Why do people criticize? It’s an age-old question, one that has been around as long as humans ourselves.
As someone who is LGBTQ+, it can be particularly disheartening when something negative is posted about queer or gender nonconforming people, either on social media or in the mainstream media.
7 Facts to Know About Criticism
If you experience this, then it can be empowering to remember these 7 facts about criticism.
1. Criticism Reflects Them, Not You
Remember, criticism is a reflection of who they are, not who you are. It is created by them, by their mind, their emotions, and their limiting beliefs.
While they are welcome to share their perspective with you, it doesn’t mean that their reality is your reality.
Meaning, just because someone wants to “send” you criticism doesn’t mean that you need to accept “delivery”.
2. People Who Criticize Are Seeking to Fill an Emotional Need
People who are hurtful are always fearful. People who are at peace with themselves are kind.
As described by shame expert Brené Brown, criticism is a coping mechanism used by people who feel unworthy. It’s purpose is to shift the spotlight off of oneself and onto someone or something else in an effort to feel safe.
Also, people with a weak sense of self tend to feel a greater need to convince others of their “rightness” in order to feel safe, stable, and worthy.
While you can sympathize with this emotional need, it doesn’t mean that you need to internalize their messaging.
3. Criticism is a Sign of a Weak Self
Only people with a weak sense of self are intimidated by others who are different than them.
If they had a strong sense of self, the way you live your life wouldn’t affect their consciousness.
When you look at the happiest and most fulfilled people in the world, you won’t see them breaking other people down.
4. Criticism is a Function of the “Mammalian Mind”
Humans are mammals, just like our evolutionary cousins, the apes. The difference between us and them? We have a mind that can tell stories and create all sort of wild, fear-inducing future projections.
So, why do people criticize? They criticize because the mind is a dramatic “soap opera” script writer.
It presents us with a range of crazy stories, most of which never come true.
5. Criticism Results from Different Interpretations
There are now 8 billion people on this earth, which means there are 8 billion different interpretations of reality.
It is important to honor the truth of your experience. It is also inclusive (and kind) to allow other people’s realities to co-exist.
When someone shares their criticism with you, ask yourself the question, “What here is true for me?”
This is a powerful filtering question that you can use to re-center yourself in any situation.
6. Michael Jordan Doesn’t Leave Instagram comments
Personally, I love the epic quote, “Michael Jordan doesn’t leave Instagram comments.” Let’s be real. He doesn’t leave Facebook or YouTube or TikTok comments either.
Meaning, you’re never going to get criticism from someone doing more than you. You’ll only get hate from someone doing less than you.
Let that one sink in.
7. Criticism is a Sign of Success
Finally and most importantly, if you’re not getting criticism, you’re not doing enough. Criticism should be your goal, because it’s an indicator that you’re commanding attention and impacting people’s thoughts.
Go get yourself some more of it!
The only people who have time to engage on social media for hours about content that you created are people who are not confident enough to create their own. They’ll critique others in the arena, but they won’t dare venture out there themselves.
Which one of these reasons resonated the most with you? Let me know in comments below.