Spoiler Alert: If you haven't seen the movie, "The Sixth Sense", and don't want to ruin the plot, do not read the next paragraph.
You recall in the movie how the Bruce Willis character had all sorts of evidences presented to him that he was dead, but he never saw them until a final piece triggered the flashbacks of all the evidences. This happened to me yesterday.
I was raised on "Star Trek"'s Mister Spock: cold, logical, emotionless. And whereas I'm not emotionless (even less so as I get older), I do tend to drop into a Mr. Spock mode, especially in a debate situation. I approach the debate as logically as I can, leaving the emotion at home.
The problem is that this worldview, so to speak, has caused me to miss the evidences before my eyes that I can be hypercritical; I see something wrong, I point it out. It's nothing personal. It's just logical that if it's wrong, it should be made right.
Yesterday, a friend called me on this, and I realized that I often criticize him without giving him praise. I think highly of him, but he doesn't hear that; all he ever hears is the criticism. And when that clicked in my brain, I had a bunch of flashbacks about the same treatment I give to other people, especially those I love.
So to you who get my criticisms, I'm sorry. I can't promise I'll remember tomorrow, or next week, that I've decided to offer more praise than criticism, but as of right now, this moment, that's my decision.
You have my permission to help hold me to it.
And you especially have my request to help me learn to do it, to make it a habit.