is the only right thing in the world.
You can imagine why they would get into a lot of conflict with those around them.
Human relationships are nurtured by respect and care for each other.
But this is an alien concept for narcissists.
When they hear opposing views or perceive people trying to confront them, they automatically go into defensive mode.
They start criticizing others just because they can’t handle not being the one on top.
14) They Might Be Judging Others
There are a lot of people who simply sit around and judge other people’s way of life.
They might have nothing to do with those people, but still, they feel the need to make comments, generate endless opinions, and pass judgments about other people.
This is perhaps one of the most prevalent bad habits of humans that has been in existence for a long time.
Here again, they might want to draw the attention and get noticed.
15) They Might Be Taking Revenge
Finally, to the question : why do people criticize ? We come to revenge.
Revenge also makes people act in irrational ways.
If you think that someone has wronged you, you might always look for ways to get back at them.
And being able to criticize them in front of other people seems like an ideal way of doing that for them…..