It can be difficult and hurtful when somebody criticizes you in general. This is especially true if it is someone you know well and is perhaps even your caretaker. If you have recently been the subject of criticism from a caretaker, then here are some tips about absorbing the criticism and responding.
Here are three different ways you can consider responding to the criticism you have faced with. They are likely to help you to respond in a way that is calm and objective, instead of responding based on your emotions.
Acknowledge what the person has said, and then ask for their advice.
If someone has been critical towards you, they are likely trying to help, especially if they are a member of your family. It can sometimes be difficult to express yourself in a way that doesn’t offend someone, especially if it is something of a sensitive subject. As such, try to give the person who has been critical towards you the benefit of the doubt.
One thing you can try is to accept the criticism, and then ask your family member or caregiver what they would suggest you do instead. This is a great way to avoid conflict, and you may be able to benefit from the advice or suggestions they have. If someone has your best interest at heart, then their criticism could be very well listening to. It can also be a great way to change the nature and the tone of the conversation you are having, making it far more constructive and beneficial to both parties.
Once you have listened to the suggestions of the person you are talking to, you can then try to explain your behavior. If you can talk about the process behind what you have decided to do and your reasoning, then it may be easier for the other person to understand, and you can, therefore, avoid some or all of the conflict.
Repeat what the person has said back to them, to show them how it made you feel.
In the heat of the moment, it can be a bit difficult to control exactly what we’re saying, or how it comes across. The person who has been critical towards you probably didn’t mean for it to be critical, and they may not have realized the potential impact of what they said. This is why it can be helpful to repeat what the other person has said to you to show them how it might feel when someone says it to them.
If you choose to respond this way, try to speak in a way that is calm and objective. Make it clear that you are doing this because you are offended or hurt, and that you would appreciate for the other person to consider the way they speak to you and how they word what they are going to say when they talk to you.
It is also really helpful to talk about yourself and how the criticism has made you feel. This often helps avoid making the other person in the conversation feel that you are criticizing them in turn. Rather, you make it easier for them to see how their words have made you feel, but you are not doing it critically.
Stand up for yourself politely but respectfully.
Sometimes the best thing to do is to simply stand up for yourself and speak openly and honestly. If you don’t feel there is any way around this, then explain objectively that you do not feel that you are in the wrong.
Depending on the context and the type of relationship that you have with the other person, you may also feel that you want to tell them that you would prefer that they not be so critical.
Three Effective Ways to Respond to Criticism from Caregivers
It can be difficult and hurtful when you are criticized by someone you trust, especially if you spend a lot of time with and trust. This is perhaps even truer if the criticism comes from one or your caregivers. We trust caregivers to take care of us and have an intimate relationship with them, so conflict with such a person can be difficult and awkward to tackle.
However, conflict arises in all relationships. You must have a healthy and constructive way to respond to criticism that may have hurt your feelings or the relationship between you and your caregiver. This is the best way to keep your relationship healthy and allow it to move forward. Fixating on criticism or negative experiences between yourself and another person is not going to help you have a positive or healthy bond.
This can certainly be easier said than done, though. It is natural to respond defensively to perceived criticism, though this isn’t usually the most constructive approach. As such, we go into three different strategies you can use to respond when facing criticism from a caregiver.
1. Stand Up for What You Think
Sometimes you simply have to stand up for what you believe in. While it is easier to let criticism slide, it isn’t always the best thing for you. If you genuinely and deeply feel that you have faced criticism that is unfair or ungrounded, you may want to consider standing up for yourself instead of simply accepting it. This can be especially true of criticism you might face that is grounded on personality or things you can’t change. It may also be that you face criticism for something you deeply believe in and feel based in reality.
Ensure that when you respond to criticism, you do so calmly and respectfully. If you do choose to stand up for yourself, you may find that doing so is more likely to cause conflict between yourself and your caregiver than it might to simply accept what they have said. This is why you must remain calm and try to avoid using language that can be inflammatory. While you are within your right to stand up for yourself, it might not help you upset your caregiver.
2. Acknowledge the Criticism, and Ask Your Caregiver for Guidance
If your caregiver has criticized you in some way, they are likely trying to be helpful. It might have come across in a way that hurt your feelings, but it is unlikely that this was your caregiver’s intention. This is why it may be worthwhile considering what they said. If you do so, you can show your caregiver that you respect their opinion and their feedback. Also, you may find the advice to be helpful or constructive.
By first acknowledging the criticism, you can show your caregiver that you respect their opinion and take them seriously. Try to do so calmly and confidently, even if what they said has hurt your feelings. You may find that taking their criticism on board can help you in the long run, so you should consider taking it onboard. Then when you ask for their advice, try to do so in an open-ended way, instead of being passive-aggressive.
Not only can you avoid conflict this way, but you may also find the advice to be genuinely helpful. You can consider it at the very least- if you later find that their advice or criticism was not the right thing for you, then at least you have given what they’ve said a chance. If you find that what they said ends up being helpful, that is also great for both you and the relationship you have with your caregiver.
3. Repeat Back What the Person Said to You
Sometimes people word themselves the wrong way when they feel strongly about something. This can cause them to come across the wrong way. For example, they may have been trying to help you, but what they say is simply harsh and hurtful. If you feel that this was the case and repeat back what they said word-for-word, they may realize that they were too hard on you and reconsidered what they said.
How to Respond to Caregiver Criticism – Three Different Strategies
Your relationship with your caregiver may be one of the closest relationships that you have. This is why it can be especially hurtful if your caregiver is critical towards you. We trust our caregivers to perform a range of different important tasks in our lives, and their role cannot be overstated. If you experience that your caregiver has been critical towards you, then try to take it with a grain of salt. They likely did not say it to hurt your feelings.
Suppose you have experienced criticism from a caregiver. In that case, there are some ways you can respond that is constructive and does not have to damage the relationship you have with your caregiver. Just because they have said something that hurts your feelings, does not mean your relationship has to conflict.
We think there are three great ways you can respond to criticism from a caregiver, which we have listed below. Hopefully, you find them helpful and constructive and allow you to navigate your relationship with your caregiver healthily and functionally.
1. Repeat the criticism, and Ask the Other Person How it Might Affect Them
You may find that your caregiver did not mean to be critical or hurtful, but that they simply did not word what they said the best way that they could have. It can be tricky to word yourself delicately when you have something critical to say, especially when you feel very strongly about what you are saying. Try to keep this in mind if your caregiver has been critical towards you or said something that has hurt your feelings. It is unlikely that they said so in a way that was meant to be hurtful.
However, you can try repeating what your caregiver said back to them calmly and coolly. If they have expressed themselves very harshly, they can likely realize this once they hear what they said. This can be helpful for them because they can see that they may need to be careful about how they express themselves in the future and that they may need to be mindful of how critical they are.
2. Accept the criticism you Have Received, and Ask for Advice
You may find that the criticism you have received from your caregiver is helpful or developmental, though it may feel hurtful at the time. This is why we recommend that you consider what your caregiver has said before you respond, and how that advice may potentially help you in your day-to-day life. If you feel that it could help you in some way, then you might like to try asking your caregiver for advice for the future.
This is also a great way to show your caregiver that you respect and value their thoughts and opinions. It can help your relationship remain helpful and healthy. Even if it is hurtful, your caregiver is certainly within their right to be critical towards you, especially if they are trying to help.
By asking for advice, you can likely also see where your caregiver was coming from when they decided to criticize you. It is unlikely that they said it simply to hurt your feelings or to criticize you for the sake of it. If you give them a chance to elaborate, you can avoid any conflict that may arise from a simple misunderstanding.
3. Calmly Defend Your Point of View
If you truly feel that you were not deserving of the criticism that you faced, then you may want to stand up for what you feel or believe. Make sure to try to do this in a way that is calm and not based on your emotions. If you can rationally defend your behavior or views, then you may help your caregiver see where you were coming from.