Jack Handley said, “Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them and you have their shoes.”
I have often found that what we criticize in others, we generally find in ourselves. Oscar Wilde said it like this: “Criticism is the only reliable form of autobiography.”
If you are trying to help someone, especially an addict, be careful with your criticism. There are four ways criticism can destroy a relationship, according to Dr. Steven Stosny.
- When it focuses on personality rather than behavior
- When it focuses on shame
- When it offers no way out
- When it belittles the other person
Sometimes, the best thing to do is to just follow the advice of James, who said, “Do not speak evil against one another” (James 4:11).
Recovery Step: Be guarded with your words of criticism.