Do You Handle Criticism Well?

Do You Handle Criticism Well?

I have been having a rough couple of days. Perhaps it is just that James and I are so lost with what to do next, perhaps it is because we are stranded at the end of the week and don’t know where we are going to be living and so it is harder to cope with criticism or perhaps that is all just an excuse and I just struggle with criticism. I started to wonder why this might be. Perhaps I don’t take the criticism in its single form, as in the particular thing I am being criticised about but I take it as it means that everything I do and am is no good. I take the whole criticism as a signal of something bigger, something about me as a person.

Do you do this? Do you find yourself under attack and that it is the whole of you that is being attacked? Meantime it is just a singular thing or event or something that you’ve done that is under attack?

My mother used to always refer to me as being “super sensitive”, that I took everything personally and couldn’t cope with criticism. I feel that statement resonates with me so much today. I hate it though! I hate letting things get to me and feeling like I am not strong enough to cope with a little criticism. It is better when I am above it all. Usually when I am doing something that is bigger than the criticism itself. Then I just turn things around and say I am better than that criticism, but I guess at the moment with so many unknowns perhaps it is just harder to cope with things.

I received my first negative comment on my blog a few days ago. I didn’t even post it up on the blog because I couldn’t cope with it. The girl was really angry and said I shouldn’t be indicating to people that there is a cure, when she felt there wasn’t one. She said my blog was BS and rubbish. It really hurts. I put so much thought into my blog. I think about it every single day and try and come up with solutions for women with Endometriosis and give them a positive and natural way of healing. I was at a point of almost giving up on the blog today but hey, I am writing this instead.

So, what do we do about it?

Well, the reality is that the world is filled with opinions from different people. There will be positive people and negative people and some people simply have their own agendas. We have beliefs about life and diseases and we have a right to those. Some people will choose to share them with you and some feel that perhaps their criticism might help you, on some level. When we take it totally personally we are losing the message in what they are saying. We are not really listening to the point of what they are saying. If we allow ourselves to process what they are saying, without suggesting that it is a personal attack, then we can learn and grow from the criticism.

We can also appreciate that not everyone is going to agree with us or our opinions on the world. This is their choice and it is not to say that their belief is wrong. It is just a different belief that comes from different life experiences.

I am still feeling hurt by the comment but I guess what I need to realise is that it is simply an opinion and not a personal attack on me, as this person doesn’t know me or much about my blog. She simply read one article and then formulated an opinion. I guess this is the dangers of the internet. We cannot communicate through direct people contact so perhaps the message is not always clear or understood.

How about you? Do you cope well being criticised? What do you do? How do you handle it? Does it hurt you for days?

Any suggestions or advice would be great!

Big hugs,

PS: If you want to figure out how to manage endometriosis naturally, sign up to my free REACH Kickstarter program. Simply click here to sign up. 

Share your thoughts...

  1. I’m glad you reposted this on your recent email. I dip in and out if your blog periodically, but this one resonated with me today.

    My mum also commented on my very sensitive nature as a child and I’d often get told off for crying for no good reason. This means I try to avoid criticism but despite this I’ve developed a lovely inner-critic that does a number on me most days.

    However, your blog post has helped me realise that there’s a way past it and i can’t go through life pretending I’m made of Teflon. I just have to accept that il everyone’s different and I can’t please everyone all the time.

  2. Hi Melissa,
    I think that their are two kinds of criticism, one being constructive and the person that posted that comment has no idea what you’re doing for yourself or many of women that are in the same situation and may feel helpless. I think that you are a very selfless woman and you definitely don’t deserve to take negative feedback personally. I think endo girls are sensitive by nature but what we must realize is that sensitivity can also be such a gift. We are able to also be sensitive to others and their needs. Just like many things in society, being “sensitive” is deemed a negative trait. I think that we can build a stronger resilience to our sensitivity and learn to protect ourselves better but I don’t see my sensitivity as a bad thing.

  3. WOW! I see that this blog was posted quite a while ago, but you have no idea how thankful I am that this is one of the first things that I saw on your site today. I have been to your site many times over the last year or two and I am so appreciative that you have this. It has given me releif that I’m not the only one going through such physical and emotional trials, and there is hope. I have been struggling with criticism at work and taking it personally. I feel the stress of work comes home with me and I hate it!!! I hate that my husband says that I take everything too personally, and to let it go. Oh, if he only understood how difficult it is to do that. I would gladly let go of it if I knew how. It has been eating me up for the last few days because I wonder if my miscarriage (1st pregnancy after 1 1/2 of trying) 3 days ago was due in part because of my stress and disfunctional body. I’m getting signed up to see a counselor and I really hope she can help me figure out how to not get so stressed when I get any criticism. I do take it on as a personal attack against my character and that just kills me.

    • Hi Renee,
      My blog has a funny way of doing that 😉
      I think it is easy to be self critical and to also overindulge in blaming ourselves. I know I do that too. Going through a miscarriage is really hard. I can’t even imagine how it feels. Your body can heal sweets. There are plenty of women who have managed to fall pregnant with endo. Allow yourself some time to heal and to recapture your true self. Maybe take up painting or dancing or something creative. I find this really soothes the soul. Hugs Renee….

  4. I do not handle criticism well either and my mom always used to call me super sensitive, hyper sensitive and the like.

    I think I am slowly becoming less sensitive but cannot take criticism well either 🙁

  5. Criticism is hard. But you ever notice that they just want to give you “constructive criticism. It hurts anyway it comes. I think being sensitive is a great quality. So many times I have been told you are “too sensitive”. But that is the way God made me and I will never succeed
    at being someone else.
    I think you are wonderful Melissa. I have gotten so much out of your website. Just knowing there is someone out their that shares in my story is awesome.
    You will never please everyone. That is a definite. If it lines up with God then it is all good. I think you are an angel.
    “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
    That is a quote from maya Angelo
    I think you have made many include myself feel better, hopeful with some goals on how to deal with the challenges of endo. Curing from the inside out.


    • Hi Jane and thank you for your kind words! I am glad it makes you feel better and gives hope. That has been my intention all along 🙂
      Thank you for commenting and letting it be known that you read my blog and that it gives you something back!

  6. I have never been one to handle criticism very well at all. Not sure why that is, maybe it’s the result of bullying by other kids when I was younger, being heckled and scorned by my father? I’ve not learned, after 36 years, to just deflect the energy and not get upset.

    You know, I think the girl who wrote the comment has been so brainwashed by everything she has read and had drummed into her by the medical profession that she is playing the victim so that she doesn’t have to take responsibility for her own health. She may be an Endo sufferer as we are, but she’s not helping herself by being so closed-minded.

    Endo is a physical manifestation of unresolved trauma – according to Louise L Hay’s “You Can Heal Your Life”, it is usually related to “insecurity, disappointment and frustration”. It would serve each of us to be introspective and ask ourselves what are the recurring patterns of believes or events in our lives that bring about those feelings of insecurity, disappointment and frustration. There are no easy answers… I still haven’t found mine, otherwise I would be endo-free!

    • Thanks Belinda for sharing your thoughts. I totally agree with that statement! I also think that “insecurity, disappointment and frustration” can be eliminated with positive affirmations and being proactive about things in our lives – not just our health but our personal goals. For me, discovering Gratitude has been a massive one to eliminate those feelings. Live is so short and yet we seldom appreciate what we have with us, right now in this very moment! Who we are and the people that love us!
      I think it is true though that being sensitive also makes us better people! We care more about others as we don’t want them to hurt as we so easily do 🙂

  7. Dear Melissa,

    You provide great information, help lots of people and your website is definitely on the right track. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. 🙂

    Have a wonderful day ahead. 🙂

    P.S. The young lady who hurt you was very likely just in a lot of pain and didn’t know how to deal with it any better. We’ve all been through those kinds of days – where we feel overwhelmed and that nothing / no one can help us. May the universe guide and bless us all. 🙂

    • Hi Pam,
      Thank you! That is so sweet! I know that some people lash out when they are in pain but I wish they would use a punching bag instead 🙂
      You have a great day too!

  8. I know this is coming way after the incident but I have just recently discovered your site. I have spent my entire life being labeled “over sensitive”. At this point in my life I am truly okay with it! Some days that a little more personal fortitude then others but I am the way I am because I believe that my energy was seen as necessary upon my entrance into this world (I know that probably sounds very hoke or hypie but it’s how I feel). But I digress, so back to the real issue!
    The woman who lashed out at you with such fierce negativity has probably been bombarded by all of the same medical malfunction that the rest of us have and she didn’t find what SHE was looking for in the information of this site. That is not to say that YOUR efforts and information are not valid and meaningful to others! She probably visited dozens of sites that day trying to find that golden nugget of hope that would meet HER needs. By the time she reached yours she was thoroughly frustrated and unfortunately lashed out at you. There is so much negative or misinformation presented to women who suffer with endometriosis that at times i’m sure we all have wanted to just lash out and even hate our bodies because we don’t understand and the doctors don’t seem to either! I’ve struggled with my endomtriosis for over 15 years. I have been told everything from “it is all in your head” to “you are just exaggerating” and the really lovely “you just have a low pain tolerance”. Maybe I am oversensitive, maybe we all are, but with sentiments like the ones that I just listed and that I am pretty sure we have all heard- who can really blame us! Please don’t take what that woman said and let it fester inside of you. This blogs helps many people, including you! Thank you for your gift of time and knowledge.

    Bless this Day )O(

    May this day be blessed with gifts
    Lessons, understanding and friends
    May my energy be a gift to all I meet

    Let me be centered, healing and open
    May I face the day with courage
    kindness, insight and compassion

    May my spirit and body, honor this day

    ~ Abby Willowroot © 1999

    • Hi Abby,

      Thank you so much for your kind words! They are never too late as I still have to deal with some negativity with this blog – not too much though 🙂 thanks to girls like you! It is always nice to feel that the work you do is valued and I guess sometimes I do take it very personally when people cannot see that my efforts here are only to help women. Well, lets just be over sensitive, low pain tolerance girls and “in our heads” as much as we like – TOGETHER! It is fun to share the pain and struggles of it all with the world and especially when you get to find such beautiful people such as yourself 🙂 After all we have to stay sane and have a sense of humour about it all! Thanks again Abby! Your prayer is really sweet!

  9. I used to be able to take some criticism but it seems as my endo worsens, my ability to deal with criticism or even negative words decreases. I am also especially "overly sensitive" during "that time of the month" when my endo pain is at it's worst. I have recently come to telling people "I'd love your feedback but please don't be too harsh right now… frame it in a positive light so I can grow from it."

    • Hi Kate,
      Yes, that might have something to do with it. I think it is probably whenever there is too much other stuff going on, whether it is pain or making major life decisions – as is the case at the moment! I love your statement – frame it in a positive light! This is such a good way to say things! After a few days I actually feel more determined than ever to keep my blog going! I went to the library yesterday and read up on heaps of books showing the various natural forms of healing for various different conditions. I am excited to get into all of it again and share it through this blog!
      Thanks for your kind words Kate and for sharing!

  10. I am the same- you let it go, give it to god, goddess, a higher purpose or whatever you believe in.
    Whenever you feel this way take a long, deep breath! Remember your tendency for sensitivity and being overly sensitive and let go the hurt. Dont take it personally, lifes too short to be offended and take things so personally. I am the same way as you and I have come to realise being sensitive is not a burden, it is a gift! One just needs to know how to work with it. Sensitive people are generally the most caring empathic types- where would the world be without them? You feel things deeply- accept it, dont fight it but give any pain and suffering you feel to a higher power. Work on personal boundaries- come to know the difference between someone elses negativity and your own and learn to not take on others negativity and to rise above it. This has what has helped me. To have to learn and accept that others are not as kind or thoughtful or sensitive and often people do not think before they speak. Do you think this person who message you would have done so after knowing how much she upset you- maybe? maybe not- I would like to think probably not. Buddhism has really helped me with my "sensitivity" problem and compliments my yoga practice, helps with stress and overall way of living. Do some nice relaxing yoga and breath in and out through the heart. No matter how hurt you feel ever- know you are always loved. Namaste! 🙂

    • Hi Sarah!
      Where are you in NZ? I am in Auckland – would be great to meet you!
      Thank you for your kind and spiritual words. They have helped me so much today. I did an hour of Yoga and had a long shower afterwards and feel heaps better! It has been a long day and perhaps there is too much other stuff going on in my life at the same time, which has made the whole thing bigger than it would've been on any other day.
      Thank you so much for your wonderful perspective on being a empathic person! That is so true and a great way of turning the sensitivity into something positive! It is probably my big motivation for creating this blog! I want to help people and it is the very reason I feel I have the right qualities to write and share my story online! Thank you for allowing me to recognise that!

      Namaste to you too!

  11. I definitely am also labeled "overly sensitive" and I seem to take "work" criticisms fine (while I'm at work), and yet, I go home and internalize and take everything personally…for days. I am even sensitive when someone criticizes my husband. He is a Lutheran Pastor and it hurts me when someone criticizes him. I have to talk myself through it and find the good in it and let the rest roll of my back and it's not easy, but I have to look at it this way… All the energy I'm spending on fretting and feeling down with the criticism, I could be using for more productive things…my hobbies, cooking new and yummy recipes, spirituality, reading, spending time with loved ones, calling up my friends and talking about it. That time would be better spent doing those things than dwelling and moping and feeling bad. When I feel bad, my bad habits come out (the not eating well, mostly). I turn to food when I feel bad. So, I've been trying to turn to the better foods and trying to work through the criticism. I heard a great quote from a movie recently (kind of a fairy tale-type movie about a girl who had a curse put on her) and the moral was "It's not the power of the curse, but the power you give the curse." It's true. It's the power we give to all those negative things that create more havoc on our bodies and our minds an spirits. We can't give the negatives all the power. It will control us and ruin us.

    • Hi Kim,

      Thank you for you sweet comment and your email on Facebook! You are truly so wonderful and caring for helping with this! You are totally right! I am simply giving the person more power over me and allowing her to hurt me. That is my choice and I can choose to take it on board or dismiss it. Thank you for the valuable insight! I have spent the day focusing on making a bigger plan for my life ahead. It is uplifting when we can find a way to rise above it all! It has taken some energy, I must admit but I feel better now.
      Moping and feeling bad – yes I have done a fair amount of that today but in the end I had to put the real perspective on it and realise that my goal was to help women around the world with this blog and those that want to find the natural way to healing will know they have come to the right place. I look forward to sharing and researching more so I can help as many women as those that want to be helped!
      Thank you again Kim! You have made my day so much better!

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