Accepting criticism

I find it sad that as soon as someone criticises us, we feel we need to retaliate. As a child, I didn’t notice because I was too angry to care.

But criticism is nothing more than another person’s observation of us: if there is an issue there we must deal with it, but first we must recognise it. The problem we have with criticism, is that what others see is not normally how we think of ourselves. We see it as a slur on us, but that’s not what it is. It’s a slur on our behaviour, it’s our behaviour they’re struggling with.

In some cases, the people who see us in that way are probably right, but because we’re in denial we don’t see what they see. We hate giving others the satisfaction of them knowing us, but if it’s family or friends they are usually well versed, in the same way we are well versed with them.

People will often tell us things that are in our best interests because they care, but we won’t always see it that way.  But if we are prepared to listen, another person’s viewpoint will always give us the opportunity to learn something about ourselves. When we’re too quick to defend ourselves, we will fail to learn.

It is usually only when we have calmed down and we use that time to reflect that we see they’re right, but we will never admit to it. Trying to see another person’s point of view, or agreeing will always defuse what could turn into a heated argument.

But ‘accepting criticism’ gives both parties the opportunity to remain calm and stay friends, particularly as what’s said is often given in good faith. We must see it that way.


23 May, 2012

4 thoughts on “Accepting criticism

  1. I agree with you.

    Most people I know automatically go on the offensive when they hear criticism including me, but with me it depends on who it’s coming from, because some of it is jealousy.

    It’s like the person doing the critiquing has to make themselves look good and we usually know who these people are.

    1. I agree with your comment Lisa. Don’t you think it seems to be more prevalent in families? Friends tend to watch what they say more. I have seen jealousy in families.

      I believe that not being able to accept criticism could be down to low self-esteem, being sensitive, or negative. Sometimes when we are all of those, we tend to think others are out to get us. As you say though, I also think it depends on the person.

      I do believe that if someone is being criticised for their behaviour, then it’s fair and justified to be told. No one should have to put up with bad behavior, particularly if the behaviour is coming from a partner or spouse.

  2. I know personally I don’t always deal well with criticism, since I grew up constantly being criticised for showing any kind of emotion other than what was expected.

    It tends to really set me off, but I have gotten a lot more patient over the years, especially since the time I sobered up in AA.

    I’m hoping to be able to handle it better than I used to in the future without being triggered so easily.

    1. I didn’t particularly deal with criticism well as a child either, but I know my CP had a lot to do with it.

      I was angry for most of my formative years with no emotional support. From what you’ve said Randy, you also had things that you had to deal with that weren’t being addressed.Without any help and support it’s very easy to be triggered. Perhaps take yourself out of those situations where you may be triggered.

      I believe anyone can start to bring about positive changes in themselves. Give yourself more time, it will come.

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