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Really frustrated with myself for not being able to cope with any criticism

(17 Posts)
BlessThisMess Thu 23-Mar-17 20:20:26

I'm so fed up with my reaction to even the slightest hint of criticism. I know that I am an intelligent, good person with the usual mix of strengths and weaknesses. I know no-one is perfect. I know we all make mistakes and I am no worse than anyone else. I know I have skills and gifts that others don't have, and vice-versa.

And yet, if there is even a slight hint that someone is annoyed with me or critical of me, I kind of fall apart inside. I feel such fear and anxiety. I feel utterly useless and pathetic. It hurts so much and it can make me feel that life isn't worth living, temporarily. This week I felt like this when it wasn't even me in the wrong! Someone got annoyed with me and they were out of line in their assumptions about me, and I corrected them (by text) and stood my ground, but inside I felt awful and 4 days later I still don't feel over it. I feel humiliated and inadequate and as though I want the ground to just swallow me up.

I need to know how to get over this. I know it's ridiculous, and doesn't make any rational sense, but how do I get that message deep inside me?

How do I get past this? I'm in my 50s, fgs, I should be more confident and together than this by now.

LapinR0se Thu 23-Mar-17 20:23:26

There is a great book called (somewhat hilariously) Self Esteem for Dummies. I really highly recommend it as it's a very practical guide to improving your self worth and being less sensitive to perceived criticism.
There is also a CBT for dummies which is good but I think you might be best to start with the self esteem one and see how you go

BlessThisMess Thu 23-Mar-17 20:50:27

Thanks - I'll take a look at that. Have you used it yourself?

GloriaV Thu 23-Mar-17 20:59:24

Is there something in your past you don't talk about.
That was my prob, I had counselling and finally opened up ( I'd convinced myself that said prob was irrelevant).
Now I don't care if someone 'makes assumptions about me' - I am fine with whom I am and why would they care enough to talk about me and why would I care what they said.
It's irrelevant.

LapinR0se Thu 23-Mar-17 21:25:44

Yes I have used both books. I had months of private CBT which was brilliant but when I was discharged the therapist recommended these books to me so I could keep up the good work

BlessThisMess Thu 23-Mar-17 21:41:02

GloriaV, I don't think there is anything like that. I've had counselling in the past for depression and talked endlessly about my parents' divorce when I was 12, and the effects it had on me. I've dug around for anything else but not aware of anything. I'm not normally depressed now - though I did feel like it for a couple of days after this latest incident.

BlessThisMess Thu 23-Mar-17 21:43:19

My DD does have social anxiety and has done since the age of 2 with no obvious trigger. She was never hurt or abused or anything. I do wonder if it could be purely an inbuilt personality thing in both of us.

intheknickersoftime Thu 23-Mar-17 21:46:57

Hey op, i want to thank you for this post because i have been feeling like this today. It's so hard whilst that feeling is consuming you. I'm just coming out the other side at the moment. I work in quite a stressful environment and worry I'm not cut out for it, or causing disruption to the people I work with. It's hard. So i get how you feel. And have been asking myself the same question, why do i feel this way? I'm 46 and think my god I've raised three kids and been through so much, why do i do this to myself?

Twerking9to5 Thu 23-Mar-17 21:48:59

I get it OP-im extremely sensitive to criticism and can feel worthless at the drop of a hat. Most of the time I'm fairly confident but any perceived criticism doesn't go down well! I've wondered why-I know I'm a sensitive person by nature but I also grew up being a very "good" girl/teachers pet. I think I can't bear feeling I've done something wrong. Then feel pathetic for feeling that way!

Agree that CBT techniques are very helpful. I think nowadays I can at least try to put things into persepective a bit more. X

Phoenix76 Thu 23-Mar-17 22:26:21

I too, want to thank you for this post. I thought it was just me who felt like this! I've tried to work out where my feelings stem from with no real conclusion. People around me think I'm confident and outgoing but inside I feel like an "imposter". I wish I didn't care what people thought but I'm like you, I care too much! At least we know we've got a "problem" and hopefully, with the help of our fellow MNetters can take steps to remedy it!

BlessThisMess Fri 24-Mar-17 05:41:42

Thank you Knickers, Twerking and Phoenix. It's nice not to feel like the only one!

I don't suppose it's major enough to go to the GP and get CBT, and privately would be very expensive. Ive wondered about hypnosis.

GloriaV Fri 24-Mar-17 05:47:11

I heard about EMDR recently, it does seem to help with anxiety inducing memories. Look online for info. It does seem to help me.

coffeetasteslikeshit Fri 24-Mar-17 06:05:16

Another thank you here. And to Lapin, I've just download the Dummies book.

LapinR0se Fri 24-Mar-17 06:38:21


Imfinehowareyou Fri 24-Mar-17 06:42:36

Yes. Thanks for this, will check out the self esteem book. I am sorry you feel like this but I'm also glad it's not just me!

intheknickersoftime Fri 24-Mar-17 10:37:46

Can i just ask a question? Does anyone feel like this about their work? I constantly feel like a fraud, that everyone else is much more efficient than me and my need for validation must be a drain on others. I know I'm being given opportunities to improve myself. This is my first job that has had any permanence after years as a sahm and i want to do well. I am covering someone's maternity leave and got off to a rocky start with my lack of confidence. They must have had some faith in me to keep me on, so i know that. Just hate that feeling of feeling like I'm rubbish and way too emotional. I'm feeling like I'm hijacking a thread but am sensing a common theme so i wanted to share. I'd be interested to hear other people's experiences of overcoming those feelings.

BlessThisMess Fri 24-Mar-17 14:58:53

Yes I do feel like this about work as well, but I am in a supportive team so am encouraged by them. I don't seek as much reassurance as I'd like to, but is a less overwhelming anxiety and I am much more able to rationalise my fears at work.

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