What is self-criticism, objective and subjective criticism in psychology. Excessive self-criticism - what it is, how to get rid of it. Self-criticism: good or bad

Self-criticism is an ability inherent in a mentally mature and developed personality, which consists in a reflective perception of one’s own life and personality, an independent search for mistakes made, both in the behavioral and mental spheres. Self-criticism is a sign of mental health when it is expressed within reasonable limits and is relevant to current events, but its excessive manifestations indicate, on the contrary, the presence of mental disorders and are symptoms of psychoneurological disorders.

Self-criticism is not synonymous with self-criticism, self-deprecation and other options that are destructive to self-esteem and based on feelings of guilt and shame. Self-criticism represents a more or less objective point of view on oneself, where both advantages and disadvantages are present and equally evaluated, which can be compared with an outside view.

Judgments of self-criticism are based on a person’s internal beliefs, determined by his values ​​and goals, and only such a correlation of oneself with one’s own preferences is relevant to the concept of self-criticism. Any comparisons and comments about one’s own inconsistency with someone else’s value system indicate a dependent position of the individual, inadequate self-esteem. Inadequate self-esteem (inflated) is evidenced by the absence of self-criticism, which can be justified by a low level of personal development or disturbances in the psycho-emotional sphere (in the manic stage of psychosis, inadequacy of self-perception, as well as the absence of self-criticism, are characteristic).

In different contexts and ways of using this ability, stunning positive results and detrimental consequences for the psyche are possible, since, like any quality, especially inherent in a highly developed personality, self-criticism is only a tool (and the outcome depends on the person) and a litmus test (adequacy and degree of development).

What is self-criticism?

In the absence of self-criticism, experts see the beginnings of mental illness. The ability to be demanding of oneself, evaluating one’s own actions and mistakes made, and the desire to take measures to eliminate them are traits of a self-sufficient person.

In psychology, self-criticism is a set of judgments that allow you to soberly consider your actions, analyze mistakes and be able to admit them.

Note! If a person realistically and objectively assesses weaknesses and strengths, talents or lack thereof, character traits and appearance, he can be called mentally healthy.

Adequate acceptance of oneself as a person is determined by the following properties:

  • detachment from shortcomings;
  • lack of prejudice;
  • sobriety of sight;
  • lack of narcissism.

A self-critical person not only sees and admits his mistakes, but also strives to correct them. This speaks of self-respect and is the key to personal growth.

The ability to look inside yourself

This character trait is not narrowly focused - self-criticism affects all areas of human life.

Manifestations of self-criticism

Field of activityPeculiarities
FamilyPersonal assessment of actions is manifested in the recognition of mistakes and the search for compromises to build and maintain family relationships
EducationHealthy self-criticism allows you to make efforts to accumulate knowledge, eliminating its superficial perception
ProfessionThe described property helps a person to constantly adjust his skills in the pursuit of career growth
CommunicationAn adequate assessment of one’s own capabilities and knowledge, comparable to the ability to listen to the opinions of others, helps to improve interpersonal relationships
The scienceA self-critical scientist will not blindly prove that he is right based on incorrect experimental results, but will admit flaws in his work and will look for the right solutions.

Self-criticism plays a special role in the professional sphere. Modern living conditions do not allow us to stand still. Self-criticism is manifested in the ability of a teacher, doctor, engineer, worker to renew their professional potential.

Note! Self-improvement is impossible without finding gaps in knowledge and filling them. The ability to navigate changes in the surrounding world and the desire to comply with it help to develop professionally.

Fear of Inadequacy

In general, every person should be able to critically evaluate their own actions and thoughts, accurately identify their weaknesses and know how to correct them. But at the same time, he should not neglect his strengths. Some people can draw, some can sing, and some are programming geniuses.

It’s just that people tend to expect approval from their environment. It is precisely because of the expectation of this approval that we try to squeeze ourselves into a framework that we have never met and will never meet.

Self-criticism: good or bad

How to cheer yourself up quickly when you feel bad - methods and tips

Having understood what self-criticism is, we can say the following - this character trait is useful for the development of the individual and its adaptation in society. The ability to adequately look at yourself allows you to:

  • painlessly admit your own shortcomings;
  • find the strength for an objective assessment of the ego;
  • feel faith in your capabilities;
  • choose a direction for self-improvement.

A self-critical person is a person free from narcissism. He is characterized by a respectful attitude towards the people around him, regardless of their shortcomings.

Objective and subjective criticism

Considering the question of what it means to take a self-critical look at oneself and actions, it is necessary to study 2 components of this property.

Two sides of criticism

The individual evaluates the real facts of his own life. It helps you understand your own character traits General personality assessment based on one trait. This type of criticism is based on feelings and emotions.

Subjective assessment sees only “white - black”. Objective judgment allows you to break everything down into simple details and add color to your criticism. It is important that both components are interconnected.

Objective view

Is self-criticism good or bad? If you look at yourself one-sidedly, assessing your own actions and shortcomings will lead to self-criticism. Having learned to transform subjective opinion into objective criticism, a person will adequately perceive himself.

This approach allows you to identify areas and paths for self-development. A person improves not only his physical and personal abilities, but also brings new meaning to improving the quality of life.

Definition of the term

Self-criticism is a quality for which there are several definitions. For example, this term implies a sober assessment by the individual himself of various life conditions, recognition of mistakes and misdeeds. This quality is manifested in a critical attitude towards one’s own “I”. Some psychologists believe that self-criticism is the absence of egoism and the presence of self-esteem.

Manifestations of self-criticism in humans

Self-love - what does it mean?

Having understood what self-criticism is, it is also necessary to understand how it manifests itself. If a person has learned to perceive himself realistically and correct his shortcomings, this is good. Diligent criticism turns into castigation, self-criticism, this has a degrading effect on the individual.

How negative self-criticism manifests itself

Finding flaws in yourselfConstantly delving inside himself, looking for shortcomings, the subject comes to the conclusion that nothing good will shine for him in life. Having put an end to his desires and aspirations, the individual refuses opportunities, turning into a grouch
Analysis of past actionsSome people exist in the past, reliving past events. It seems to them that if they could turn back time, they could easily correct the mistakes they once made. Such analysis is good in moderation when it allows you to draw a positive lesson from the past. Otherwise, such self-criticism can break a person mentally.
DiffidenceWhen a girl is self-critical, it is good if she adequately evaluates herself and strives for perfection. But more often this leads to self-doubt. It is sometimes difficult to notice the advantages behind your own shortcomings and redirect your efforts to their development. Therefore, the person does not notice the prospects and does not strive to correct the situation
Excessive suspicionExcessive self-criticism makes a person not only insecure, but also more suspicious. He does not allow strangers into his world. This deprives him of the opportunity to experience the happiness of communication.

Feeling of self-doubt

If self-criticism means bad, you need to fight this attitude towards yourself. You need to get rid of self-examination, meaningless excursions into the past and learn to correctly evaluate yourself as a person.


In addition to numerous positive parameters, this personality trait also has certain disadvantages.

Self-criticism, modesty, and pride characterize a person who is overly demanding of himself. This leads to self-humiliation and provokes depression. A situation arises in which a person begins to see only negative qualities in himself and does not notice his best sides. With prolonged self-flagellation, various mental pathologies arise; not everyone manages to get out of depression on their own.

How to get rid of excessive self-criticism

Low self-esteem in a person from a psychological point of view

Flagellation of one's own shortcomings and actions develops into excessive self-criticism. Because of this, the individual risks getting bogged down in personal experiences, devoting his entire life to them. You can get out of a deadlock situation if you understand what a correct self-critical assessment is.

Methods of working on yourself

Taking responsibilityA person must realize that the responsibility for the situations occurring in his life lies with him, and not with outsiders. When you are able to take responsibility for your own actions, it is easier to evaluate them objectively
Control of feelingsHaving learned to cope with negative emotions, the subject becomes more self-confident. This relieves him of anxious thoughts and doubts about his merits.
Analysis of successesIf you constantly record personal victories (for example, in a notebook), this will help shift attention from looking for shortcomings to identifying hidden reserves. The accumulation of successes will raise self-esteem and eliminate the need to delve into yourself
Favorite hobbyPersonality manifests itself through skill. Each individual has a business that he is interested in doing. Through the discovery of one's own potential, mental balance is restored. Creative successes inspire you to overcome obstacles and stimulate you to take action.

Adequate self-perception

Note! The ability to work on yourself and a positive outlook on life provide a balance to your mental state. Therefore, there is naturally no need for excessive criticism.

Personal demon

Man is his own worst enemy. Sometimes it seems that it brings him unspeakable pleasure to spend a huge amount of time on his own criticism. Self-criticism is, of course, good, but at the same time it is the most common way to harm yourself.

Each of us has such a demon, which we are used to calling the inner voice, the unfriendly “I”, the inner critic, etc. This voice often sounds in the head and consists of thoughts full of criticism. And we tend to take all these negative thoughts at face value. To understand whether you are susceptible to the influence of your inner demon, consider doing something new and unusual. The demon will immediately come out, begin to point out weak points and repeat that there is nothing good in this idea, and, to put it mildly, your strength is not enough to implement it. These and similar words come from inner monsters of self-criticism all the time:

  • You can not do it.
  • They'll laugh at you.
  • Who are you?
  • Have you already forgotten the last time you sat in a puddle?!
  • This is silly.
  • To do this, you need to have what you don’t have, etc.

They are the ones who prevent you from living a full life, slowly and confidently achieving your cherished goals. Ultimately, being carried away by excessive self-criticism, a person will receive only one message: I am not good enough. But this will be more than enough for your whole life to go downhill.

The golden mean of self-criticism

To develop, a person must learn to know himself. Therefore, it is important to be able to be critical of your actions, traits, desires, and understand your strengths and weaknesses. Self-knowledge should not go beyond the bounds of reason, so as not to turn into mental pathology.

Normal self-criticism is the most objective view of one’s own shortcomings and strengths. Everything that is not included in this definition is called extremes, these include narcissism and self-flagellation.

When a person analyzes himself through the prism of personal values, principles, and internal beliefs, this means that he self-critically perceives all his qualities. He may like them or not, but if such an assessment is based on the opinion of an outsider, then self-awareness will turn out to be inadequate and will lead to mental disorder. Therefore, it is so important to find the “golden mean” and be guided by it in self-improvement.


In order for self-criticism to develop, you need to know some rules:

  • it is difficult to find ideal people;
  • you should not retreat if you are sure that you are right;
  • you need to listen to your intuition;
  • You need to have fun and not lose your sense of humor.

Self-criticism is a conscious assessment of one’s positive characteristics as a person.

For example, Oblomov’s plan for youth and self-criticism can be considered a value that not everyone owns and uses.

Reasons for perfectionism

In psychoanalytic theory, there are several points of view regarding the causes of perfectionism. Thus, S. Freud believed that the desire for perfection is caused by the repression of drives. K. Jung considered this an innate property, a manifestation of selfhood. A. Adler also considered the desire for perfection to be a natural phenomenon, a stimulus without which life is not possible. But these opinions are more likely to relate to healthy perfectionism, rather than pathological.

Self-improvement is necessary for every person, but when this trait is emphasized, life turns into existence. With a neurotic need for perfection, the image of the ideal self predominates, that is, a distortion of the personality’s self-concept occurs.

The tendency towards perfectionism is formed in preschool and primary school age. Prerequisites for formation - features of family upbringing. Only children in the family or first-born children often become perfectionists. In addition, children whose parents:

  • overly critical and demanding;
  • set high expectations and standards of behavior, use indirect criticism;
  • do not express approval or express it conditionally, inconsistently;
  • They themselves suffer from perfectionism and teach this behavior by personal example.

A prerequisite for perfectionism is the need to achieve parental love, praising the child exclusively for achievements. As a result, the child learns to avoid criticism and disapproval and to do everything to be loved. The future perfectionist grows up with the conviction that it is impossible to make mistakes, fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. The child lacks support, a sense of security, and support.

Thus, we can distinguish 2 interrelated main reasons for perfectionism:

  • Unsatisfied need for love. Inside a person lives a childish attitude: “if I am perfect, I try and do everything perfectly, then my parents will love me.”
  • Lack of self-esteem. A person constantly proves something to himself, tries to rise in his own eyes, begin to love and respect himself.
( 2 ratings, average 4.5 out of 5 )
Did you like the article? Share with friends:
For any suggestions regarding the site: [email protected]
Для любых предложений по сайту: [email protected]