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My manager is very impatient and often criticises me. I cant take criticism well and have a low threshold of stress. What can I do to get stronger (to cope) on my own and without changing her at all?

110 Answers
Last Updated: 02/26/2022 at 11:51pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Polly Letsch, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

I provide non-judgmental, person-centered, objective therapeutic treatment for individuals of all ages to improve social, emotional, mental and other areas of functioning.

Top Rated Answers
- Expert in Work Stress
June 23rd, 2016 3:48am
You will need to know that whatever happens at work, don't take it personally its just business. Give yourself some space and time if needed to deal with the stress or emotions. Excuse yourself if you must to do so.
October 22nd, 2016 7:50am
Practice taking criticism. Have a role-playing session with your friends for fun or with yourself for privacy, and imagine the worst criticism you have received and could received. Imagine different ways you could repond to those: bad ways and good ways both. Imagine how you have responded in the past, and one thing you could have improved on and how. Consider why you don't take criticism well, and what's underneath that. Is there something you can change there? When your manager says something cruel to you, imagine in your head something funny they could have said instead, or the way they could have said that which would have motivated you instead (you don't have to say it out loud to them, just think it amusingly to yourself.) Reach out to your coworkers and see if you can make friends with one or more of them: they may feel the same way, and their comradery will help you stick around there longer. If your stress at work interferes with your day-to-day wellbeing, it may be in your best interest to jump ship and take the healthy risk of finding a healthier working environment.
June 24th, 2016 3:09am
This is a difficult and stressful situation, and how I tried to cope with a similar kind of a situation was by telling the person how much I was trying and that the person's criticism was really hurtful. Try not to make any promises that you are unsure of your capabilities of fulfilling and be honest.
June 24th, 2016 11:32pm
just try to ignore him and smile when he is bullying you, stay strong and realise if he is hurting someone that means you're better person than him,
July 15th, 2016 11:15am
When she speaks, pretend it's your favourite comedian. Believe me, your manager seems like she's got her own issues in the first place.
August 21st, 2016 12:09am
Just count to ten every time she criticizes you! Distract yourself and if it helps think about the money that you will have when you get your paycheck:) It will make it seem like less of a problem:)
April 27th, 2018 8:30pm
Learn from the criticism and mistakes. Be acountable for your actions and do not take things personally.
June 27th, 2016 1:29pm
I have struggled with criticism myself, because I thought it meant I wasn't good enough at my job. Then I'd find myself very upset with me, and thought my boss didn't like my work. Come to find out, it was only one aspect of something that s/he would want me to work on improving. When I crawled inside and thought negatively about the criticism, I couldn't see where they wanted my best interests at heart. Maybe ask yourself what makes criticism difficult and what emotion is getting challenged for you. Is it really the criticism that is challenging you? Do you recognize any internal thoughts about you when hearing critical feedback (which can be very good for us to hear - though hard to hear)
July 16th, 2016 9:52pm
Just keep reminding yourself that this has nothing to do with you, or nothing is wrong with you... Do your best with whatever task is assigned to you, and then simply step back, and stay calm. Don't let this affect your self-worth and personal life.
July 17th, 2016 2:57pm
In life, you will meet impatient people. And one thing you could do, wellis to be patient with them
November 11th, 2017 3:00am
Understanding, understanding, understanding. When I get fed up with my cyclical trap of stress, I just need any different emotion as a stimulant, I don't even discriminate emotions at the tipping point of stress. Work is a particularly challenging place for me to manage my emotions because I understand that these people don't know where I came from to be the person I am. Accept that your manager may not ever know you as well as you do, and accept that you are stressed and struggle with the criticism. Also, no manager is perfect and they make mistakes. Taking deep breaths and learning to protect oneself at work, internally, can help to demonstrate to your manager that, hey, yes what you are saying does bother me, but I am still me and I am trying. Perhaps, asking what suggestions the manager may have, to improve yourself at work, and view what you feel you can rationally handle. Change is gradual. Just because your manager cannot be patient with you, doesn't mean you also need to accept the way they treat you. The best thing I can suggest, is to find another emotion or thought process to substitute for the stress. Something that may help you and your manager, simultaneously, to streamline the criticism.
June 30th, 2016 4:48pm
First thing is, you can't change your manager.If she criticizes you about something, do the best about it that you can do.Don't let her criticism get to you
July 7th, 2016 2:17pm
There are two types of criticisms. Constructive and unconstructive. If you are being offered constructive criticism perhaps it'll be wise to write it down and assess how you can improve on it. Reassure yourself that this is for your own personal growth. It's also not a reflection that you're incompetent or your manager would not bother to offer the criticism. She does it because she's aware of your capabilities. If it is unconstructive criticism, then calmly close your mind off to it. Breathe and continue doing your best.
August 26th, 2016 5:49pm
Another tough situation because our jobs are such a big part of our life. But I would study up on ways to counteract what she's doing. There's nothing wrong with finding confidence in yourself. I had a boss who would hover over me and completely stress me out. So I learned about a technique called the "Johnson". It's where someone hovers over you to intimidate you. So I decided to not let that happen ever again and I was ready for it. When she came in, I sat straight up in my chair and looked her in the eyes. (And if sitting wouldn't work, I was going to simply stand) But it totally worked and she never did that to me again. I hope this helps you a little.
October 27th, 2016 1:36pm
You can either change the job if possibly or just ignore the criticism, if it's a feedback then it's okay but in another case just try to ignore it.
May 30th, 2018 2:27pm
The first step is to understand that you always need healthy criticism to grow yourself. You don't have to take everything personally. If not for criticism, none of the real life heroes would have been what they are now. And this is not going to be as easy as it may sound for you, at least in the beginning and it's fine. A few tips might help. 1) Try putting yourself in the manager's shoes time you face criticism and see if he genuinely has a point or if he's nitpicking. Chances are high that in most cases, the manager might be genuinely putting across a point for the growth of you and the company. I'm not saying managers are always right but trying to see things from a different angle can bring in a lot of change in your life and it will make you a much open minded person with high tolerance for different opinions as well. 2) Try not to take everything personally. Not everything is your fault. Sometimes everyone messes up and you receive healthy criticism just for personal growth. Also, don't take yourself too seriously. At times, laugh at yourself and some stupid stuff that you do. Laughing at oneself makes them a much tolerant human being.
July 14th, 2016 1:39am
Find ways to self-soothe so that your stress levels stay low. These may include getting out in nature, exercising, journalling, yoga, a good nights sleep, meditation, making a vision board, reading a good book.
July 14th, 2016 1:26pm
If my manager is very impatient, and I cannot rake criticism, I will try to talk to a close person about it in order to be able to deal with my emotions.
July 20th, 2016 11:40pm
I think you can try to breathe deeply whenever she makes a criticism. Evaluate if what she says is true or not, maybe she's trying to teach you how to improve your work and she's not able to say it properly. If not, then you can simply try to be the best in what you do and improve at it every day, organising your time and trying to complete all the work you have.
August 3rd, 2016 12:59pm
Is it possible that your manager is under pressure from her own superiors, and so her own stress is being passed down the chain to you and your co-workers? That might be something to consider... Regardless, there's the old saying "It's not personal, it's just business." With that in mind, try to detach from the personal aspects of your manager's criticisms (Granted, it's easier said than done sometimes!). Instead, listen to the //constructive// parts of her remarks and let those be a guide to improving your work.
August 6th, 2016 7:40pm
You can get help on the growth path. It includes short and calming exercises that help you grow stronger. Take one day at a time. Breath and try doing the things you like and you enjoy doing, listen what your manager is saying and take the best of it, if there is something that will make you grow then take it with love, if nothing that she/he is saying is for making you grow and it's only to criticize you, don't take it personal.. It probably has something to do with her, not you. Smile beautiful 😊❤️
August 27th, 2016 9:33pm
Relaxation exercises such as those you can find on your growth path are helpful but you cannot deal with an issue by tackling only its symptoms. You might have to talk to her.
September 1st, 2016 10:48am
I also experience bad feelings when I am criticized but I tell my self that no feedback is worst than criticism. And I try to listen to criticism. what is your strategy to cope with criticism?
September 7th, 2016 5:40pm
Have you spoken to your manager about how you would like to receive feedback? Some associates like feedback given directly, while others prefer to have an open and positive conversation about it. I find that open communication often alleviates many work place concerns.
September 10th, 2016 1:04am
Honestly, learning just get yelled at and not take it personally is such a valuable skill to have! Try to remember it's not personal and I like venting to my co-workers about it :)
September 28th, 2016 11:31am
Difficult conversations often invoke feelings of either "fight or flight". Here are a few tips: 1) Start from a calm place. So begin relaxed. 2) Get curious! Ask questions about the feedback to learn details. 3) Listen first. Seek first to understand ... then to be understood. 4) Try to understand the other person's perspective. Try to "stand in their shoes". 5) Make sure you are both using a common "fact base" ...and agree on the facts or data on which this feedback or critique is coming from. 6) Stay calm. Calm always. Calm wins.
October 20th, 2016 6:40pm
Tell her that pressuring you will only makes you stressed and less efficient. And that her job is not to make you pressured, but efficient. Explain calmly that the situation is slowly becoming unbearable and that may lead to you being hurt and burn-out. Never yell at her or scream at her when you tell her that.
November 20th, 2016 9:57pm
The easiest thing to do is show your manager how amazing you are at your job. Continue to show the manager that you are a strong, reliable and dedicated employee and eventually they will start to show you the respect you deserve. Try to establish a relationship with your manager and show curiousness about what they like to do. By having a relationship with your manager they will see you as another person, not just a worker.
January 7th, 2017 1:12am
This is something that I have to personally work on myself (i.e. taking other people's criticisms well without letting it get to me). It helps to acknowledge what your manager is saying though. Do you believe that there is any hint of truth in what they are telling you? If so, do take these words into account but don't let his or her words define YOU as a person. You are not an incompetent or unintelligent person because your manager thinks that you are not doing your work properly or effectively. There is always room for improving your skills/techniques but don't be harsh on yourself; you are trying the best you can already and that's what really matters.
January 26th, 2017 10:59am
Remind yourself that you are trying your hardest even if she cannot see this. Feel proud of yourself. If your manager wants things done a different way then adjust your style but know hat you worked hard and made yourself proud.