Why do I fall apart every time someone criticizes me? I should have more confidence to hear what they are saying, decide if I agree, and if so take the necessary steps to better myself.

14 Answers
Last Updated: 11/07/2017 at 8:50pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Hope Hadding, MSW, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

I am a professional therapist with extensive experience working with various mental health disorders as well as sexual issues. I am supportive and non-judgmental.

Top Rated Answers
twelvetigerlillies
February 16th, 2016 10:06am
Personally, I take criticism harshly because I want others to think highly of me, and I think that if they have a criticism about me then it's a personal attack. I am learning to take a step back from the situation before I react. In order to disconnect the personal from the criticism (which is not ever as personal as I think). Another way would be to think about how the other person may be trying to word the criticism - that way your focusing on being empathetic than taking the criticism really strongly!
Ouchie
June 2nd, 2015 7:51am
Firstly remember that not every criticism is constructive and that you have a right to pick and chose what advice you want to listen to and what you want to ignore. Some people are going to be assholes, and that does not define you. Secondly, confidence is not something that is grown overnight, but is instead amassed slowly over time. Something that works for some people is slowly doing things that bring them out of their comfort zone so that when they succeed they build their confidence. Good luck!
Anonymous
August 9th, 2015 3:45am
We all have those thoughts that gnaw at us and chew at our self esteem, it's part of being human. A little bit of self doubt is healthy and totally normal. However, breaking down when we hear criticism is not normal. Maybe it's the same thing every time from different people, "Oh Member, you are this and you are that. Stop doing this." This can make us doubt ourselves every time to the point where we don't even want to try something new! We become hooked on that next fix of affirmation from people who don't have any idea what it's like to be us. Here is a healthy thing to do in this situation; keep a journal? "Adel, you mean like a diary?" Not exactly, Members. I mean a journal of what people say, how you feel when they say those things, and what those things make you feel about yourself. Sometimes, criticism is a good thing. Maybe people say that you play too safely, maybe you are afraid of taking that leap and living for yourself. The trick is to hear criticism without taking it personally. At the end of the day, we are the ones who have to live with ourselves, no one else can do that for us.
mindself
January 11th, 2016 5:12pm
Exactly! Even though we usually don't like to hear criticism it's important to understand that they aren't necessarily a bad thing. Being open to hear these kind of words means we are on the right track to become a better person. So, the next time you hear someone criticizing you, try not to feel offended right away, instead, try to understand what they are trying to tell you and where is this opinion coming from. In case you agree, take it as a new opportunity to better yourself!
Anonymous
February 9th, 2016 11:16pm
Criticism is very hard to learn how to deal with, even if it's constructive. It manages to always feel like they're solely shaming you, and the good things they say, are just a add on to make you feel better about yourself. Thing is, it usually doesn't.
Paige81
May 23rd, 2017 2:15am
It can be easier to know how we want to react to a criticism than to actual respond the way we want. Anxiety will do that to me. I will get anxiety and examine every aspect of that criticism from what I perceive the hidden criticism actually is and the motivation behind it.
Arkelight
November 7th, 2017 8:50pm
Criticism is something very few people take well, and there is a difference between criticism and constructive criticism. My advice would be to listen to the criticism (if it is constructive) as if they were talking about someone else that you know well. Then apply that rational thinking.
HeartSofa
March 30th, 2015 9:01pm
Criticism can be super hard to take, especially when our self esteems tell us that we agree or when we just want to be liked or even just be perfect. However, it is great that you can identify what usually happens when someone receives criticism.
HopeUnbroken
March 30th, 2015 10:25pm
Criticism is often very hard to receive in a positive way, especially for those of us who want to please others or perhaps put too much stock in others opinions. In order to be able to accept criticism, we may need to deal with the root problem of our insecurities. One thing you might consider, is the next time you are criticized, even if you respond to it negatively and get upset, come back to it later and write down what happened, evaluate how you feel about it, and decide how you may be able to respond better in the future. Do not get discouraged if it takes you a while, there is no "overnight fix" for bettering yourself and your reactions.
frostyMoon72
April 6th, 2015 8:16am
It isn't easy to hear negative remarks especially when you have not even thought them yourself but just think if the criticism is actually helping you or if it is not beneficial
proudWings47
May 5th, 2015 5:17am
First we need to rephrase. I *could* have more confidence to hear what they are saying. Sometimes it's hard to take criticism. It takes practice to removed the automatic self judgments that come up. When you can rephrase thoughts like "I'm so stupid, why wasn't I already doing that?" into "I could have done this, but I didn't. Now I get the opportunity to look at the facts and my resources". It's important to remember that just because we think something that doesn't mean it's a fact. It takes a lot of practice and can start with little things throughout the day.
HopeBehindtheVeil23
August 18th, 2015 3:47pm
When your sense of self is shaky, the validation or lack of it by the outer world will affect you more deeply. The key is to realize the way out is from within only. If indeed you agree after logical analysis, think of steps to improve.
karen1692
September 1st, 2015 1:01am
I agree to a degree. If a person is criticising in an agressive and angry manner then maybe what they are saying is untrue and boiled up by anger. So in that case i dont think its a good idea to take it to heart..However, if its genuine criticizm that maybe a friend or family member is trying to advise you on then i would say yes listen,take it on board and turn it into something you learned. Critizims dont always have to be negative,but how you respond to them makes all the difference.
Greatlistener87
April 11th, 2016 4:04am
It is really good that you realized that this should not effect you in anyway. Remember you are in charge of your own happiness as others are for themselves. So its your job to make sure that you take care of your own happiness and not let anyone or thing get in the way.