How do I handle criticism and judgement by other people?
children seem to care less about criticism, but as we grew older this often changes. By age ten it was becoming more difficult to socialize with others. I saw my friends as privileged, most appreciated and accepted than me. I started to develop the habit of self-criticisms; low self-esteem without me being aware, and many other habits that I would go on to live with for a very long time. I was unhappy most of the time.
It only became possible now for me to be able to accept criticisms and use it constructively, instead of feeling sad when I was criticized. I am able to see the facts and accept that I need to change if I need to do so, then take the necessary actions.
It was getting clearer as I continue meditation that we interact with the world using our senses and we learn by collecting information and stores it as memories. Unfortunately, it is not only good memories that we keep, but also the bad memories we do not like are kept in our minds as well. Some of These memories or learned behaviors/habits are useful for our survival.
Unfortunately, even the stressful events are learned and stored in the same manner and they continue to stress us long after they have passed; certain memories when remembered will still cause the same physiological reactions that they produced when we first had them, meaning our bodies would react as if the same situation is happening all over again even if it is 10 years later (your heart would beat faster, you may even start sweating and relieve the situation again), sometimes we become aware of what we were thinking about prior to the emotional distress and sometimes we are not. we just find ourselves having a bad day without any apparent cause, it is all automatic.
Using our senses, the Ear for example; one listen to the negative criticisms such as: you will never be good enough, we listen to the comments of others about us then we start to define ourselves as such; this leads to low self-esteem. Criticism is not bad either if taken in a positive way , we can use it to make positive changes.
By using the other senses more and more memories were formed that would later define who I think I am. Throughout the years I listened and stored memories that was working against myself; without meditation I had no way in which I could discard/ detach from the negative thoughts created by the memories that I have lived by for so long. I listened to opinions about how a perfect human being should look like. I unconsciously defined myself by the thoughts that people had of me.
Just like the food we eat on a daily basis, we need to excrete the waste otherwise we will become sick, the same applies to the negative thoughts we have about our selves we need to discard them. As I kept meditating I found I do not only regain self-confidence and relief from fear of criticism but I am more at peace and calmer, but most importantly I come to realize who I truly am beyond the misconceptions and beliefs of who I thought I am.
Though I may still have these feelings of inferiority in certain situations, I now feel empowered and no longer get upset by the thoughts that I think.