Critical people are critical because they've been criticized; it's learned behavior.
As a result of their conditioning, they carry around the heavy feelings of shame, anger, and sadness.
Over time, they reach and surpass their emotional threshold, and as a survival tactic, subconsciously seek opportunities to discharge their pain.
Hence the phrase: hurt people, hurt people.
As soon as someone falls short of perfection, BAM, and out comes the criticism!
For a moment, they temporarily shift the focus away from their pain and redirect it to someone's else imperfection, which is a lose, lose, lose scenario...
1. It doesn't help the criticizer address their underlying pain
2. It reinforces the protective pattern
3. It hurts others in the process
For every bit of sweetness savored by the criticizer, there's an equal and opposite amount of bitterness tasted by the criticized.
There are many factors and considerations, but these types of relationships encounter predictable patterns of strain and eventually, separation (if not physically, emotionally).
There are opportunities for both parties--the critical person, through self-awareness, must understand the nature of their pain, how it drives them, and how to transform it. While the criticized, through self-respect, must establish boundaries of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors through generously, direct conversations.
"Self-awareness doesn't stop you from making mistakes; it allows you to learn from them." Said someone self-aware