We can be criticized by any number of different people for any number of different reasons. We can be criticized by our boss, our teacher, our parent, or spouse, even our child. Criticism from others is often justified by calling it constructive criticism, but no matter how it is labelled or how diplomatically given, it often elicits an unwanted, involuntary tensing of one’s body accompanied by a feeling of valuelessness.
This tension and negative feeling can be diminished or alleviated completely by the one giving the criticism if the criticism is followed by a compliment, or sandwiched between two compliments. The tension and unpleasant feeling can be lessened or removed by oneself, if no compliment is forthcoming from the criticizing party/person. This can be done in this way: immediately after receiving the criticism (either out loud or internally) give yourself a compliment. This compliment you give yourself does not need to be related in topic to the criticism. It can be any compliment at all, as long as it is true. You should immediately discover a positive change in your feeling-state and a noticeable lessening or release of tension in your body.
However, if you are the critic that consistently criticizes yourself, then the level of harm your self-criticism does to the health of your psyche and body increases one hundred-fold. Much more than any psychological or physiological damage anyone else’s criticism could ever do to you.
So, stop criticizing yourself for heaven’s sake! Lift yourself up! Never tear yourself down! Honesty about where there could be improvements are important, but this should be tempered with acknowledgement of where in your life and being things are going well, or are on their way to improving…however slight.
Be your own best friend and cheerleader, not your own worst enemy.
I cannot take credit for these ideas. For further details on this subject, check out the teachings of Serge Kahili King. Aloha.