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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am hard working and good at work. My grades are literally the best possible. I am competent, trustworthy, always on time, independent, never slacking off. I outdo most trainees in this profession and due to this my instructor challenges me in a lot of ways and really wants to encourage me and prepare me for a higher position.

He fears, if he would evaluate me too good in the semester evaluations, I would slack off or loose the motivation to improve myself. So what he does is evaluating me on a much much higher level than other trainees. I do understand his reasons and i thought of it as not a bad idea.

During the last weeks I had a hard time at work. I had to participate in a kind of 'exchange' of workplace for educational reasons. Integrating myself in a new team and place, not allowed to work for myself as I was used to (had no privacy), had to process a LOT of knew knowledge, had 2h more travellingtime to work per day (which resulted in me not having enough time to refill my energy) and on top of that, my instructor for the vocational training passed by for the semester evaluation.
After this I had a break down. Not infront of people. Not at that specific day. But over the week something drained me out more than all the new things listed above I had to deal with. At the weekend I was completely devastated and asked myself why is that?
Having a fight with another person as well (since my capability of dealing with people on a reasonable level at that time was 0) I found myself on a page about the INFJ description. There was this passage about INFJs being very sensitive to criticism and it hit me in the face really hard.
Eventhough I do understand my instructor and his reasons, I am completely unable to deal with it and it makes me feel extremely missunderstood and inadequate.

If I get criticized I normally reply to it with an explanation of why I did the thing I got criticized for. In no way I want to justify my actions (i know when I did something wrong and I can stand in for it), I only want my opponent to understand why I did what I did and explain myself.
Over the time I got often the critique 'you cannot accept critique' because of this -with the person giving the critique understanding 'accepting critique' in a 'saying yes and nothing more to it and do somthing about it' way.
I personally take critique very seriously and I think every critique throughoutly over and look for ways/work hard to do better. Always. This is what 'accepting critique' means to me. Doing something about it.
I know a lot of people who say 'yes' and 'amen' to a critique and do nothing about it/think to themselves 'yeah yeah as***le' and they are the ones referred to 'accepting critique' and I am not because I have a really hard time to say just 'yes and amen' to critique. If I want to talk about this people shut me down with a 'see, you cannot take critique, just learn to accept it' and I feel discouraged and stop explaining myself.

Now this semester evaluation drained me out in more than one way.
First was the evaluation itself. If you get told :"This and this and this would be actually very good, but because I want you to improve,not to get lazy and challenge you I will rate you good" and you think to yourself: "I have no idea how I am going to do that and what exactly does he want me to improve if he could already rate it very good..." and you know your other colleagues get rated 'very good' with half of the effort put in... it discourages me. It drains me. It puts a looot of pressure on me.
Second was: because my instructor wants me to improve and boost me and challenge me...he is in a constant search of faults. Since he has no real clue about what or how I do things, he gets his information from Third-Persons and adds his part to it. I do things wrong, I make faults, I could tell him about my faults. Instead he takes faults which were not really mine and tells me to improve it. Which is frustrating and leads to the third point.
I have to accept whatever he tells me, otherwise I am not accepting criticism in his eyes and get instantly criticized for it -Which would be half okay for me if the criticique was fair and but it is extremely hard if it is unfair.

Because others fear I would slack off if they rate me too good or want to leave room for improvement, I must accept a rating which does not really mirror my effort in comparison with others. I have to suck things up and am not able to explain myself. I get told "you do not have to feel pressured" and at the same time they want me to improve something that is already way over the top of the casual work performance.
I have my principles. I do not need lower ratings to maintain or improve my work performance like others. I am constanly trying to improve myself nontheless (which I can proof with my former vocational training where my boss rated me constantly very good and I still improved and gave it my all).
It destroys me because I feel like it will never be enough. It destroys me because I feel not taken for who I am. It drains me because it is simply too much to just suck up and be okay with it.

Critique is my Nemesis. The people which would be important to talk about this matter ( instructor) either do not listen or I myself do not really want to open up so much. It is a very personal and sensitive part of me and if my opponent would react in the wrong way, I would find myself hurt. Extremely hurt. At the same time, I do not want to go on like this because the situation right now hurts me as well and will continue to hurt. It gets worse and I have no idea how long I will able to bear it...
If you can relate, or even have a solution or counsel...I would appreciate it if you would share it with me.

Thank you for reading this far.

INFJ 6w5 Scorpio
2,271 Posts
I can relate to this completely. It is difficult if not impossible to accept criticism from someone one doesn't respect. When we interact with people whose values do not accord with our own--and, as INFJs, we've generally invested the previous part of our lives in actively developing our set of values--then the validity of what those people say comes into serious question. The only way I can get over something like this is to come to a fuller understanding of the person, especially vis-a-vis the situation he or she is in. In other words, don't look on the criticism as something being handed down as an eternal truth from an infallible god; say to yourself, "This person's opinion arises, rightly or wrongly, from his/her concern with x. There thus is a certain proportion of humanity similarly concerned with x, and if I want to please those people, this is what I am going to have to do."

It's arrogant for evaluators and assessors to declare that you can't take criticism when all you're trying to do is to explain things. It's actually hilariously hypocritical of them, as of course what's happening is that they cannot take criticism (namely, that they are deficient in their understanding)! What they really mean is that you can't take being imposed upon; and my own answer to that is you betcha--I can't take and won't take being imposed upon! Unfortunately, this can cause quite a cascade of inconveniences; and one has to reflect that, in signing up for a program, job, institution, or whatever, one was also signing up to be imposed upon by their standards. Once again, it's necessary to take comfort in the fact that these objectionable standards are not from the mouth of God; they're artificialities, like the rules of a parlor game--which no longer obtain once you step out of the parlor.

Unless by some stroke of fate one is in a position of power, it's pointless to waste time jousting with people who are invested in an established system, and I say this sadly as one who has undertaken many a quixotic quest. They are where they are because they believe in that system; or even if they don't in their heart of hearts believe in it, they find it politic to practice its tenets. The only real answer is to do what it takes to finally achieve a thoroughgoing independence. Once that happy day comes, you get to do what you want to do in the way you want to do it. Meantime, remember that the challenge is not to your principles--the challenge is to your endurance. And that's a challenge you can most certainly rise to!
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