Criticizing ourselves, judging self and other is probably the most primary thing about being human. All animals have to ‘size up’ their environment – but the rest is instinct. What makes us different from the animal kingdom (as far as we know) is that we decide, we make a judgement based on available information. What makes it strange is that we have a personality type embedded in us from the moment of awareness in the placenta.
We think we’re in control of most things in our life, and it seems that as we interact we perform our personality. Consider where that personality comes from. Could you, or could I, change our entire personality in an instant? If I’m the type of person who has social anxiety, can I easily change into a person who looks forward to being in a room full of people no matter what the occasion? And, where does my social anxiety come from? Where do my quirks come from?
Our personality is built into our DNA from the ancients forward. As our ancestors reproduced, there’s a little of all of them in us. When we are growing in the womb, the most prevalent influence in the DNA for personality traits will be maternal and paternal; meaning our parents personalities do play a big role. After we’re born, we’re influenced by our surroundings and the culture we grow up in.
There are many controllable aspects of our personalities, but there’s a lot of things we actually can’t control. That’s a scary thought for some people. And that is why it’s essential to really find a way to love ourselves. Then, we will also love other people in a pure way. When we are criticizing or judging ourselves or others, we’re picking on faults and personality quirks, which seems petty. None of us is perfect.
We can’t choose to change the quirky things about our personality, or the instinctual behaviors that seem to make things awkward or uncomfortable for us when dealing with others. None of us lives in a bubble. So interacting is a requirement of human life. It’s necessary for us to cooperate in order to build societies and to sustain our lives. So we’re all just dealing with each other’s personality quirks while trying to get through an interaction that is necessary for us to have.
We don’t have a choice.
Our quirks are going to be up against the quirks of others whether we like it or not. We tend to dislike our own imperfections and focus on other people’s imperfections. This is a part of being human, but it’s also an opportunity to see that it makes no sense to get irritated, annoyed or downright made at someone for their faults. If I think of a personality trait that really annoys me, like entitlement for example, and then I think about whether or not the person would want to change that about their personality if they could – what’s the point?
There’s really no point in wasting our time and energy being frustrated because this one is pushy and that one is passive-aggressive and that one is negative and that one is conceited and that one is ignorant.
The person who acts entitled does so because they are a product of their DNA, their ancestors, their surroundings and their culture. If entitlement is their ‘normal’ then there’s no one to blame and no one to be mad at.
This is also why things like racism don’t make sense.
We can wish everyone well. We can control whether or not we get angry or annoyed at another. Being angry is bad for our health. Anger is the most negative emotion with the greatest consequences. In most cases, we are our own worst enemy.
We just have to keep reminding ourselves, our faults are not our fault.