I just realized something.
If I ever feel critical of someone else or something, I've found it stems from my own issues more then anything to do with them. I have always believed in this statement: If I'm annoyed at something about someone, it's probably because I do the same thing, myself. So every time I find myself annoyed at something, I have to look inward and think about if I do the same thing. Then I can try to do better.
But even though I've believed in that statement a while, it's a lot easier said then done. Sometimes I am completely ignorant of the true meaning behind my negative feelings.
Recently I realized it can be jealousy sometimes. In a backwards sort of way. And I owed someone an apology for my behavior. Because I was jealous and threw all my negative self talk at them! SO unfair!
So then I was thinking about it, and what if it's the other way around?
If someone gets mad at me or critical of me and says something that may hurt my feelings - instead of taking it so personally, maybe I should look at it in the same way. That person has their own issues they are dealing with. Who knows why they are feeling critical of me. It could be because they struggle with the same issue somehow in their own life too. Of course, I wouldn't excuse myself from trying to become better, but I don't need to feel terrible and loath myself either because of their behavior. They have their reasons too.
My sister once talked to me about a statement the savior made on the cross. "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." This actually applies in so many ways to all of us. No matter what wrong someone makes against us, I believe everyone is trying to do their best. They maybe doing wrong unintentionally, even if it doesn't seem right to us. They may be completely ignorant of the wrong. They may completely feel justified with their actions. They don't know. They may understand their side, but it's impossible for them to understand ours. So forgiveness is key. It makes it a little easier for me to forgive when I see it this way. No matter what the wrong is - even if they ARE trying to be mean - they really don't know what they are doing. They known not what they do.