All humans desire acceptance the most and so conversely, we fear rejection to the same degree. As a result, we all have some level of discomfort with criticism, and that’s the subject of this week’s episode of The Baggage Reclaim Sessions. When we grow our relationship with criticism, we get to be more us and enjoy more intimate relationships.

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5 key topics in this episode

  • Treating any and all criticism as ‘bad’ and engaging in ‘criticism management’ habits like people pleasing, overgiving and perfectionism leads to tension, friction, resentment, hurt and bad boundaries. It’s as if we think can ‘earn’ the credits to silence or limit criticism. When we still experience conflict, criticism, etc., we feel wounded and shortchanged.
  • It’s amazing that we take criticism as seriously as we do when we consider how humans go about writing reviews online. It shows how bloody absurd we can be!
  • Partially true criticism can do a number on us when we’re preoccupied with being right. We want to avoid conceding on their point because we think it means that we’ll have to agree to ‘everything’.
  • Criticism is a form of feedback, not a court order, a valuation or summation of our worth, or an obligation to change ourselves or something.
  • Pay attention to your patterns with criticism. So, yes, become aware of the baggage behind your responses to criticism but also the pattern of who criticises you and about what. For instance, just because you’ve dated several people who’ve all made the same criticism, that doesn’t neccessarily make it true. If you date people who engage in shady behaviour or who want the fringe benefits of a relationship without having to commit or treat you with love, care, trust and respect, then you can see how you could end up being called ‘needy’ or ‘impatient’ or whatever.

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The Joy of Saying No: A Simple Plan to Stop People Pleasing, Reclaim Boundaries, and Say Yes to the Life You Want (Harper Horizon/HarperCollins) is out now and available in bookshops on and offline. Listen to the first chapter.
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Fear of Criticism Doesn't Have To Run Your Life - Episode 215 of Baggage Reclaim podcast with Natalie Lue
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