Dealing with criticism


When someone criticizes us, it tends to touch a nerve and can sometimes leave us feeling very vulnerable, very angry and sometimes both!

This may be because there is absolutely no truth in the criticism and we feel it is completely unfair or actually because there is some truth in the criticism and we are just not ready to deal with it.

Being criticized is also especially difficult when the person criticizing us is someone we hold in high regard. It could be our boss at work or a new partner.

The thing that most people don’t realise is that criticism on it’s own isn’t what makes us upset. The meaning we attach to criticism is what affects us. As I mentioned in one of my previous blog posts, being a people-pleaser means that we give others too much power over our emotions and how we feel about ourselves. If others’ approval is extremely important, then we give them consent to always make us feel bad about ourselves.

In order to stay away from seeking approval, we have to learn to practice self-acceptance and only rate our actions or traits but not ourselves. We are responsible for our reaction to someone’s criticism and it is up to us to change how we respond.

If we already have low self-esteem, then criticism will be especially hurtful and it could take us days to recover from it.

Are you someone who struggles from others’ criticism? Do you find that you always get overly upset when someone criticizes you or overly agree?  Do you avoid contact with that person after the criticism occurs? I would love to hear your experiences.

If you are a childhood abuse survivor, I am especially interested in your experiences. When you have internalised your parents’ negative and unhealthy criticisms, this will then follow you around and will be brought to the surface everytime someone criticizes you. This is actually quite a painful, traumatic reaction because a present criticism can send you into an emotional flashback of your parents’ abuse. This is something I am particularly experienced in through my own recovery from abuse but also through talking to others who still struggle with this internal self-critic.

Love Athina ♥

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Author: Courage Coaching

I provide empowerment, empathy & support. I specialise in dealing with dysfunctional relationships, particularly narcissistic abuse & encouraging self-compassion.

7 thoughts on “Dealing with criticism”

  1. I was victim of bullying as child. That taught me, not to get offended so easily. It is important to see on first sight what kind of person make critic toward you. Way of communication talks a lot . Constructive critics are welcome when i am writing. Critics at personal level, by person who never meet me, are ridiculous. If person talks objective, based on logic and experience, i will accept this as challenge.


  2. With criticism I’ve started adopting the attitude that it’s their insecurities/agenda and actually has nothing to do with me. I tell myself “shame poor thing feels so insecure” and that way I don’t own what was said. I shrug it off as part of them, not me. I don’t always get this practice right – its a work in progress

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Its a very important point you make about a shame flashback being triggered from old parental criticism. I really relate to that..such shame can make us addicts to substances trying to blot out the painful words and feelings we internalise or addicts to others approval or disapproval we may or may not deserve…whose values are we judged by? When we have a load of old repressed anger from unwarranted criticism it can be set alight by present triggers..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Indeed.Shame is a very uncomfortable, deeply destructive feeling which has to be dealt with in healthier ways. It is understandable that emotional flashbacks cause people to block out the pain associated with these. Parental criticism and abuse is hugely destructive on a young child’s still developing brain. No wonder so many adults suffer with complex trauma.Thank you so much for sharing your insight! ❤


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