When we criticize others, we are criticizing ourselves
Low self-esteem prevents a person from objectively judging the people around him. This phenomenon is called negative projection and is a defense mechanism by which we attribute our flaws and weaknesses to other people.
Instead of admitting all our negative traits, emotions and circumstances, we attribute them to the people around us because it's so much easier. We protect ourselves with the negative projection system.
To get rid of this habit, we need to work on self-development and establish clear boundaries between what is real and what we attribute to someone. This is how we will overcome the conflict that is happening inside us.
We project our flaws onto others to maintain a positive view of ourselves. Self-esteem and defense mechanisms play a fundamental role in protecting the ego. So-called ego defense mechanisms are strategies we use unconsciously to maintain a positive perception of ourselves.
The human brain has evolved various ways to protect itself against what may be too painful or unacceptable.
Such mechanisms protect us from recognizing the negative aspects of our personality. The problem arises when these mechanisms become automatic and we start using them on a daily basis. In this way we distort reality under the influence of our ego which does not have a positive result.
So, when we start thinking that everyone around us is filled with hatred, envy and all other negative traits, it's time to re-examine our lives and thoughts.
When we start criticizing other people unnecessarily, we are probably criticizing ourselves in that way, or as the Buddha said: "Everything that annoys you in others is only a projection of your own unresolved inner problems."