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I am an INFJ and SUPER sensitive to critiscism (real or imagined). I hate it so much and it really inhibits various aspects of my life.
For example, if anyone corrects me on anything or says I am doing anything wrong I immediately think they are attacking me and they think I am stupid. I don't react to it outwardly but I do get intense feelings of guilt/anger at myself and they usually last the rest of the day and affect everything I do.
I have increasingly been finding it hard to motivate myself to study because I just get these feelings that I am just going to fail...

I wish I could take critisism constructively but I've tried and I really can't!!

I was wondering if anyone else is familiar with feelings like this, or if this is an INFJ thing, or is it just me...
 

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It is not necessarily your fault. It depends on how criticism is communicated to you.

It's not the same to say "You are doing it wrong, dumbass" to "I think your performance could be improved by using this approach".

your feelings should handle the latter a lot better. :tongue:
 

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Hi, you're definitely not alone. I'm also very sensitive to criticism, especially when I was younger and still studying. I used to cry very easily when my feelings got hurt by criticism and people would call me onion-skinned (lol)

When the negative thoughts and feelings start to engulf me, it's quite hard to function properly. But over the years, I've gotten better dealing with them. I find that after moping around and feeling stupid or guilty for awhile, it's good to talk to someone I can trust about what's happening to get a better understanding of the situation. When I talk things through, I usually realize how self-absorbed I've been - not every comment is a personal attack. Also, some people just criticize for the sake of doing it (inherent human nature) - so have to pick out which are the ones that are really constructive.

So, I hope you don't let the negative feelings overwhelm you too much because they are really bad for the health (I learned this the HARD way) It's easier said than done, but after my bad health episode, I had to learn how to chill out - take mistakes as part of my learning curve and not as hindrance to my improvement :happy:
 

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Well, try to get the critic to elaborate on what you could be doing better. Then USE IT. EXTRACT the free tips from them.

If they're just being dicks, verbally PWN them.

(^ Good. I finally got to put that ridiculous internet word to use.)
 

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I am an INFJ and SUPER sensitive to critiscism (real or imagined). I hate it so much and it really inhibits various aspects of my life.
For example, if anyone corrects me on anything or says I am doing anything wrong I immediately think they are attacking me and they think I am stupid. I don't react to it outwardly but I do get intense feelings of guilt/anger at myself and they usually last the rest of the day and affect everything I do.
I have increasingly been finding it hard to motivate myself to study because I just get these feelings that I am just going to fail...

I wish I could take critisism constructively but I've tried and I really can't!!

I was wondering if anyone else is familiar with feelings like this, or if this is an INFJ thing, or is it just me...
I think this is an ENFJ trait too.
I am very sensitive to criticism. I wish I could harden up a little with that and learn from those experiences. In fact I would like to try harder in that area, because if I can just get past it I will be stronger for it.
 

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I am an INFJ and SUPER sensitive to critiscism (real or imagined). I hate it so much and it really inhibits various aspects of my life.
For example, if anyone corrects me on anything or says I am doing anything wrong I immediately think they are attacking me and they think I am stupid. I don't react to it outwardly but I do get intense feelings of guilt/anger at myself and they usually last the rest of the day and affect everything I do.
I have increasingly been finding it hard to motivate myself to study because I just get these feelings that I am just going to fail...

I wish I could take critisism constructively but I've tried and I really can't!!

I was wondering if anyone else is familiar with feelings like this, or if this is an INFJ thing, or is it just me...
Hello Catherinemules,

I typed up 9 paragraphs or so as a response, and then I spilled coconut water on my keyboard, and when I was shaking the water out I hit a couple keys and it all deleted. That's the way it goes sometimes! But perhaps it's a lesson in disguise that I should make it more concise?

I understand what you are dealing with because I have dealt with it my whole life, but I am learning to improve my sensitivity to criticism, and perhaps I can help you, too!

The most important thing to do is to make sure that your self-worth and self-confidence is something that you have from within. No one else defines you, and when it comes to your character and your abilities, other people may give opinions that we can learn from or discard, but just because they have these views does not make them fact. If you have developed this hypersensitivity to criticism it is likely that you have not developed security with yourself, either with your value, or your assets and abilities, but instead you might be looking to other people for approval to help give you security.

Look at your past to find out why. Was there a parent or an important person in your life whose expectations of you you could never seem to meet, or that criticized you without showing you the approval you needed? Experiences like that can drive a person to believe that there is something wrong with them, and they don't know how to prove otherwise to themselves, so to find their worth they seek approval from others.

Others are not a good way of gauging one's own worth. When you read criticism or negativity from them it could be because they are struggling with something inside, or that person is sarcastic or insensitive and doesn't realize you are taking them seriously, or they may have bad motives and use their words to manipulate you. Also, because you have developed a filter that looks for negative insinuations, you may find things that aren't there, or magnify the negatives that are, as you already know. The only way to be free of this is to feel secure with yourself irrespective of others' views toward you. Here is how you can do that:

1. Choose good acquaintances that are supportive and healthy. Sometimes a person who may have had a figure in their life that was critical to them will unconciously choose friends or relationships with people who do the same thing because they are chasing that approval that they missed out on, but it only continues the cycle. Keep an emotional and physical distance from critical people, and choose the company of those who you know are good-natured.
2. Use your creativity to make art or writing or music, etc, that you share ONLY with yourself, and learn to appreciate what you do, and the expressions of yourself, without the needing the feedback of others. It's a step in self-validation, which is the key to overcoming hypersensitivity. When you share yourself and things you've done, check your motives ahead of time to make sure that you will still approve of yourself and what you've done no matter what the response is. If you believe you would be devastated and would have self-doubt and loathing if the response is negative, wait until you correct that within yourself first.
3. Remind yourself of your intrinsic value every day, especially when you feel low. You were born into this world an amazing human being with an individual personality and unique contributions that no one else can duplicate. Don't allow others and their words to steal this from you. If you believe in a Creator, take comfort that your Creator chose to make you a living and conscious soul, and that you are cared for and loved by your Creator who loves you unconditionally because of the value that you have as a unique and living being, completely aside from how you may succeed or fail.

As you learn to approve of yourself and become solid and secure in your belief, you will develop wisdom to know when to constructively internalize people's words and actions towards you, and know when to discard their criticisms. It all comes down to belief. If you belief that others' views define you, or you believe negative things about yourself, you will live them out, and you will continue the cycle. But if you truly believe in the different aspects of your worth and that you can be a success, hope will spring forth like a fuel that will motivate you and bring the best out of you.
 
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