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Cope with criticism and avoid low self esteem
How you handle criticism, which we all face, can seriously affect your self esteem. Handle it badly and it will really get to you. Criticism is a fact of life and it can only hurt you if you allow it to. If you can cope with criticism well then your self esteem will rise. The reason why self esteem is so closely linked to criticism is that if you are insecure or low on confidence at all you may believe all the criticism you hear and that will really hurt. It is vicious circle.
Criticism and Feedback
There is a big difference between these two. What do you think the difference is?
Here are the two definitions according to Oxford Dictionaries Online:
"The expression of disapproval of someone or something on the basis of perceived faults or mistakes"
"Information about reactions to a product, a person’s performance of a task, etc. which is used as a basis for improvement"
From the above you can see why criticism can hurt you. It is based on the idea that there is a fault or mistake and your natural reaction to that will be defensive as someone appears to be attacking you. This is not a positive definition.
Feedback, on the other hand, is more positive because it is based on information, (actual knowledge rather than guesswork or opinion). Feedback also encourages improvement. One way to handle criticism would be to see it as it really is - opinion and not necessarily true. Another way to handle it may be to see it as a kind of feedback and then you may use it as a positive to improve.
Why do People Criticize You?
It is very helpful for you to understand why people may criticize you. Understanding this may give you a different perspective and help you to handle it more positively. Here are a few reasons why people criticize others:
All of the above are negative reasons and say a lot about the person who is doing the criticizing. Your reaction should be to pity that person rather than react. One thing that will help you to react positively is to be more sure of yourself. Here is a download to build your self confidence which uses the amazing power of self hypnosis for guaranteed results.
One other important reason for this behaviour is habit. If someone has grown up with criticism from parents or from other family memebers then they may continue to do this throughout their lives believing that this is acceptable behaviour. They may not even know they are doing this.
Don't Take Criticism Personally - Learn to Cope with it!
What is the best way to respond to criticism? Should you answer back and defend yourself and if so, how?
Here are a number of things you can do:
You can actually learn something if you open yourself to what others tell you but you do not have to accept constant negativity, especially if it is not true. If there is any truth then thank that person and consider making improvements.
I hope that this article has helped you to cope a bit better with this problem we all face. If, however, you find yourself unable to cope with a person who refuses to stop this negative habit and who never has anything positive to say to you then you are faced with a choice. Maybe you should consider removing that person from your life. You do not deserve to face a continual attack from anyone who trates you in this way. If you feel you are in a situation where you cannot escape criticism then you have a bigger problem to solve but remember there is always a choice, make the decision that will enable you to build your self esteem.
“Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t”. Eleanor Roosevelt.
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