I had a bad habit when I was in my early twenties, of pointing out someone else’s shortcomings. I didn’t understand it at the time, but I was trying to distract people from paying close attention to me so if I could get them to focus on someone else, I felt more safe.
It’s ridiculous because I created more of a chasm between myself and others. Almost everyone must have known what I was doing even though I didn’t. My humor bordered on cruelty. I would avoid doing things I didn’t want to do. I’d put them off until they became a major problem.
Where did I learn these tactics? From my environment. Not to say my parents did these things, but my psyche developed a survival mechanism that created these terribly defense strategies.
When I became aware of each one, typically one at a time, I would read about how to change them. I would attend classes where I could learn from others on how to monitor and alter my reactions. I even bit the inside of my mouth to stop myself from repeating behavior I found unsavory and unnecessary.
I chiseled away at my personality and reinvented myself until I finally decided, I like myself. I truly respect who I have become and enjoy spending time in my own company.