can dish it out -- but I can't take it!
are very vulnerable to criticism. And, of course, they get it from all
has a self-image, a way they want to see themselves to be seen by others.
But Idealists [Catalysts] are devoted to their self-image to a degree other types of
character are not. This is a way of saying that they are more
self-conscious, more aware of themselves as objects of scrutiny and sanction
than others. From early on in their lives they seem to grant to others in
their circle the right to pass judgment on them, while other types, especially
the Rationals [Theorists], reserve that right almost exclusively to themselves. And
the Idealists [Catalysts] take these judgments very seriously. ....[I]f they were not praised and encouraged as children to be
true to themselves and were punished or criticized for their strange ways, then
they have problems maintaining high self-esteem as adults.
Temperament, by Ray
Choiniere & David Keirsey
to the power of our inner critics, most of us have a very poor opinion of
ourselves. Yet self-contempt merely keeps us miserable and stuck in our
we were to make only one change to transform the quality of our lives, we might
try sending a little love our own way.
you had a friend who talked to you like you sometimes talk to yourself, would
you continue to hang around with that person?"
critic is a legless man who teaches running."
criticism is never part of a meaningful critique of you. Its purpose is not to
teach or to help, its purpose is to punish."
yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and
tell ourselves so many lies and half-truths ... We listen and are duly impressed
by these inner voices that turn into unseen judges that nag at us. We give each
of these judges a seat of honor in our minds, all the while hating their guts
and their never-ending supply of judgments ... We give the judges permission to
accompany us on each journey of life, never daring to realize that we can park
them, at least momentarily.”
Inner Critic makes each of us a child. As we become the child in our
relationships, we lose our sense of self. We are no longer self-contained,
self-respecting adults. We look to others for validation. Our self-worth is
based upon their opinion of us. Thus, everyone around us becomes a mother or a
father whose support and approval is desperately needed to protect us from the
constant criticism of the Inner Critic.”
Hal and Sidra Stone
ironic thing to know for INFJs is that they relish dishing out some
kinds of criticism. So the paradox arises in that they can be downright
vicious with criticism and yet are so easily wounded anytime someone criticizes them.
Moreover, they don't spare themselves from criticism -- INFJs are extremely
self-critical. That introverted Thinking in the "eternal child
archetype" of the third favored process just loves to sink its teeth into
anything it can.
fact, the best advice I can give an INFJ is to let up on the criticism of
themselves, and in so doing, they are likely to ease up on others. When
they ease up on others, it's less likely to come back their way. This is
tied to that old maxim about "what goes around, comes around."
INFJs are most afraid of getting a dose of what they themselves easily dish out.
the ideal quote to help INFJs stay mindful about their criticism:
should not be querulous and wasting, all knife and root-puller, but guiding,
INFJs take care to convey their criticism in a way that is "guiding,
instructive, inspiring," it allows others to hold the criticizing lightly
rather than resent it. And, in turn, the INFJ may begin to treat themselves
are Eleanor Roosevelt's thoughts on criticism:
Roosevelt believed we all face two kinds of criticism: destructive and
constructive. "To be really constructive, criticism must come to us
from people whom we know and whose judgment we trust and who we feel really
care, not only for us as individuals, but for the things which may be affected
by the actions or attitudes which we take," Eleanor wrote.
"Destructive criticism is always valueless and anyone with common sense
soon becomes completely indifferent to it."
can take control of situations that may open you up for criticism. You may
feel insecure and question your choices, especially when you're under the gun,
but you don't need to back down. Eleanor listened to her critics,
sometimes she learned from them, but she never let them stop her if she felt she
was right. You can allow attacks to exaggerate, inflate, and inflame your
worst view of yourself, but you can also choose to see attacks as an opportunity
to reevaluate your course. Perhaps you'll make some changes, perhaps your
best instincts will be reinforced. Either way, you will have maintained
your control and power over the situation rather than losing faith in yourself.
As Eleanor said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your
the Eleanor Roosevelt Way,
by Robin Gerber
* * *
a skin as thick as a rhinoceros hide!"
only gracious way to accept an insult is to ignore it. If you can't
ignore it, top it. If you can't top it, laugh at it. If you can't
laugh at it, it's probably deserved.
* * *
As far as giving
the last time someone you were criticizing said, "Gee, thanks"?
Even though the most common cause of criticism is disappointment over unmet
expectations, criticism still seems like an introduction to spar. It does
not feel like it is about solving problems together. Criticism tends to
rob relationships of trust. It undermines love and connection.
person does something that rankles you, it may be necessary to mention it rather
than letting your feelings fester. But you will get a better response if
you couch the criticism in positive feedback. This is old wisdom, but we
forget because life is competitive and we are in a hurry: Sugar-coated
medicine goes down more easily. First tell the offender all the good
aspects of what has occurred, then mention the offense, almost as an
afterthought. That way he or she will be motivated not to offend again.
It is also
important to distinguish between the behavior and the person. As we've all
read in parenting and relationship books, say "me," not
"you." Describe the feeling the person's action stirs up; do
not go for the jugular. For example, say, "It hurts me when you ogle
other women," versus, "You disgusting pig."
to time it seems convenient to concentrate on other's foibles instead of our own
shortcomings, and this may be when criticism occurs. But it's unproductive and
unfair to ask the people around us to suffer our misplaced antipathy. This
neither corrects the situation nor mitigates our own hurt. It just empties
our lives of love. Make sure criticism is merited before you unload it.
Like a Shrink, by Emanuel
H. Rosen, M.D.
should anyone attempt to correct another person. Instead of correcting, offer
another point of view.
* * *