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Toxic Criticism: 5 Tips for Protecting Personal Boundaries

We have all faced criticism at some point in our lives. This is one of those things that haunts us since childhood. Sometimes it is constructive, helping to correct mistakes and shortcomings. At the same time, there is also toxic criticism, which can destroy our defensive reactions and cause low self-esteem, says WomanEL.

ContentWhat kind of criticism is Protecting personal boundaries Toxic criticism. Source: Freepik

What kind of criticism can there be

Against the backdrop of the popularization of the topic of mental health, people have increasingly begun to think about personal boundaries: where personal comfort ends and where the encroachment on your “I” begins.

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It is important to learn to distinguish constructive criticism from destructive and toxic, and also to be able to respond to it correctly. The purpose of toxic criticism is always to insult and humiliate a person. Constructive criticism is reasoned, and most importantly, it is aimed at the action, and not at the person himself.

All toxic people are successful manipulators, they know perfectly well what pain points need to be pressed in order to achieve what they want. You need to let them know that this won't work with you.

Personal boundaries. Source: Freepik

Protecting personal boundaries

How to protect your own boundaries:

  1. Create distance between yourself and your activities. This will make it easier to accept criticism.
  2. Monitor your condition after the next portion of criticism. If you're feeling down, try to stop negative thoughts about yourself. Otherwise, the belief in your own insignificance will convince you that you are “not enough”: not beautiful enough, smart enough, etc.
  3. If someone violates your boundaries, destroys your sense of dignity, stop or at least limit communication with such a person. Don't pretend that imagery or moral pressure is the norm. Don’t be silent about it, openly say that you are not happy with this interaction.
  4. Try to distract yourself, rest. Focus on positive thoughts: Keeping a gratitude journal can help here. Choose a neutral line of behavior when communicating with someone who poisons your life: do not maintain eye contact, look out the window or somewhere, yawn, nod from time to time.
  5. Be kinder to yourself. Accept the fact that you are always good enough and no one has the right to insult you…

We previously wrote about the mental problems of war: has the demand for psychological help increased among Ukrainians in 2023 – find out here.

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