Thursday 20 July 2017

Reasons why people will criticise you + how to rise above

So, why do people feel the need to criticise us so much? How many times have you had to endure someone pinpricking your confidence like a knife to a balloon? Whether it's that little remark you can't quite shake off, the seeds of doubt someone has planted or the life guidance you're miraculously receiving from Mr. I Didn't Ask You for Your Opinion But Thanks Anyway. One girl I got chatting to once at a shop told me a customer had said to her "You want to be a photographer? You better have a plan B." An old man at the seaside once beckoned my mum and I over. Thinking he was about to ask for directions, I gave him a smile, only to be told in return "Why are you wearing those jeans? You look absolutely awful". On countless occasions I've been told my book won't get published, that I'm mad to be leaving a job I don't love to follow a path I DO love. Let's face it, we deal with naysayers, criticizers, negative beings on a daily basis. But, most importantly, how can we rise above criticism, get to the point where we realise the problem lies with the people spreading judgement, NOT us? 

By firstly realising just that: it's their problem

They feel the need to reach out and pass negative feelings or judgements onto you, and for no reason at all. That means they have the negative energy, negative space, negative life, negative vibe. 

When someone criticises you they are just mirroring how they feel about themselves; see it as nothing but a reflection of their own self-worth. 

Have you noticed how the people who really matter in your life do nothing but build you up, praise you, feel proud of you? And the wrong ones? The wrong ones pull you down, deflate your faith, plant doubts, make you feel guilty or harassed for living your life. Work colleagues, I have always found, seem to be the worst culprits. Not all, but a good few were pretty hard to endure, especially in a 9-5 environment with no escape. I couldn't have given a f*ck about any of them whatsoever, yet their words still hung over me, made me doubt myself in a million different ways and made me paranoid and vulnerable. "Do you get your boobs checked? Oh wait, you don't have any!", "Meet Sophie, she doesn't eat or drink", "You're a blogger? So you've got no confidence in the office but you're able to pretend in these photos by hiding behind your computer?", "I only hired you because you're a nice person, you didn't have the skills for the job." Yes, unfortunately all of these things have been said to me in various jobs by various colleagues over the years. 

One relative also asked me if I was going to take on a full time admin role if offered it. The tone was I'm sure, supposed to be inquisitive but it came across as a if you don't take on the job you're mad type of tone. I did take it, even though in my heart of hearts I knew it was the wrong decision from the off. After taking it, I was close to a breakdown point, my mental health was at risk, my relationships were suffering and it wasn't worth it whatsoever. Only you know what is right for you. 

The right people will encourage us and lift us up. The wrong ones will pour scorn on our decisions, doubt our choices and make us feel guilty or defensive in the action of our own life. We do not owe anyone anything. Your life = your control. 

While I was having a course of CBT back in 2015, a relative decided to send me a vicious email attacking me for "travelling all around the world meeting bloggers but not seeing your own family" amongst other things. This person had never bothered to reach out to me before, only to attack me for doing something I was immensely proud of. I knew then and there that I never wanted anything to do with someone like that ever again. I had to waste precious time discussing the email with my counsellor because it shook me up. I had doubted if CBT would be helpful at first, but her support surrounding issues like this was brilliant. "What gives this person the right? How dare they!" Her words changed the way I perceived things. Does this person matter to you? She'd asked. No, I'd replied. Don't ever focus on the people who don't matter. It's wasted energy. Focus on the ones that do. That really struck a chord. Our time is precious, and the people it's invested in also need to be precious, too. 

One of the silver linings for me having dealt with many critical, negative people in the past is that it's now vital for me to build other people up, their dreams, their goals, their targets and their belief in themselves. One thing I hate, absolutely detest, is when people don't think they're worthy. You are worthy, always. Don't ever forget it. 


They don't understand your vision
Rise above: You're following an amazing path that some people just can't comprehend. 

They haven't achieved their own dreams so are trying to block yours
Rise above: Sad, but true. Don't let them affect or blur your own path. Be even more focused to fulfil your own goals and targets. Remember your dreams need you just as much as you them! 

They (think) they're looking out for you
Rise above: Sometimes criticism genuinely comes from the best of hearts, but it doesn't make it OK. If someone close to you has hurt you, they need to realise the extent and affect their words have had. 

They're narrow minded
Rise above: Narrow minded people will go out of their way to be critical of anything that doesn't fit with their own small minded perceptions. Realise you won't ever please some people, and best of all, you don't need to! 

Their outlook on their own life is cynical + bleak
Rise above: Don't let them bring you down. They control their feelings just like you control yours. Pity them, wish them peace of mind before focusing on the most important outcome: yourself. 

Can you relate to this post? 
Have you had any similar experiences? 

Hopefully this can be an empowering read for lots of you babes out there! 


  1. You're so right, Sophie! People are always quick to judge something they don't understand. Not only have I experienced this in the blogging world, but also as parent. It's tough, but I just keep reminding myself that it is my life, my decision, and my family. And that's what comes first. Keep doing you, you're amazing and I'm lucky to have made a friend in YOU! XOXO

  2. Love this post Sophie, you're so right! It's their problem and as hard as it can be sometimes, its best to try ignore them and rise above x

  3. Sophie!!! I love this post! Thanks for being so vulnerable and honest. I too have been dealing with family stuff for sometime and I've gotten lots of hate from lots of people about my life and what my family is doing (not going to go into the specifics here, but maybe I will on the blog one day...I kind of already did last year). Anyway, the hate continues and we were bombarded with it this past weekend. I do my best to rise above, and I see a therapist to help me navigate the hard things. You are awesome Sophie! Keep spreading light. Xoxo!


  4. I can defo relate to this post and I've come to realise that no matter what you do someone will always have something to say, and I've just learn't to rise above it, I think people a lot of the time say negative things because of their own insecurities, and it makes themselves feel better putting others down, an ex bf of mine used to do this a lot, I don't listen to negativity now, great post xx

    S x

  5. I really could empathise reading this. There are always going to be people that put you down, I think sometimes it's down to jealousy! I have come to realise this year especially that surrounding yourself with uplifting people can make a massive impact on your life. I have ended up where I am career wise because of cynical relatives. I have critisised people myself just because I care for them but I have realised sometimes it can do more harm than good. x

  6. Loved this because I totally agree! People criticize, put people down, and are rude, but it's a reflection of them and not anyone else.

  7. You are so wise Sophie, and I agree with what you are saying 100%! I have come across many people like that in my life, plenty. I choose to walk away and detach myself from situations where I have to deal with this kind of negative talk. I surround myself with the most positive of people in my life now, and I plan to keep it that way. Thanks for sharing your own experiences with this kind of behavior. Like you I really want to bring people happiness in this world, not dampen their lives. Great writing!

    Much Love,

  8. Love this post. it is so important to rise about criticism and do what you want to do. its one of the hardest lessons ive had to learn but i know how important it is to let go of negative people and move on!

    Darriyan xo |

  9. Sophie I want to line up all of your ex colleagues and give them the middle finger one by one- seriously that is so effing rude! They probably only said those things cos they were jealous of your stunning beauty :)

    I can relate to this post so much- sometimes i feel that people honestly get pleasure out of making each other feeling crappy :/

    As someone who cares about what people think far too much, I found this post really helpful. I honestly think that its their problem and if they are closed minded than thats something they need to work on. That family member def doesn't sound worth your time. It's so important to cut off those toxic relationships and focus on your own happiness.

    Rachel xx

  10. I have always noticed how positive and encouraging you are! You are always complimenting people and trying to build them up and I think that is so awesome! You've always been there for me right from the start ♥ This is such an interesting post and I really do think it will help a lot of different people. It makes me sad to know that some people were so awful to you, I'm glad you put them behind you! I actually used to get into a bit of trouble in my old jobs, because I don't like it when managers bully people and I wouldn't let them intimidate me or my friends. So much love to you! ♥♥♥

  11. so glad you have posted this! I've left a job again due to work colleagues being bitches and have had exactly the same sorta thing said to me about my non drinking, non party life! people just dont like people who are different and unique, but thats what makes us special and I pity them for not being able to see that. You are always really positive and building people up which is fantastic, never stop being you :) x