How To Deal With Criticism Without Sacrificing Your Sanity

How To Deal With Criticism

No matter how much we love our family, there always seems to be (at least!) one family member who is highly critical of what we think and do. And knowing how to deal with that critical family member and their negative comments can be pretty tricky.

The good news here is that you are in control of your responses to whatever it is they have to say. There´s no need to get embroiled in arguments or start scouring the internet for other negative coping mechanisms.

Four Criticism-cracking Techniques To Resolve Arguments & Angry Feelings

#1: Avoid Taking It Personally

You´ve probably heard this one before. And that´s because it is so easy to get defensive and let those barbed criticisms get under your skin.

After all, when a family member starts negatively commenting on your weight or your appearance, who doesn´t feel hurt and frustrated; attacked and vulnerable?

The important thing to remember here is that their opinion isn’t the only one that matters.

The truth is that what others have to say about you has a lot more to do with their own state of mind than with you.

People who continually criticize others´ appearance generally have an issue with their own looks. When a family member criticizes you, it can be because that person sees you as an easy target and striking out at you helps take the focus off of their own shortcomings.

#2: Know Your Triggers

Triggers are those things that have the power to set you off; comments or actions that affect you deeply. Becoming aware of your triggers makes it easier for you to notice when others are trying to “push your buttons” and helps you consciously calm yourself to tone down your reaction to their antics.

For example, if you struggle with weight issues, negative comments about your weight might be a trigger. Those kinds of comments just may trigger a cascade of negative emotions – everything from feelings of worthlessness and frustration to feeling like a complete failure.

Because we are often closer to family members than other people in our social circle, those same family members usually have a deeper awareness of what our triggers are. And knowing those triggers makes it that much easier to hurt us.

That´s what it´s so important to avoid letting them have this power over you.

#3: Share How You Feel

There are, of course, situations where your family may not be aware that they’re hurting you. They may even think that by pointing out your faults they are helping you to face up to and overcome them.

The key here is to share your feelings and let them know how painful their negative comments actually are. Explain that you’re aware of your issues and don’t need constant negative reminders. It’s up to you to make them aware that they’re not helping.

#4: Set Clear Boundaries

The best way to teach others how you want to be treated is to set clear boundaries. Let family members know that there are some things you just will not accept. It may take a bit but they will get used to you standing up for yourself. And that´s a good thing!

Still, it only works if you are consequent about enforcing the boundaries you set.

Be prepared to take action if they overstep those boundaries.

In some cases, you may have to cut off contact for a while or take other measures to let them know that you’re serious about the boundaries.

Just remember: while you can’t control everyone, you can make it clear that you won’t tolerate rude or negative comments.

And while family is important, you should never feel obligated to spend time with those members who make a point of trying to hurt you on a regular basis. You deserve to be treated well, especially by those who are closest to your heart.

If you find yourself at the receiving end of negative comments from family members (or anyone really!), learning how to deal with criticism and manage your own emotions are important for your sanity, your health and your happiness!

About the Author Jan Marie Mueller

Jan Marie Mueller is founder of the inspirational blog ThinkBrilliantly and The Brilliance Community, a free Facebook group dedicated to empowering women to let their inner brilliance shine! Her mission is to help women everywhere shift the way they think about themselves, their world and those around them so they have the confidence to do, be and have what they want most in life!

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