Some people find fault like there is a reward for it.
– Zig Ziglar
Let’s first off make a major distinction between finding fault and offering ways and means for correction and improvement. Finding fault is destructive, while offering constructive criticism should be seen as coming from someone who cares.
Some say that fault finders want to raise themselves up by bringing others down, that they want, in effect, to climb over the broken bodies of those they vanquished. I disagree with that analysis. Fault finders have very low opinions of themselves–perhaps hate themselves sometimes–and want to bring others low so that they feel they are not alone at the bottom of the social heap. They may not seem insecure, but they are. So are bullies, who fit as well into this analysis as fault finders.
Fault finders have something missing in their lives, something critical to their wellbeing. It could be described as a feeling of self worth. But lacking a feeling of self worth or self esteem makes it seem as if these people are responsible for their own problems. They are surely responsible for how they deal with their problems, but not how they found themselves in that position in the first place.
The origins of lacking self esteem or self worth lie in childhood. It’s often attributed to a lack of love or a lack of time spent by at least one parent with the child. No child understands time not spent by parents on them. Their whole lives revolve around learning about their world. The foundation of that world is their parents. When parents don’t spend enough time with their children, they leave the foundation of the lives of their children unsecured.
There is no such thing as “quality time.” That’s a euphemism, an excuse, an alibi for parents giving something else greater importance than their children. Kids have no concept of “quality time.” To them, there’s time spent and time not spent. They keep mental notes. Time not spent hurts.
As to the lack of love, that is quite subjective. Many people, especially those who live hectic lives in modern cities, do not have a clear concept of what love is. They may not have grown up with love in their lives, so they have no idea how to look for it in their mates and little concept of how to give it to their children. They try. In my long career as a sociologist and teacher I have rarely met a parent who has not tried to be a good parent, to the best of their abilities.
If they lack ability in parenting, it’s because they were not given parenting information and taught parenting skills before they needed them.
The children may also have lacked touch by parents. Loving touch is only now being discovered to contribute to the wellbeing of children, including to their health. When kids lack touch by people who love them, they feel alienated from their world. They create strange worlds for themselves, worlds that often do not correspond well to the world their parents want them to live in.
When they reach adulthood, they continue to treat others with the same lack of love and touch, especially their own families, because they don’t know what others need, never having learned the lessons themselves. They often lack self esteem, which they exhibit by criticizing others. Sometimes it takes the form of bullying.
Critics, of the destructive variety, lack love and touch in their lives, at least a sufficient amount of it to give them balance, peace and a healthy measure of self respect.
Those who offer help in the form of constructive criticism may be misunderstood by those who lack sufficient self esteem and self respect (self love) as being critics. That partly explains why so many well meaning people stop trying to help others, because they have been rejected, rebuffed and even attacked by those they tried to help in the past.
By the time someone misinterprets constructive criticism (help) from others as destructive criticism, they have already reached the point of being firmly in the position of lacking self respect and love themselves.
One common characteristic of people who lack love, who lack the ability to sympathize or empathize with others, who don’t know how to achieve self respect, self love or self esteem is that they vehemently deny it. Very few people, other than the most humble, will admit that they don’t know how to find love, to show love or to give love. Even love of themselves.
These are hard lessons to learn. Just as a person who was once addicted to something is always a recovering addict, someone who once lacked love, loving touch and self respect will always be in the state of recovering from it, even if they learn the skills.
If people don’t learn these thing as children, they tend to live the rest of their lives in a state of recovery, even if they have learned and found what they needed. In other words, even the most secure person who has found these treasures as an adult will “fall off the wagon” once in a while, will succumb to self doubt and insecurity. They, too, will usually deny this. However, having once found what they needed, they usually recover.
The only real solution to this deficit in the lives of so many adults is to teach new parents what they should know to give their children what they need. Since so many of today’s adults don’t have that knowledge or those skills, the fastest way to get them into the right hands is to actively teach them in classes, such as at night school.
Just as Lamaze classes have become immensely popular because young adults want to know how to get through the birthing process properly, classes in parenting would be extremely popular with young adults because they want to be good parents.
They want to be good parents. They need the opportunity to learn.
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a book for parents and teachers about what they need to learn to give children what they need, when they need it. It’s a lifeline, a starter course in book form.
Learn more at http://billalliin.com