5 Signs You're Too Self-Critical

Being critical of yourself is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, such people tend to be excellent workers and very successful in general.

But, on the other hand, they most often have mental health problems associated with the inability (or, rather, inability) to give themselves a break.

Self-criticism, explains psychologist Ellen Hendriksen, can be either overt, when a person calls himself an idiot or a loser or deliberately belittles his achievements, or hidden, manifested through eating disorders, anxiety and depression.

But what to do if you are no longer sure of anything? In his column for Quick and Dirty Tips, Hendriksen lists five signs that you're too critical of yourself. And we summarize the most important information on the topic, and strongly recommend that you analyze each of the points.

You are never happy with yourself

“Trying to jump over your head, belittling your own achievements? Sometimes this can be useful. But if you repeat the action too often, the pattern will begin to slow down progress,” Hendriksen writes.

The problem is that even if criticism has good intentions (motivation), it is still something unpleasant. And over time, directed at oneself, it either kills the desire to do anything at all, or teaches one to concentrate on little things, leaving aside the big picture.

Distinguish self-criticism from self-flagellation

However, don’t feel that you should completely abandon self-criticism. Doubts are an integral part of personal development. Moderate self-criticism keeps us from making decisions that could cause harm. Therefore, it is important to honestly assess your strengths and weaknesses.

But at the same time, it is equally important to remember that it is okay to fail if you have learned from it. If you begin to reproach yourself for every wrong step, self-criticism develops into self-flagellation.

Don't turn down opportunities just because you might lose. The key is to learn the right lessons from the wrong actions. And unreasonable self-criticism should not interfere with this.

You're constantly depressed

Self-critical people are the most responsible and reliable. But the desire to take on everything that is offered to you, coupled with the need to complete the job in the best possible way, leads to constant stress and a permanent increase in the level of the stress hormone cortisol.

Bottom line: you never feel like everything is going well. Anxiety turns into depression associated with the flow of responsibilities, plans, details and improvements. And the breaks you may be trying to take seem unnatural and uncomfortable (when in fact, it's just the opposite).

What is self-criticism

Self-criticism is the ability to evaluate yourself and your actions. Self-critical people tend to identify shortcomings in their work and behavior. Self-criticism also represents an objective point of view of oneself.

The ability to understand which actions are effective and which are not. The ability to look at yourself from the outside, objectively evaluate behavior and change it.

To be self-critical means to listen and hear, to adequately accept other people’s opinions. Understand what you need to listen to and what you can ignore.

Self-critical people achieve success faster than others because they immediately see their mistakes and work on them.

Types of self-criticism:

  1. Fair. Manifests itself in finding actual errors, everything is explained clearly and accurately.
  2. Unfair. It is accusatory and untrue.
  3. Subjective. Gives an overall assessment based on one fact.
  4. Objective. Gives accurate information and evaluates all facts.

You always feel guilty

When self-critical people go out of order even for a short time (they came home and fell asleep, took sick leave or went on vacation), it seems to them that now they are guilty before the whole world. And this is at first. Later, they begin to fill every available space with guilt - from the queue at the ATM to the relaxing bath - constantly thinking about the mistakes they made 10 years ago.

Further more. When someone criticizes the work of such a person, it seems to him that he deserves everything he hears. It is for this reason, by the way, that people prone to self-criticism often find themselves in toxic relationships.

Self-criticism (Self-criticism) Self-critical

He was self-critical. With caustic mercilessness

criticized myself for not loving myself enough.

Fazil Iskander

Self-criticism (Self-criticism) as a personality quality – the ability
to soberly evaluate one’s actions and admit mistakes;
a tendency to identify shortcomings in one’s work and behavior. A man came to one master and asked: “What should I do to become wise?” The teacher replied: “Go out and wait there.” And it was raining outside. And the man was surprised: “How can this help me?” But who knows, anything can happen... He left the house and stood there, and the rain poured and poured. The man was completely wet, the water penetrated under his clothes. Ten minutes later he returned and said: “I stood there, what now?” The master asked him: “What happened?” While you were standing there, was any revelation given to you? The man answered: “Opening?” I just thought I looked like a fool! The master said: “This is a great discovery!” This is the beginning of wisdom! Now you can start. You are on the right road. If you know that you are a fool, then the change has already begun.

“The smartest person, in my opinion, is the one who calls himself a fool at least once a month - an ability now unheard of! – wrote F.M. Dostoevsky.

Personal development is largely built on self-criticism. In order to grow and improve personally, you need to be strict and self-critical of yourself. Criticism towards others should be suppressed, self-criticism towards oneself should be encouraged, without turning into self-flagellation and self-criticism. The result of self-criticism should be some kind of vow, asceticism, self-study, and not fruitless soul-searching and self-abasement.

Negative self-criticism is of no use. Self-criticism for the sake of self-criticism is an action unworthy of reason. It causes only harm, expressed in a blow to self-esteem and the formation of numerous complexes. Self-criticism is good if, with its help, we have diagnosed the manifestation of vicious personality traits in ourselves and begin to actively engage in self-education - cultivating virtues in ourselves, which, having become stronger, neutralize the identified vices. That is, the task of self-criticism is to identify the voice of the vicious qualities of the individual and cover them with developing virtues.

The advantage of self-criticism is that it allows you to look at yourself soberly and without prejudice. After this, a person can look at the world around him without bias. One-sided criticism is always flawed due to its superficiality and saturation with pride. It gives a distorted, illusory vision of the world, generates selfishness and vanity. Francois de La Rochefoucauld wrote: “We scold ourselves only in order to be praised.”

Having developed self-criticism, a person begins to live according to his conscience, and, therefore, sees more purity and beauty in the world. By criticizing oneself within reasonable limits, a person begins to respect others more. The presence of self-criticism is considered a condition for the mental health of an individual. An objective and realistic assessment of your own strengths and weaknesses, strengths and weaknesses is part of healthy self-acceptance.

Psychologists believe that self-criticism is “the ability to take a detached look and evaluate oneself and one’s actions; see your own mistakes and correct them if possible. Self-criticism is an attitude towards one’s thoughts, words and actions without prejudice to one’s own rightness. Self-criticism is a sober assessment of yourself and your actions in various circumstances, it is a combination of intelligence that allows you to see your mistakes and courage that allows you to admit them. Self-criticism is the absence of narcissism in the presence of self-respect. Self-criticism is an active desire for one’s own personal growth.”

Self-criticism is a sign that a person is under the influence of the energy of goodness. People under the influence of the energy of passion and ignorance, as a rule, believe that only they are good, and the rest are a bunch of vices. They scold the world, their environment, look for faults in others, and show dissatisfaction with everyone and everything. A person in goodness sees shortcomings in himself. This is active self-criticism. Correcting yourself, taking into account your mistakes is much easier than changing other people. In other words, a person in goodness engages in active, effective self-criticism, because he sees his own shortcomings and cultivates his virtues. Being influenced by the energy of passion, he criticizes those who are not with him. An ignorant person criticizes everyone indiscriminately. For him, there is only one God - himself.

Reasonable self-criticism is an honest admission of one’s shortcomings. Self-criticism should in no way be associated with an inferiority complex and a destructive sense of guilt. Complexity is the result of stupid self-criticism. Professor Melanie Fennell writes: “Distressed people label themselves as ‘stupid’, ‘incompetent’, ‘unattractive’, ‘a good-for-nothing mother’) because of any difficulty or failure. This attitude towards oneself provokes a complete disregard for positive qualities. As a result, a person sees himself only from one side. Hence the excessive self-criticism.”

Self-criticism in friendship with reason is a sign of a spiritually developed personality. When a person humbly tunes in not to his own self-justifications and self-deception, but to the energy of his spiritual mentor, he finds an explanation for his behavior, and what it should be, and not what he wants. Realizing his lewdness, he begins to repent. That is, self-criticism is implemented correctly if a person has the right attitude - without resentment, pride and stupidity. Self-criticism is effective as long as a person believes in himself. Without self-belief, it turns into self-crushing, self-destruction.

Self-criticism is the ability of developed, mature and holistic people. A person who is unable to admit that he is wrong somewhere is disabled by self-criticism. That is, he is not capable of introspection, self-research, self-criticism. A mature person looks at the world calmly and benevolently, does not encroach on anyone, does not try to pressure, change, or teach anyone.

A truly self-critical person understands that he is not perfect, that, like everyone else, he has shortcomings in manifested or unmanifested form, therefore, by accepting himself, he allows himself to be imperfect, while doing everything possible to level out his disadvantages with nurtured and carefully nurtured virtues.

Self-criticism should not cripple a person. If, by criticizing himself, a person experiences stress, tramples his self-esteem and creeps into depression, it means that he is not engaged in self-criticism, but in self-destruction, which means that he has been attacked by idealizations and various excesses, extremes and excesses. Correct self-criticism pushes a person to move further in terms of personal growth. You cannot look at yourself self-critically and feel disrespect for yourself. The poet Igor Guberman wrote in this regard:

Handsome, smart, slightly stooped, full of worldviews. Yesterday I looked inside myself and came out disgusted.

A young writer once told Mark Twain that he was losing confidence in his writing talent. —Have you ever had such sensations? - asked the writer. “Yes,” Twain replied. “One day, when I had been writing for fifteen years, I suddenly realized that I was absolutely mediocre. - And what did you do? Have you given up writing? - How could I? By that time I was already famous.

Petr Kovalev 2014 Other articles by the author: https://podskazki.info/karta-statej/

You can't ask for help

Independence and self-sufficiency are something that is encouraged and even promoted in Western culture. It would seem, what is the connection between self-criticism and requests for help? It turns out, very much so.

In the self-critical part of our brain, asking for help means showing weakness or having a deficiency. Probably the same weakness and the same lack for which we criticize ourselves so much. Simply put, asking for help in this frame of reference is a disgrace. And we don’t want anyone else to see what we don’t like about ourselves, and therefore we prefer to cope on our own, which, unfortunately, doesn’t always work out.

Examples of self-criticism in life

  1. Identify an effective path to obtain results. For example, at work you have to submit a report. To do this quickly and efficiently, you need to try different options.
  2. An example of self-criticism in literature is manifested in the work of I. A. Goncharov “Oblomov”. The main character is very self-critical of himself, he analyzes his every action. The only thing is that he doesn’t change anything in his life and doesn’t strive for better.
  3. Improving your skills. For example, after speaking in public, you realize that you are afraid of it. Then you hone your speaking skills and increasingly gather a group of people to speak to them. Self-criticism helps you overcome your fears.

You are too modest

“Self-criticism most often affects bright and capable men and women who have been told since childhood that they are smart, creative, attractive, and so on,” explains Ellen Hendriksen. “Fear of inadequacy leads such people to reproach themselves before anyone else does.”

The expert explains that, in general, self-criticism can and should be useful when it does not go beyond reasonable boundaries. It helps us become better and doesn’t let even great success go to our heads (well, just a little bit). However, too much criticism towards oneself is unlikely to turn into something good for a person. Because in the end, what was supposed to bring a person down from heaven to earth brings a person lower, from where it turns out to be more difficult to get up.

How to deal with all this?

The solution is quite simple - a healthy dose of self-love will help. A meta-analysis of 79 studies on the topic, in which a total of 16,000 people took part, showed that a positive attitude towards oneself, even against the background of failures, contributed to a happier life and greater subjective well-being of respondents.

“Understand that being kind to yourself is not the same thing as laziness or weakness,” Hendriksen concludes. And he advises us all to allow ourselves to be imperfect at least a couple of times a week.

photo: med.vesti.ru

Marina Levichiva

Remember your best qualities

In Working with Difficult People, Amy gives simple advice. Every time you hear an inner voice that doubts your success, remember your strengths. Dr. Cooper explains that the mind follows our actions: by vocalizing our positive qualities, we become more confident and ultimately feel better about ourselves.

A person with normal self-esteem makes decisions calmly and carefully, and does not refuse opportunities because he is not afraid of making a mistake. If telling yourself good things becomes a mantra, your inner critic will be silenced and you will remain confident even in difficult situations.

Instead of doubting, say out loud or silently: “I can do this” or “My efforts will pay off.” The more often you repeat this, the sooner you will believe in your strength and begin to act more boldly. After some time, when you need to make a responsible decision, you will notice that you do not doubt yourself - this will be the day of your victory.

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