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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