Answer: There will always be some negative people who swirl into and out of our world. But if critical people are a constant in your life, then something else is generally going on. There can be several reasons for this.
The first could be that they’re simply reflecting the inner critic within you. You may be very judgmental of yourself, and you’ve attracted them because of your own self-criticism. If they put you down in similar ways that you do to yourself, or pick on characteristics that you already feel insecure about, this is probably the case.
A second reason could be that, due to low self-esteem, you don’t set appropriate boundaries. Negative people can generally sense who they can belittle without consequences and who they can’t. When they can, they simply dump their discontentment on others.
In both of these cases, standing up to the criticism (both inner and outer) will help to eliminate them from your life. They’ll either change their response to you or leave your life.
Another reason for critical people in your life could be that you may be so positive and optimistic that you’re stirring up others’ unhappiness. “Misery loves company” as the old saying goes, and these folk may be trying to bring you down. Unfortunately, whenever someone is happy, positive, upbeat, and successful, it casts a light on others’ attitudes and they don’t like what they see in themselves.
Instead of changing, they try to change you. In this case, realize it’s their issue, not yours. Take appropriate action when you need to, letting them know that their negativity isn’t appreciated. These are simply unhappy people.
Copyright 2007, 2016 Linda Ann Stewart
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