Silencing Inner Critic: One Size Does Not Fit All

Apr 13 , 2024
By Eden Sahle

A couple who had refrained from social interactions paid a visit to my house last week. Observing them interact with my daughter was truly heartening. They bonded effortlessly with her, eliciting joyful laughter and playful interactions. My baby seemed drawn to them, displaying comfort in their presence.

It was surprising. They were a reserved duo who did not mingle with people due to apprehension about facing judgmental individuals. I was taken aback when the woman confided in me about their lives. They were married at a young age, and have persevered for over a decade. Their lives have been marked by successful careers and a comfortable lifestyle. However, a tragic accident left them with extensive physical injuries and thwarted their ability to have children.

When confronted with inquiries, they respond with grace, recognising that some matters are beyond their control. In return, they endured years of unwarranted blame and judgment. Some went as far as suggesting that their marriage lacked value without children, urging the husband to abandon his wife in pursuit of parenthood with another woman. She was unjustly labelled as a selfish person who prioritised career over motherhood.

She expressed gratitude for my family's discretion over their lives in the two years of our acquaintance. It was rare for her to encounter such understanding and respect, which encouraged her to open up.

There are those individuals who are excessively opinionated, imposing their views on others without consideration. Their unkind words inflict hurt and disappointment, lacking any insight into the struggles and experiences of those they criticise. It seems many fail to take responsibility for their words and actions, freely expressing whatever comes to mind without considering the impact.

Judgment is inevitable. However, it becomes agonising for some, hindering their ability to socialise and find peace.

Too often, individuals criticise and judge others simply because they do not conform to societal expectations. We discussed how these destructive behaviours pervade our society, detrimentally impacting countless individuals' mental well-being, social lives, and emotions. It is as if people forget that individuals have the freedom to make their own decisions, instead choosing to meddle and inflict hurt.

Critiques are endless regardless of the action. Whether someone gains or loses weight, has children, or remains single, there is that unsolicited advice lurking in the background. It can be frustrating, particularly when it comes from family members or peers.

Some individuals feel compelled to comment on others' lives, without proper understanding. The prospect of someone facing difficulties triggers a desire to criticise and dictate what they should do. It may be attributed to the validation of our deep-seated desire to solve problems. While it makes life interesting, it also puts pressure on those who opt to defy the norm.

In a world where social media amplifies voices and facilitates instant communication, it is easier for individuals to insert themselves into the lives of others without considering the consequences. The digital age has blurred the lines between personal and public spaces, making it difficult for individuals to maintain boundaries.

We should afford others the grace to live free from unwarranted judgment and interference. While offering help to others is a natural inclination and a sign of empathy within us, it is essential to respect people's boundaries and draw lines.

PUBLISHED ON Apr 13,2024 [ VOL 25 , NO 1250]

Eden Sahle is founder and CEO of Yada Technology Plc. She has studied law with a focus on international economic law. She can be reached at

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