How to Deal with Criticism
When I was a member of a writer’s group, a woman in the group said, “we are here to criticize each other’s work.” I quickly respond, “critique, not criticize.” Criticism is often done in a negative, hurtful way. While critiquing is usually spoken in a positive, gentle manner. Which way would you prefer?
Everyone has experienced criticism, sadly some more than others. Critics are often products of their childhood environment, whose caretakers put them down for their own good. This behavior usually backfires, making the individual insecure, while thinking they will never be worthy enough. It’s time to stop this harmful pattern.
Some parents have been brought up thinking that criticism is love. Let’s take the example of a mother who berates her daughter about when is she going to find a man to marry and give her grandchildren. This could result in the daughter marrying someone incompatible to get her mother off her back or refusing to find someone out of spite. Instead, do the following:
- Let your mom know that you love her; however, to please stop bringing up this topic.
- Tell your mother how her pressuring makes you feels: horrible, lonely, angry, unvalued, or unhappy.
- That you prefer to find a man who will be the right husband and father for your child, then just marry anyone to provide her with a grandchild.
- If she refuses to respect your boundary or continues to berate you with this topic, present her with this ultimatum – you will no longer have contact with her.
A love relationship is supposed to bring you joy, especially in the beginning. Usually your mate will be on their best behavior in the early stages of a relationship, then later on they show their true colors. When your lover puts you down because of your looks or weight, you could tell him or her:
- A positive feature of yours.
- I’m working on losing weight and would appreciate your support with this.
- This is how God made me.
- If you don’t like the way I look, find someone else.
I bet this one surprised you, yet I’ve attended so-called spiritual groups whose leaders were negative and critical. If you’re involved in a group with a critical leader, you could:
- Go within to ponder if the leader’s behavior is reflecting your own or a loved one’s behavior.
- Take what’s valuable from the group and leave the negative behind.
- Confront the leader on his/her criticism.
- Leave the group.
My wish is that you stop accepting critical behavior. While comprehending that the critic isn’t a horrible person, but an insecure person who is usually thinking they’re helping you and/or just repeating the behavior of their own critical upbringing. Lastly, if this article aided you discover that you’re critical of others; it’s time to change your behavior.
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Pamela Cummins is a relationship expert who teaches you how to empower yourself to empower your relationships. She is the author of four books, including Psychic Wisdom on Love and Relationships.