Criticism is a way of life in some offices and households. Bosses don’t want you to get too big for your britches, so they feel they have to cut you down a notch. Family members want to let you know that they aren’t happy with you – what you’re doing scares them. Your special person or significant other criticizes you for what you did or didn’t do. Sometimes it seems like we hear it from every direction. Is it all legitimate?
Some of it probably is. We’re not perfect; we know that better than anyone else. But is all the disapproval a call to action? Maybe not. Sometimes, it’s criticism is more of a reflection of the speaker’s different point of view than it is that we are inappropriate. The most hurtful things can needle us and make us just feel sad and hate ourselves. When the criticism is justified, I think a lot of us think of ways to do better, if we can. But some judgments just make us feel dead and yukky inside. I’m sure there’s a technical term for it, but I think you know what I mean.
That feeling is the disappointment our soul feels when we believe that we deserved the judgment another made about us that isn’t true. Whether you argue back or you keep your silence, in your heart, you owe it to yourself to parse out your truth from someone else’s fiction. When you are talking to yourself, step away from the fiction.
Don’t add to your trauma by accepting another’s disapproval and blame when your actions were right for you. Turn away and take care of yourself. Sometimes our choices could have been better, but what if they aren’t? Making a poor choice isn’t a crime; it’s a learning opportunity. Allow yourself to learn; don’t accept that you’re a “bad” person unless you know in your heart you did what you consider to be wrong. When people offer you pain because it makes them feel better, with no constructive reason for you, just say “no.” You don’t have to accept what they say is true.
Sad friend that I talked to today, love yourself. Stop listening to the haters, even when they are are your last friend in the world, or your parent, or a stranger on the street. No one has a right to hurt you in an attempt to make themselves feel better.