Finding fault with others is a common human trait. This behavior generally exists in the form of intolerance of others. Psychologically, finding flaws is a clever egotistical tactic as it takes attention away from the ego.
The ego creates an inflated illusion of self, and it is often hard to see where its limits are. Ego establishes a clear distinction around each mental “island” and restricts us to a particular frame of reference.
When we converse, exchange ideas, and think together, we create bridges between minds. Our opinions, words, and deeds have the power to bring people together or drive them apart. By imposing strict mental borders, the ego prevents cooperation and keeps individuals apart.
Relationship between Finding Fault and Self-Esteem
By minimizing the worth of someone else, fault finding not only diverts attention from the ego but also subtly boosts our self-esteem.
There are simple as well as challenging ways to increase self-confidence. The challenging path is to strive for it, but the simple course is to find fault in others.
There is a subliminal assumption that we are superior when we criticize others. However, despite the tiny psychological boost it gives, that sensation of superiority eventually makes us feel uneasy.
The Damaging Effects of Finding Fault with Others
Our ego’s psychological trickery prevents us from seeing inward. When we criticize others, we convince ourselves that there isn’t much to be done about our flaws. It invites complacency and inaction when it comes to bettering ourselves. It’s easier to find a person who agrees with the flaws we see in others, which is what we usually call “gossip,” than to find people who value the contributions of others.
Making mistakes consumes time that you could use more productively. You cannot change the perceived shortcomings of others by merely pointing out their defects. It also doesn’t aid in our personal development. When someone else receives scrutiny, their ego will strike back, which causes unneeded conflict. The clash of egos leads to a severe loss of consciousness.
The ego believes that faults are external to the person. Finding faults indicates the existence of an innate imperfection that the ego is trying to conceal. You can detect and eliminate flaws only when you begin introspection.
Many strategies help break the habit of finding faults. One approach is to focus on something fresh and different that might excite and fascinate us. New encounters have nothing from the past to compare to them. It makes the tendency to find fault pretty outdated. As long as there is still a novelty in the encounter, that habit of fault-finding does not return.
Every time we are amazed by something, our ego diminishes significantly. Children are often wide-eyed and curious by nature. They lack a fully formed ego and rarely have any constraints. On the other hand, adults find it difficult to amuse themselves with little things. Their ego has grown and matured.
Another way to break the habit of looking for faults is to view situations that are unimaginably bigger than us. Consider the majestic mountain ranges, the vastness of the oceans, the vastness of the sky, and so on. Any criticism of these organizations would sound silly. These sights humble us and let us see things more broadly. This broad perspective does not match the ego’s small frame.
Turning within or introspection is a more comprehensive way of reducing or eliminating fault finding. If we commit to finding ten flaws in ourselves for everyone we see in someone else, we will likely spend so much time looking inward that we won’t have much time to criticize others.