“If you hear that someone is speaking ill of you, instead of trying to defend yourself you should say: “He obviously does not know me very well since there are so many other faults he could have mentioned.” ~ Epictetus
I am no stranger to criticism. I’ve gone through the process of being ostracized from groups of friends, lovers and work colleagues. Often times, for nothing that I’ve done other than thinking different, amicably disagreeing or wanting to lead my own path. Of course, that’s coming from my mouth – maybe I was a huge dick – I can’t be certain. However, what I can be certain of is that it’s important to understand and know how to deal with critics, haters or angry cunts.
Some People Will Always Criticize You
One of the most important lessons I have learned, is that certain people will criticize you no matter what you do. I’ve had the same people call me a pathetic, delusional dead-beat loser when I had nothing – only to call me a shallow narcissistic asshole once I achieved a certain level success. That’s the funny thing about criticism – that it’s a constant. The benefit in understanding this is knowing that you can live life just the way you want to. You can go after your goals and dreams without fear because you know no matter what you do, there will be people who will try to knock you down. They’ll try to shit on you when your up and they’ll try to shit on you when you’re down.
Who Are They To Criticize You?
People tend to inherently love themselves over everyone else. This is due to our own instinct to survive and there is nothing wrong with it – you should love yourself over other people. However, even though we love ourselves more than others – we still frequently take other peoples opinions above our own. But, why don’t we respect our own opinions? It’s due to a lack of self-trust. Just because someone thinks they know what’s best for you doesn’t mean they know what’s best for you. Odds are you know what’s better for you than any other person ever could.
Most people who criticize you have no more “figured out” in life than you do.
Look at where the source of criticism is coming from. Who is the person that is criticizing you? Are they without sin, failures or faults? It makes no sense to take someone else’s opinion over yours that has no true authority on the subject. Has the person who is criticizing your dreams and bashing your goals accomplished anything noteworthy with their life? Probably not. Has the person criticizing your new fitness goals spent one day in the gym? Maybe, but they didn’t stick with it. Has the person criticizing you on running a business ever ran a business before? Odds are, probably not.
Now if the person has real authority on the subject then go ahead listen to what they have to say. Just make sure that you don’t automatically accept what they say as truth. At the end of the day, however, most people who criticize you haven’t done jack shit with their lives and should be ignored.
They Are Holding You Back
The last point I made leads into the next point I’m going to make – which is people will hold you back. Even people that you think have your best interests at hand will prevent you from achieving your goals – often through criticism. Nobody wants their friends, lovers or colleagues to change or outpace them in life. Why? Because it’s uncomfortable for them and they have less control over you. So they put effort into shutting you down and shooting your goals down to keep you on their level.
Here are some scenarios where this kind of criticism is experienced. (Now there may be innocent examples of these – but often time it is based on negative insecurities).
A girlfriend doesn’t want her boyfriend to apply for law school. So she criticizes his abilities and intelligence.
REASON: She doesn’t want him to leave her for another woman(maybe one of a higher quality than her). He might realize he can do better, or that she no longer fits into his new ambitious and educated lifestyle.
A father criticizes his son on his new business ideas. Telling him that it won’t work – or that it’s too hard and going to college is a smarter route.
REASON: The father never actualized his dreams and his son actualizing them shows the painful truth that he never amounted to his full potential.
You’re Letting Them Enslave You
Criticism has power over you and people use it to control you. The reason is simple, it’s about withholding validation from you. Ever since we are children we try to get the approval of our mother or father by doing what they want us to do. If we do something bad they criticize us and we desperately try to obtain their good will again. Until we get it back we feel like a prisoner and they are the only one who have the key. Their approval unlocks us from our discomfort, fears and insecurities.
People in your adult life act exactly the same way. If you seek their approval or validation you will ALWAYS be their slave. You have to understand what criticism is, and to be able to ignore it and brush it off. Their approval of you should mean nothing to you – this is your life and you should live it the way you choose. You will attract the right kind of people when you live true to yourself and the critics…… well they will keep bitching in their corner.
*I want to add in a caveat. If you really are being a piece of shit – then consider making a self adjustment.
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