Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Why People Criticise Self-Improvement

Recently I have been criticised by someone very close to me about reading the amount of self-improvement books that I do. Criticisms from people close to me still come as a shock and I therefore spent some time trying to figure out the exact nature of them. More specifically I answered the following question.

Why do people criticise self-improvement?

1. They see it as you doing something different from them. A lot of people will want you to be the same as them, because this allows them to feel more comfortable.
2. They believe that your desire to improve yourself is an expression of lack and they are helping you.
3. Their criticisms are often an expression of their own sense of lack.
4. They are expressing a form of jealousy.
5. They fear that you will change as a person and they will no longer be able to have fun with you.
6. They are projecting their beliefs on to you - people assume that how they feel about doing something is also how you feel about doing it, for example, if self-improvement to them feels like admitting defeat then they will assume that you feel like you are admitting defeat as well.

So how can understanding criticism help you?

When you understand why someone does something you can make a more informed decision about how to respond. Now if you ever receive a criticism of a similar nature you can quickly decide if this criticism is worth thinking about or if it is really the person criticising expressing their own feelings and problems. This will save you a lot of time spent pondering your own actions feeling unnecessarily bad and hopefully boost your confidence in your actions too.