How Being Critical Affects our Health

Did you know that chronic emotions affect your health? I think we all know that acute emotions, like fear or grief will affect our bodies, but chronic emotions take a toll as well. 

In this post I will describe what it looks like to becritical, who it affects and how to make changes if this describes you.

What does it look like to be critical?

Critical people are the ones who never learned the lesson “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.  This is a learned behavior. Critical people will judge (often without knowing the facts), voice their opinions unsolicited, make rude comments, and point out flaws in others (often relentlessly). The critical person may be you, your mother, father, boss, co-worker, spouse or friend.

Who is affected by a criticism?

Criticism hurts both parties, the one doing the criticizing and the one receiving it. Chronic criticism is destructive. Period. The criticizer is often characterized as a negative and overly self-righteous. This person believes (incorrectly), that they are right…about everything. This negative thinking pattern pervasively identifies what is wrong with their environment.It has been found that those who are chronically critical of others are themselves suffering emotionally. This is not an excuse.

The person being criticized feels attacked, anxious and worthless. It can have long term damaging effects, especially if the critical behavior comes from a parent.  

Are you critical of others?

I find myself…

  • Judging how people look, talk, eat
  • Pointing out peoples “flaws”
  • Giving my opinion unsolicited
  • Laughing at or pointing out details about others
  • Making rude comments to or about people I don’tknow
  • Making rude comments to people I know

Of course this list is hardly exhaustive, but you get the drift.

Being overly critical of other people (being self -critical is a whole other topic) reveals more about you than it does the person being criticized.

How can being a critical person affect your health?

Those with critical personalities tend also be more hostile and cynical.  Science has linked negative emotions that science has linked to increased risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease and heart attacks. Chronic negative emotions affect our hearts, minds and bodies.

Recommendations if you are the critical person

 If you see yourself in this checklist, thank goodness…there is hope! Identification is the first step to change. You do not have to remainin the criticism role. You can change.

“Any fool can criticize, complain and condemn-and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving” 

Dale Carnegie

 Steps to take to stop being critical of others:

  • If it’s not nice don’t say it (even if it is true)
  • If it could hurt the persons feeling if they heard it, don’t say it
  • Think about what you are about to say before you say it
  • When you think something negative look for something positive instead and say THAT
  • Look for the good in others

I have to tell you, I am a recovering critical person. I have a soon to be DIL who speaks into my life quietly and has helped me become less critical of others and has shot me her “look” many times.

Becoming less critical, negative, cynical and hostile starts with being thankful, kind and generous to others is a great way to improve your health.

Our minds, emotions, food choices and activity level affect our health. Choose to become healthier today.

Seek counselling if you discover that you can’t make thesechanges yourself!

If you want assistance with how to love active living and clean eating, then check out my book, Second Chance at Health-Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating. This is a simple, guide to help you identify the best sustainable plan(s) for you.


Can Negative Thinking be making you Sick? Retrieved from

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