Excerpted from "A Year of Health Hints"
365 Practical Ways to Feel Better and Live Longer
Are you thin-skinned? If critical remarks (or perceived
criticism) are unduly painful for you, learning to put them in
perspective can reduce their impact.
But why does criticism hurt in the first place? Part of the
reason is fear that the criticism may be warranted--that you are
indeed too fat, too slow, too loud, or whatever barb has been
lobbed in your direction. The other factor may be low
self-esteem. If you don't feel so good about yourself, you're
more apt to take criticism to heart. On the other hand, if you
feel fairly self-assured, the negative remarks of others are more
likely to bounce off.
Still, a fair amount of criticism may be valid--and just what
you need to correct a fault. In order to decide just how much
attention a critical remark warrants--or what you should make of
criticism seem reasonable? Is there some truth to what was said?
should pay attention
to the remark.)
Have I been
criticized by other people on the same issue? (If so, maybe it
Does the person
making the critical remark know what he or she is talking about?
(If he or she
is a self-appointed
critic-at-large, ignore the remark.)
Was the remark
really directed at me, or was the critic venting general
frustration, anger, or
something over which I have no control? (If criticism stems from
Is the criticism
based on a difference of opinion? (If so, don't overreact.)
If you decide that the criticism is valid, you can consider
taking positive steps to improve. If it's unwarranted, forget it.