How do you become less self-critical

Self-Criticism: How to Learn to Be Less Harsh on Yourself

Reading time: 2 minutes

Actually, we don't need any more criticism from outside, because most of us are their biggest critic ourselves. This inner critic commands, insults, and uses idioms and words that we would never use to others. He criticizes in an unfriendly tone and is often very hurtful.

Of course, there is always a good intention behind it, such as motivation, incentive, etc., but we all know from our own experience that praise motivates much more than criticism. Children, for example, are much more likely to respond to praise with what one wants them to do, whereas when they are criticized they usually maintain the unwanted behavior.

This commanding, rather unfriendly inner communication with oneself dates back to childhood and youth. Unfortunately, most of us were raised and challenged rather problem-oriented and with a focus on mistakes and inadequate skills, instead of being encouraged with praise. One has learned what is learned and so today we push ourselves to act with threats and insults.

How would you feel and how much would you like to do and achieve what you want if your boss or partner talked to you like that? - No. They would likely do the job or quit and leave right away.

Praise instead of criticism

It is difficult to quit yourself, but you can quit your unkind inner voice. Retrain your "bad" habit. Replace this demotivating, inner communication with well-meaning, supportive and friendly language and constructive criticism. Talk to yourself the way you want to be addressed and practice praising yourself - praising yourself.

If you start to consciously pat yourself on the back every day and see yourself as a friend, you will quickly change the way you deal with yourself for the better.

A simple exercise

For the next 14 days, give yourself at least 5 compliments every day and consciously praise yourself for everything you have done well, no matter how insignificant in your opinion. Praise yourself after every activity, for example after cleaning the toilet, doing the dishes or writing an email.

At first, you may feel strange and find it difficult to be consciously polite and nice to yourself and to praise yourself for every little thing. But over time, you will find that you feel more comfortable and balanced overall, and that you have a lot more fun doing what you are doing. You'll become more efficient, get more done, and do more without getting tired. You are more motivated to approach things and are more open to new things.

Photo credit: Robert Kneschke /

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