The way to conquer negative feelings associated with being criticized is based on your interpretation of events. You take things that someone says about you negatively as if you are being criticized, then get depressed, angry or in a bad mood. This is very self centered, all geared towards you thinking and viewing it as if that person is only talking to you and about you.
Rather than that, if you can see the underlying reality of people’s comments, that they are not really or entirely telling you what they think of you, rather they are telling you who they are. If a person is grumpy and rude to you or anyone else, then he is telling you that he is a grumpy and rude person. He is NOT telling you that you are bad or stupid or whatever the words he uses may seem to mean, he is telling you that he is a grumpy person.
If someone is extremely loving, kind and generous, they are not doing anything for you as the end all to their actions. That may be a large part of why they do what they do, but really they are telling you who they are, they are a kind considerate person.
In all your interactions with people that you may feel criticized or feel that people are thinking badly of you, try to perceive them as not talking about you but telling you who they are. As they tell you who they are, then you see that the comment has nothing to do with you and therefore you will not get depressed, negative, hurt, insulted or feel criticized because it is just your ego thinking that it is about you when in fact it is not about you, it is about them, the speaker.
Of course, you must also think about this in relation to you telling people who you are. When you are interacting with someone, you are telling them who you are, what is the state of your character, what is in your heart and mind. They, or you, may not know that consciously, but it is certainly happening in the subconscious mind, forming an opinion of the person.
When you are rude and insulting to someone, you are telling them that you are potentially nasty, rude and tactless and not to worthy of getting close to. The real problem is that everyone around you is forming an opinion based on your actions, not just the person you are talking to. When you look at it this way long enough with enough observation, you will find that you do not get insulted and you will become a far better person yourself because before you speak harshly, you will remember that everyone is hearing you tell them who you are.
Is the person you are showing yourself to be the same person you want people
to know you as?
What if you are on a first date, and you are upset by the waiter for some reason, or perhaps the food is not good, which has nothing to do with the waiter at all, and you yell at the waiter. That may just show your date that you lack tolerance, are rude, inconsiderate and have a big ego. You may feel completely justified and innocent, thinking that this has nothing to do with you and that you are gong to ‘teach him a lesson’ but really, it is an expression of who you are.
If you are loud enough to embarrass your date, that also says you are inconsiderate of other people and lack awareness that there are many other indirectly effected people. You are basically a very self-centered and selfish person. Not the best first impression.
Even if the thought of how your date will view you is enough to prevent you from speaking your mind at the time, that holding yourself back for any reason will help you develop a greater awareness of your own mind and a state of calm acceptance, understanding and compassion. You will gain greater self control and self control is useful in many ways.
The world does not revolve around you, things happen all the time for many reasons other than the obvious apparent one. Learn to see below the surface, find the cause of the event, and even if you cannot find the cause, at least know there is one, which is rarely what you think.
When you can see yourself in this light, you will automatically see other people in the same way, that their negative expressions are not about you at all. That is the beauty of this exercise, you improve the quality of your character at the same time as eliminating experiences that lower your self-esteem and make you fearful.