General Question

Jude's avatar

Do you find this to be true; individuals who are overly critical of others are most likely jealous?

Asked by Jude (32120points) October 6th, 2010

“Haters be hatin”..

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

38 Answers

Seaofclouds's avatar

I don’t think so, but I guess it depends on what you mean by overly critical. I’m very critical about the people that are taking care of my family (wether it’s doctors, nurses, daycare provides, or my son’s teachers). I’m not jealous of what they do, but I’m critical of them because they need to do a good job.

If you mean critical as far as just nitpicking what other people do, I suppose jealousy could be a part of it, depending on the people.

ComeFlyWithMe's avatar

I believe this is actually true in a lot of instances, but not all.

bob_'s avatar

No. Some people just like to hate.

Haters gonna hate.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I’m guessing they fall into at least three categories, for lack of a better term.
Just rotten bastards (not gender specific)
Edit: I overlooked control freaks, but I don’t know what drives them.

Jude's avatar

“If you mean critical as far as just nitpicking what other people do, I suppose jealousy could be a part of it, depending on the people.”

Yes, that’s what I’m talking about.

ucme's avatar

I find a more accurate desription to be that they’re miserable bastards.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I agree with @ComeFlyWithMe – sometimes it’s about their unhappiness with their own selves and not about jealousy, necessarily.

Jude's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I can agree with that.

choppersangel's avatar

Very often highly ‘critical’ people are actually reflecting themselves in what they criticise. Either through a lack of personal esteem, or an inflated sense of self-righteousness. Jealousy would play a part if the critical comments were deeply personal, again, suggesting that the critical person has some problem themselves.

It’s that thing about ‘not taking something to heart’ from another unless it is given with goodwill. Personal comments about another can be very damaging, whether the speaker realises that or not. Finding more useful and constructive ways to critique shows a willingness to share information or to grow through learning about another.

Zyx's avatar

If killing to me was a simple as a choice there would be nothing left alive. That having been said I often feel quite blessed with my life. Jealousy is a reason to dislike someone, but to say it’s the only reason is just ridiculous.

YoBob's avatar

Not necessairly. It has been my experience that some use criticism as a tool to establish and maintain dominance.

Jude's avatar

“Jealousy is a reason to dislike someone, but to say it’s the only reason is just ridiculous.”

Not the only reason. I also feel that they’re unhappy with themselves.

philosopher's avatar

Insecure people find a reason to criticize everyone.
The more you know the more they see you as a threat They are always looking at everything in terms of how they look to others. They are jealous of everyone and happy for no one.
I unfortunately know such people.
They only like those they can manipulate.

Zyx's avatar

@mama_cakes I thought you were going to correct me for taking “only” from your “most” but you just added another generalisation. The fact of the matter is these things can only be answered on a case by case basis.

Coloma's avatar

It can be true, but it can also be true that ‘misery loves company’ and unhappy, insecure people resent others for many reasons.

The bottom line, it doesn’t matter, and you will never know anothers motives for sure.

Most of the time they are not even aware of their own motives.

I just let go of a longtime friend because I could no longer excuse her insecure and bitchy comments. The trick is to let go and not waste time arguing with anyone that is in denial and not able to ‘own’ their stuff.

lilikoi's avatar

I have a tendency to be critical, a trait that runs very strongly in my family. I honestly think it’s rarely because of jealousy, if ever. More often due to my own insecurities or most often due to the fact that I am extremely analytical and idealistic and can always see potential for more than what is there and the fact that I have a (perhaps unfortunate) gift for being able to find flaws/weaknesses/loopholes.

I have mixed feelings about sharing criticism. On the one hand, I don’t think it’s beneficial or productive to say everything is great when there are gaping flaws staring back at me. On the other, people don’t tend to like to hear anything remotely negative. I try to keep my mouth shut most of the time and be very gentle and tactful otherwise, but it is an ongoing and very conscious challenge to not be straight forward and blunt.

MrsDufresne's avatar

Actually, what I find to be more accurate is that people that are overly critical of themselves are the most jealous.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Yes and no. I used to think the most critical were the least content with themselves but I’ve met more critical people who really don’t give a damn about others enough to be jealous, criticizing is almost a hobby for them instead.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@MrsDufresne Can you expand a little on that.? That strikes me as interesting.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Just as the old idea that bullies behave such due to low self-esteem has been proven patently false (they have inflated self-esteem), this is probably quite untrue. More than likely, people who criticize a lot are those that think a lot of themselves. Think about all the happy couples giving unwarranted relationship advice to their single friends (I make an effort not to).

Likewise, people with poor self-esteem are likely to consider remarks and criticisms as more severe than they are.

MrsDufresne's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Sure.

Some people that are overly critical of themselves think that others may be “better” and “less flawed” somehow.

They have a higher incidence of wanting someone else’s body, life, material possessions etc, because they are unsatisfied with their own.

They get jealous because they believe that others are superior to them.

They do not recognize that the grass may be just as green on their side, as it is on anybody else’s.

zophu's avatar

Jealous or otherwise insecure, concerning themselves or concerning their world. If you’re content with the situation as a whole, there’s no reason to critique anything. not that there’s ever a reason to be content with world

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@MrsDufresne That is an interesting way to look at it. I’ll have to people watch a little from that perspective.

stardust's avatar

I’d imagine they’re usually quite insecure, miserable people. They’re possibly jealous. What an awful way to live, eh.

Coloma's avatar


Well said!

Yep, everyone gets their green grass and their share of Gopher holes. lol
I like the old saying..” Hang all your troubles out on a line and you’ll take yours and I’ll take mine!”

I am convinced that while my life has had plenty of the run o’ the mill life situations, death, divorce, economic stress blah, blah, blah, that I have saved myself a LOT of angst because I have a near zero issue with jealousy & envy.

I actually tested extremely low once on a personality test for ‘status & envy’.

I NEVER compare anything about myself, my body, my life to anyone else, and while I am pretty optimistic and cheerful by nature I KNOW I have saved myself a lot of grief by not even thinking about comparisons.

My ex sister-in-law was the QUEEN of self induced misery. haha

While having a custom home of her own built she would cruise the different ‘Street of dreams’ neighborhoods and then feel depressed that her house was not quite up to par with her idea of her status fantasies.

Oh brother!

Yep, the road to hell is really paved by envies! Gag!

Zyx's avatar

@Coloma Do you realise what you just did?

>I actually tested extremely low once on a personality test for ‘status & envy’.

You’re bragging about not caring about status?

>I NEVER compare anything about myself, my body, my life to anyone else, and while I am pretty optimistic and cheerful by nature I KNOW I have saved myself a lot of grief by not even thinking about comparisons.

Sure, you can say never.

>My ex sister-in-law was the QUEEN of self induced misery. haha


There’s so much irony here, I don’t even know where to start.

Coloma's avatar


Is that so?

Methinks you split hairs and read too deeply into semantics.

But hey, if that’s your perspective I respect it. ;-)

roundsquare's avatar

Nope. I do tend to be very critical and I run into many other very critical people. This happens for various reasons:
1) My parents were very critical of me and I’m very critical of my younger sister. In both cases its out of love. I want my sister to be as great as she can be and so I’m critical when I see something she can do better. She may not be happy when I do it, but its out of love.
2) My friends and I are critical of each other for fun. We nitpick and find small flaws because we enjoy exercising our ability to reason and observe. Its just plain fun. However, when doing this, we are careful to avoid sensitive areas.
3) Some bosses are very critical because they have standards or because they were brilliant when they were in your position and can’t understand how “normal” people perform.
4) Sometimes I just have an obsessive urge to correct something I think is wrong. Granted, I’m often wrong myself when I have these urges, but thats not the point. Its a bit like an OCD person seeing something out of place… I just want to fix it.

Which is not to say its not jealousy sometimes… I think you can often tell based on how it comes up. If things come out of the blue, a lot and without respect for how the listener will feel, its likely to be jealousy (or a complete misunderstanding of how people react to criticism. I had this problem for a long time and still do to some degree…).

Zyx's avatar

@Coloma At least I like your avatar.

Jude's avatar

I guess that I should clarify; someone who is critical of another’s happiness.

Zyx's avatar

@mama_cakes Well, that explains the second generalisation but I still think there are enough other explanations to find your original statement false.

The lives of happy people can change just as quickly as those of unhappy people, so if someone is happy drinking himself into mental illness I think some criticism might be in order.

Jude's avatar

@Zyx I know, I shouldn’t generalize.

I have had this happen with one particular person (which is why I posted this question). Someone gets the one up on him (funnier), or they’re dating someone and comment on how happy they are, and well, this person (criticizer) has to come back with a shitty put down. Also, a person excels at something (say singing… and really, they are good), and this critical person has to make some stupid comment (making fun of their name, say). I really don’t get why this guy does it. Is he miserable?

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@mama_cakes: Being critical of another person’s happiness- happens all the time.

People don’t think your partner is good enough for you and think you’re foolish to indulge yourself, pretend to yourself, accept less than they think you should be doing. I’ve been guilty of this with both of my younger sisters in their choice of husbands and you know what- they’re both still married to the same men, have happy kids and good lives.

People know something about your partner they assume you don’t and so become critical, beating you around the bush instead of telling you directly what they know. I was once treated pretty shabbily by friends of an ex which I interpreted to mean they were jealous of our happiness but in reality they were contemptuous because they knew he was a drug addict and lying to me about it the whole time while they were all out together.

Jude's avatar

@Neizvestnaya This person doesn’t know my girlfriend at all.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@mama_cakes: Then you have little to lose and all the more gooey goodness to keep all precious to yourself. You shouldn’t be pushed by anyone to feel you want to explain why someone is good or great or whatever and by what degrees that adds to your own life. Fark em all and enjoy your good fortune.

softone's avatar

Sometimes the critics are right. Is that what’s eating you?

lonelydragon's avatar

I wouldn’t say that they are necessarily jealous, but they may be insecure. So then they try to camouflage that insecurity by drawing attention to someone else’s flaws.

SABOTEUR's avatar

Usually people criticize aspects of others that they (consciously or subconsciously) dislike or find lacking within themselves.

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