Criticism does not belong in friendship

“You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously.”

~ Sophia Bush - American actress, activist, director, and producer

Why are we so hard on ourselves and each other?

Has our criticism ever once born fruit?

Last week a friend of mine (let’s call him Igor) was sharing his frustration over the “antics” of another friend of ours (Boris). The “antics” are real. Our friend Boris is really spiraling out-of-control at breakneck speed.

The frustrated bystander, Igor, is livid. He simply CAN NOT understand why our friend Boris is being such a goof. In fact, Igor is SO IRRITATED that he has decided he is DONE. Finito. “I don’t have time for this s*&*.” Over it. Igor is packing up his memories and decades long friendship and MOVING ON.

I get it. Relationships change.

Here is what I do not understand.

My friend Igor is so critical of the actions of Boris. I mean ruthless in his assessment. I believe I could understand this criticism coming from a stranger or someone who is personally unfamiliar with the travails that Boris is undergoing. But Igor is a guy who can relate to Boris. This is what confuses me.

Does this help Boris? No. Does this help Igor? No.

What could help? I have some suggestions and we will unpack them in the coming days.

For today, ask yourself: what role has CRITICISM played in your own transformation? Has it ever effectively helped you or those you criticized? True enough, the right criticism paired with leverage can create short term compliance, but what has it accomplished in the long run?

Stay tuned. More thoughts to come!!