What Can You Do Instead of Criticizing?

Peace or Turmoil?

I’d like to offer you some ideas today which can calm your thoughts and emotions while offering you an opportunity to experience peace instead of turmoil. Many clients in my marriage counseling practice want help in creating a better marriage, better relationships with family members, and better relationships at work. These calming suggestions will help you deal with stress, anxiety, depression and relationships.

It is easy to get caught up in the act of being critical of others. Sometimes it is our spouse or children who can easily trigger our upset or anger. At other times it is a co- worker who antagonizes us. Often it is a driver of an automobile who is driving recklessly around us who brings out our anger.

We are each in charge of our own feelings; these other people do not “make” us feel any particular way. We respond to their actions but we have choices about what our thoughts and feelings are and how we respond. Peace of mind is an internal matter.

A Recent Trigger for Criticism

Think of something you were critical of recently and how you felt. Replay it in your mind and spark the affect it seemed to cause.

Seven Alternatives for Replay

Now, let’s do a replay of the situation in 7 different ways.

Think of the situation and instead of going to negative thoughts, feelings and criticism, try each of these for 30 -60 seconds:

  1. Look into yourself and control your thoughts and feelings
  2. Look into the mirror to see if you might be thinking or acting the same way
  3. Ask questions to clarify and understand a different point of view
  4. Do something (an action) differently
  5. Say what you want or need
  6. Think about something positive about that person or situation
  7. Feel gratitude for a lesson from which you have the opportunity to learn

The next time you find yourself being critical, STOP and try one of these 7 alternative solutions. Or you could use a lesson from A Course in Miracles which I did many years ago when I was angry. It helped get me to peace, happiness, forgiveness, fulfillment, and gratitude. I carried a little piece of paper in my pocket, touching it when I wanted a reminder. The words were a mantra and prayer many times a day: “I could see peace instead of this.”

Call or email me if you want help moving out of criticism and into alternatives which bring you less stress and more peace.


Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.

Dale Carnegie

When we judge or criticize another person, it says nothing about that person; it merely says something about our own need to be critical.


Criticism is an indirect form of self-boasting.

Emmet Fox

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