Why am I being criticized? The answer is: people criticize those they admire

So, why do people criticize those they admire? Is someone criticizing you to make themselves feel important? Years ago I had a very, very rich boyfriend. He was a powerful man, with lots of staff under him who had to do what he said. He was used to being the boss and people asking, “how high?” when he said “jump”. He was quite a bit older than me and I was in my early twenties; young, impressionable and naive in many ways.

I used to get a kick out of seeing him with his staff, bossing them around and telling them what to do. I liked when they bowed to his every need as I knew that I had much more status in his life. In many ways, I had this man wrapped around my little finger. Knowing what someone looks like naked will do that. I learned this early on. I had power by osmosis, or at least I thought I did.

people criticize those they admire couple fighting

Why do people criticize those they admire?

Sometimes, people criticize others because it makes them feel important, and they need validation.

He had come from a rich family and was used to telling people what to do. However, due to his cultural heritage, he often felt like a “fish out of water” and was usually trying to compensate for his perceived differences and failings by being the best, the richest, the most powerful and most bastardly man you could meet. In truth, he was an adorable little boy in a man’s world with just as many hang-ups and problems as the next person, despite the GT3, the GT2, the jet, the helicopter, the hangar and the two luxury penthouses. He taught me that sometimes people criticize those they admire.

To all those poor souls that have hurt all of us – I say, “Thank you.”

And did I mention the multiple girlfriends?

Needy as they come, he could not stand to be alone. This is a sign that he was needy, and therefore, needing validation. Filling every minute of his day, he sling-shotted from one girlfriend to the other. As far as I know (and we were dated on and off for nearly five years) he had three main girlfriends, organised in order of rank. #1 girl was a successful model. She was tall and glamorous and I often saw her in ad campaigns, on billboards and in photographs around his house, which pissed me off, to say the least.

people criticize those they admire frustrated woman

#2 had multiple degrees, a posh English accent and a family of her own. She worked sporadically for his business, doing what I am not sure. Closer to his age, she was a favoured confidant, but she hated girlfriend #1 as much as I did.

To all those poor souls that have hurt all of us – I say, “Thank you.”

Being a glutton for punishment, I put up with this overtly critical man. Rounding up the rear, I fell into place as girlfriend #3. This was a tricky position to hold, as it meant that I was often ousted for whichever new piece of fluff was keeping him entertained that month – but for some reason, the connection we had meant that we both kept coming back for more, time and time again, despite him being frustrated with me on many occasions. Honestly, I have to turn the mirror to myself here – I was needy and in need of validation too.

Why couldn’t I simply love and validate myself? Wouldn’t that have been easier? (Postscript: Yep.)

The one who criticized me was highly critical about my appearance

I should point out here that he was no oil painting, although he was well dressed, slim and neat-looking. I, on the other hand, was at the peak of my youthful attractiveness. I was so firm, you could bounce coins off my rear end and my hair was thick, shiny and lustrous. I could demolish whole bottles of champagne and dozens of French fries without gaining weight.

To all those poor souls that have hurt all of us – I say, “Thank you.”

It wasn’t until I got a bit older that I realized that he was harsh with me, because it made him feel important. Criticizing me was his way of making him feel good about himself. I didn’t know this at the time, but looking back on it makes me feel sad for him. When people criticize those they admire, it’s because they lack something in themselves.

Things he would criticize about me:

  • My “crazy” fashion sense
  • If I ever had chipped nail polish
  • When my hair needed to be coloured
  • If I ever failed to shave my legs
  • The fact that I would always, always seem to ruin the Gucci shoes he bought me
  • My loud voice in restaurants
  • My weight – if it ever crept a bit higher
  • ….and millions of other little things

people criticize those they admire yelling woman

We are all human, and it really hurts when those we love insult us.

Somehow I feel that I “cop this” more than other people. In Australia, to “cop” something means you “take something on the chin”.

In the past, I have dealt with people that have absolutely torn shreds off me. When this has happened to me – I simply think:

Clearly this person is very hurt.

So – then I think to myself – “I am trying to detach. I have been hurt by this person, emotionally, spiritually, physically and deeply – to the core of my being.”

But even though I may feel hurt – harsh criticism may in fact make me stronger. Here is a post I wrote about this a long time ago: How to Deal With Hurtful Insults from Someone You Love. And now I know for sure:

Even though I am hurt – no one can ever really hurt us.

It is important for you to say to yourself: “I am not going to defend myself. I have no need to. I say “thank you” for all the criticism – and I give it back to you. You can take it – have it – own it. It is a part of you, not me.”

I truly feel sorry for those who harshly criticize others. It indicates a world of pain within.

According to Mind Tools:

“Sometimes the criticism is unfair because it’s simply incorrect. And on other occasions it’s unfair because it’s about something that has no bearing on how you do your job. Either way, remember that it indicates shortcomings in your critic rather in you.” When people criticize those they admire, it may be for simple reason.

Also – I truly believe that often harsh criticism is reserved for those that we admire. On some level – we wish we were them – so to see them make any mistakes at all causes a strong reaction in us.

So – to all those poor souls that have hurt all of us – I say, “Thank you.”

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