Let’s make this point clear. Many people mix or interchange too often what critical thinking and criticism mean. They are not the same. But in order to continue, let’s look at the definition of both (according to Oxford Dictionaries) and think about it for a moment.
The objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgement.
The expression of disapproval of someone or something on the basis of perceived faults or mistakes.
You can clearly see that the definitions are very different, right? Well … it’s very clear until it’s not. There are some people that, in order to assert their own opinion or highlight from the rest and show that they “have a personality” adopt an attitude of almost constant criticism.
Let me please tell you two things if this is your case or you know someone that could benefit from it.
It is unnecessary.
In order to let people see that you think about the topics, reflect on them and are able to form your own opinion you don’t need to be critical all the time. Just raise your voice, share your opinion, give feedback (constructive, please and also about the good points). Veery important: listen to other one’s ideas and opinions and accept that they can be right and you can be wrong. If they feel you are really listening, they will know you are making use of your critical thinking in order to judge the topics by getting all the data and different approaches to a topic.
It is exhausting.
People at some point will get tired of always listen a “yes, but” or “no, because”. Count the numbers of “I disagree” that you share with the world.
When you adopt an attitude of constant criticism you are also not giving feedback. Feedback is for improvement, not the expression of a judgement. So people get tired of criticism because there is nothing constructive you can do with it when you receive it. You don’t have many options but to swallow it or counter.
So, in a nutshell, people will feel at some point that you are not using your critical thinking but your perceived faults or mistakes (expressed as criticism) and will move eventually away from you and your negative comments and attitude because you will be draining instead of filling them.
This way, instead of asking more and more for your ideas, based on your critical thinking, they will move away from your criticism.