How do you define “being critical”? How about “being judgmental”?
We use language that can be both, but it is important to understand the distinction. Judgment is related to intent or hidden truth. Critical is an analysis of actions and results.
Too many times, I have heard people say, “Wow! you are so judgmental.” or “I wouldn’t say that because I don’t want to ‘sound’ judgmental.” These statements communicate a lack of thought or risk of opinion. We are all critical to some degree because we think about people and experiences through different perspectives and beliefs. I don’t have 1 person in my life I agree with 100% of the time. I agree passing judgment by declaring an intent is foolish, but we can still be critical by analyzing what we saw or heard through what we do understand.
Through respect and tone, we must have the freedom to communicate our differences of opinion and how we see the world. How else are we going to learn from one another?
Or even worse, how can we grow as friends or individuals if we are afraid of having a voice in our relationships?
Learning to communicate healthily through proper language and tone will shape our communities and the wisdom of its people.