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How to Deal with Overcritical People

Being overcritical toward others all the time might make you feel like you are powerful or better than them for a while.

However, people like to be praised more than they are criticised, and you will end up repelling friendships because of your holier-than-though attitude.

What is the Meaning of “Overly Critical People”?

Have you ever been in the company of someone who cannot see anything good in you, but is very quick to point out when you are wrong, or when you have done a mistake?

The blunt truth is that you need criticisms to become better and propel yourself toward success. But some people overdo it.

This article refers to the overly critical people who seem to thrive on pointing out other people’s weakness, faults, and inferiority.

With the overcritical people, you anticipate a negative comment to always come out of their mouth instead of encouragement. No matter what you do, say, or wear you can trust them to find something negative to say about it.

It is disheartening to live with overly critical people.

When overly critical people are your family members, friends, partner,  or people who you meet every day, they can have a more negative impact on your mental state.

How can you deal with overly critical people without losing your mind?

Remember the following:

It’s not you, it’s them

When someone is constantly finding fault in others, it reflects their own character and not the character of their victim. It may not be a personal matter. Most likely this person is not overcritical to many people.

They lack peace in their hearts and being over-critical is a way to boost their self-image. They need kindness. Respond to their overcritical remarks by showing them kindness.

It’s not them, it’s you

Your hate of being criticised and your feelings after being over criticised might not be because of them. The discomfort of being criticised reflects something about you. How much you are bothered or unbothered by judgments reveals your self-beliefs and perception of the world.

First, ascertain that you do not overly criticise other people. When was the last time you said something nice about someone and praised them from the bottom of your heart? Do you feel people are being overcritical yet you have same behaviour?

If they are right, take it

You cannot please everybody, and you cannot be excellent overnight. To become a better person, you have to be ready to take criticism without making it part of your identity.

Sometimes people who criticise you have good intentions. You might feel they are being overcritical yet, they are not. If someone criticises you for something that you really need to change, appreciate your opportunity to grow. Fear of criticisms equates to fear of improvement.

If they are mistaken, ignore it

May such people not get into your head and mess with your self-image. If you take their words to heart you may feel worthless and doubt yourself. There is a risk of judging yourself based on what they say.

You might consider people overcritical, but you also have to take responsibility for your actions. Ask yourself why people’s comments make you uncomfortable or bother you.

If they are mistaken about the behaviour they are judging you for, don’t accept their judgment. Their opinion will not be yours or define you if you do not take it.

Reduce contact with overly critical people

Reduce your time with people who don’t see the good in you. Life is already tough as it is, and you need support not being felt to fell worthless.

Also, spending a lot of time with overcritical people, will make you prone to being overcritical too. If you don’t like it when people are being too critical of you, don’t support conversations that are demeaning others. 

Otherwise, ignore them and walk away instead of reacting negatively. People who over criticise you for no good reason, usually long for attention. Pay no attention to too much negative judgment.

When people criticise you unfairly and with the intention to embarrass you, the immediate reaction you might feel compelled to do is retort back at them in the same measure and with anger. But you will only fuel the criticisms and invites them to judge you more negatively.

Control your reaction to overly critical people

You can’t stop people from saying what they think about you or judging you negatively or wrongly. What you have control over, is your reactions to them . If you feel you have to say something, say it with a calm collected voice.

Direct your criticism toward actions and behaviours, not people. Focus on saying things that uplift and help people to become better and not to demean them. 

Do not let other people’s criticisms be a fuel of yours. Often someone who has been criticised, criticises someone else, too. It’s an automatic behaviour, because you are seeking to feel better even though the method is irrational. Think of a time someone criticised you, how did you behave towards others as a result?

Changing or  behaving in a different way hoping that they will stop criticizing you is not a rational solution.

Only change if it is helping you improve, not because you are seeking approval. If you adjust just to get approval, they overcritical person will have succeeded in manipulating you.

People will always criticise you. Some will give you constructive criticism that will benefit you, some will do so with bad intentions. Choose how to deal with criticism by first changing how you see the criticism.

Anyway, be prepared for criticism since you cannot please everybody and not everyone will see your positive side. 

Life is for living. Keep living. Don’t give up.

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