Some people just always seem to be critical towards everyone and everything. Although criticism is usually important feedback, there are people who just seem to be complaining by default without making a valuable contribution to your personal growth, not to speak about their own. Raising the issue with that person would anyhow be the first and most obvious suggestion, but if that doesn’t help and the critical attitude of the other person remains structural, you can explore other options.
A relative is a relative, a friend is a friend, a colleague is a colleague, and some people assume that each role comes with a certain emotional connection by default. Unless we are talking about the emotional connection a parent feels for a child, which is by nature hard to change, you can decide to thoroughly evaluate the emotional connection and ask yourself: “What does this person mean to me and what does that mean for my evaluation of the comments he/she makes?”
Criticism can be annoying, frustrating and draining, like the previous folks wrote as well. But there is an important benefit in criticism that, if you focus on it, can grow your immunity to the emotional impact of it. First of all, it could be valuable feedback about you, giving you an opportunity to grow as a person. When it becomes annoying and overwhelming, the second benefit kicks in: It teaches you stuff about the other person. Knowing more about the other person gives you the possibility to rethink the role of this person in your life. It sounds like an open door when you hear this, but it’s usually not the way people look at it. Don’t forget: Sometimes you can’t change the situation, but you can always change your perspective!
Experienced personal development coaches and many psychologists believe that the five people you spend most time with can count up for some 80 percent of your high-quality social interactions. As such, your state, your happiness and your success are most affected by your inner circle. Think twice before you decide to give up a relationship with a person in your inner circle, since this can be emotionally tough, but when it consistently puts you in a negative state, at least think about the option.
Personally, I used to have a hard time dealing with critical feedback and certainly with people who are critical by default, but I learned that changing the meaning of criticism radically changed my emotions when receiving such feedback. Very often, I experienced that the person with the critical attitude is not even aware of his or her behavior, and a good discussion usually contributes to a change of attitude.
How do you deal with structural criticism on a day-to-day basis?