Everyone's a critic!

Less criticism, more acceptance

"You've never been very good at taking criticism", Mum commented the other day.

"Me? I don't know what you mean!"              Answered in such a way that clearly showed I cannot take criticism! 

And this has been a big problem for me throughout my life. It's a mixture of reasons. Firstly, I'm a Virgo who needs to get things right, needs assurance it's right and is their own worst critic. They are already criticising themselves for what they have spotted they have done wrong so when someone comes along and echoes it, it's not welcomed very much!

Secondly, I'm a people pleasing, mediating pacifier who likes to stray away from conflict so getting it right and doing well is good. The problems arise when the Virgo in me goes overboard and my over analysing and thinking stops me enjoying the moment. We can be so busy analysing what someone just said, or a look they just gave us, that we don't just get on with enjoying where we are and what we are doing. We can try to change ourselves to fit in too.

Saying that, I am getting better at stepping back from the trying to mediate and sort things for everyone. I am less about pleasing everyone because, the older you get, you do realise this is just not possible! I am realising some folk won't gel with me or get me. And that really is ok. 

I used this next quote in a past blog and it still makes me laugh! 

I am getting much better at this though. Now, I think the thought then reason, perhaps that comment was not thrown at me? Maybe they are having a bad day. Oh yes, being over sensitive you can really get in your own way at times! I used to text or even call a work colleague or friend to air out any grievances or explain something daft I had said, that could have maybe been misconstrued but it was in my head a lot of the times. They'd be like, 'We're good! I don't even remember what you said!"

When you take things personally, it is difficult to step back and distance yourself. You end up getting involved in so much drama. Well, gone are my drama days thankyou. I am very happy not getting as involved in things and living a much simpler life. 

When I look back on my life, I haven't taken criticism well at all. But you can't have criticism without the praise. Thinking about it, I've not always reacted to compliments very well either, becoming shy or giggly or brushing it off and bringing something or someone else up! The main way is detracting the compliment and sending one back. I even tell the waiter or waitress to enjoy their food when they tell me to have a lovely dinner!

I am that person who cannot just nod and accept that someone loves my new dress. I have to go into where it was from, usually on the Sale rail and a bargain! If someone gives me a compliment about my new haircut, I have to quickly find something to compliment them on too! It's like we are embarrassed of that 2 second limelight! I was on a course once that tried to get us to become used to just accepting the compliment. I couldn't do it. But then, neither could most of us in the room!

I am reading this amazing book at the mo called Coffee Self Talk and it is really good at making us talk more positively to ourselves. I am getting better at self compliments. It is the fact that you automatically then go to a but .....  I am trying to end on the compliment. 

"Ooh, your hair looks lovely after being in the sun. When you smile, you look lovely!"

And walk off. Moment basked in. No,

"Although, your double chin has tripled over your holidays and that dress only just fits, if you don't sit down in it!"

How others speak to us matters a lot. We do absorb their words, especially how they are said and the audience they are said in front of. The sly, hidden criticism is so much harder to digest because that's when the mind games start. I have always said, tell me to my face. I like folk who are straight talking and I am improving on saying the odd thing back, getting it out in the air, sorting any niggles and being alright with each other then. 

It is the people who smile to your face then put you down behind your back, who can cause much damage to a person's self esteem and belief. Turns out, more often than not, that these folk are putting you down to make themselves feel better. You tend to only see that after though. 

I suppose we all need some criticism, when it is practical and not personal. We respond better to advice given, guidance and support, rather than feeling we are being told off, mimicked and belittled. 

When I look back now, I can see that I have always craved acceptance. That thrill when a teacher was impressed with your answer in class, when your friend laughed at a joke you had said, when you were invited to that special party, when you passed your tests and got a good parent's evening report so they came back smiling and shining with pride. This feeling has driven me my whole life, the feeling of making those that matter proud of me. That feeling of being accepted and getting the pat on the back.

Only, we then find adulthood a bit harder. Well, I did! It wasn't like trying for the school choir or winning the netball tournament. It was suddenly, out of nowhere, so blooming hard. Especially for those of us, craving belonging and acceptance. The adult world can be very harsh, and I, for one, was not really prepared for it. We do live and learn. We do get through it, helped along by others, by family, friends, work colleagues and strangers on the bus or in the Ladies toilet. 

When I think of some of the lovely, friendly moments with folk you bump into in a queue or on the bus, in the park or in a cafe, it does make me smile. All of us, getting on with everyday life. Perhaps having a hard day or a hormonal moment. That smiley face telling you you can go in front of them in the queue or stopping you to tell you your new hair colour looks gorgeous. These are special moments that lift you. Forget the more negative encounters. We've all had them! Focus on these instead! 

We have to remember we are all different with so many things to offer the world. We all have our own qualities and our own weaknesses. Keeps it interesting! 

It isn't just the criticism from others I am much better at dealing with. It is also the fact that I am much less critical of myself now. This is so important. The way we talk to ourselves. We sometimes take the negative of others on. Try to speak kinder to yourself.

So keep your inner voice positive, as much as possible! That inner voice telling you your flaws and wondering if you are good enough. Well, you are! We all are. In our own way. Keep reminding yourself this, daily. You might just convince yourself!

When you look at yourself each day, try not to be so critical. I absolutely love this quote I have shared before in a blog.

Even write yourself a letter or a memo, a daily reminder that you are trying your best and you, along with everyone else are getting through stuff. You are not on your own on worrying about things.
People do compare themselves to each other and put pressure on themselves. Not just you!

I am very good at giving advice but not always following it myself! We all are! This is really good though. Start following this from today!


  1. Quit all these decades ago. Lifts a weight off your shoulders! Also stick with old saying If you can't be kind be quiet!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Live the Pooh way

Bookshop Love

A breath of fresh air