Criticism happens daily. The difference between constructive criticism and destructive criticism is the presence of a personal attack and impossible standards. These so-called “critics” often don’t want to help you improve so be mindful of who you take advice from. Destructive criticism is said with the intention to harm someone, derogate and destroy someone’s creation, prestige, reputation or/and self-esteem. There is no practical advice or consideration given.
- “You always get it wrong, why can’t you try hard once in your life?”
- “You always do things that way.”
- “You’re don’t dance well like the others.”
- “To be honest, you are lousy at drawing.”
Nitpicking is also a form of destructive criticism, pull you down and scapegoat you in any way they can.
Are you happy with your job and your salary? “You’re settling.” “Can’t get ahead I see!” The toxic person will pick on why you aren’t a millionaire yet, making you feel like what you have isn’t enough, that you are settling because you don’t have the skills necessary to have something better. They take the positive feeling you had about your situation in life and turns it into a negative. The criticism doesn’t have any other point besides making you vie for the narcissist’s approval and validation.
By raising the expectations higher and higher each time, they are being highly manipulative and they instil in you a pervasive sense of unworthiness and of never feeling quite “enough.”
Destructive criticism gets you to divert your attention from your strengths and pull you into obsessing over any flaws or weaknesses.
Frequent destructive criticism is often followed by contempt. The contemptuous spouse feels superior to their partner and openly expresses it in words and actions that leave their spouse feeling despised and worthless.
It’s in our nature to make mistakes. As we go through life, we have plenty of opportunity to learn and improve ourselves. Therefore, no matter what kind of criticism is aimed at you, analyse it and if there’s nothing to learn from it, dismiss it. The person who is giving the destructive criticism has the problem, not you.
“I’m sorry … I didn’t realise that you’re an expert on my life and how I should live it! Please, continue while I take notes…” – Unknown