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7 Examples of Self-Criticism

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Self-criticism is the process of judging oneself. This is a basic cognitive process that allows an individual to regulate their behavior and improve. The following are illustrative examples.

Negative Self-Criticism

It is common for self-criticism to be unproductive or destructive where it interferes with self-esteem, self-acceptance and self-love. This can damage a person's ability to function or achieve positive emotions. This type of self-criticism is viewed as a problematic and negative personality trait.

Positivity

As negative self-criticism causes a wide range of problems for people, it is common for self-help materials to advocate for absolute positivity whereby you avoid looking for faults in yourself. This tends to advocate relativism whereby any problems are viewed as the fault of society and not the individual.

Constructive Self-Criticism

Self-criticism is practiced by individuals with high self-confidence as a means of behavior regulation and self improvement. This can be described as constructive self-criticism whereby an individual is able to identify faults in their behavior and thoughts without collapsing into low self-confidence and negativity.

Comparative Self-Criticism

Comparative self-criticism is the process of comparing yourself to others. This can have negative effects such as a fear of missing out and an obsessive competitive drive. It also results in oddities such as schadenfreude whereby an individual is happy when others fail. In many cases, people engage in unrealistic comparisons such as comparing their physical attributes to celebrities and athletes. As such, comparative self-criticism is viewed as a negative thing. This being said, it is common for highly capable and well-adapted people to benchmark themselves against others once in a while.

Self-monitoring

Self-monitoring is the basic process of considering how you are perceived by others at a point in time. This is a basic social skill that allows an individual to adapt their self-presentation to achieve goals and improve over time. However, some individuals find that self-monitoring harms their self-confidence. For this reason, it is common for self-help gurus to recommend against self-monitoring with advice such as "don't worry what anyone else thinks."

Humility

Humility is the practice of not making everything about you. Views of humility are massively cultural. Some cultures view humility as the highest strength while others dismiss it as a weakness and equate it with low self-confidence. Humility certainly requires some degree of self-monitoring and self-criticism as people naturally tend to view everything in a selfish light and this is corrected to achieve humility.

Self-Acceptance

Constructive self-criticism and self-monitoring require a flavor of self-confidence known as self-acceptance. Self-confidence can be based on an uncritical view of yourself whereby you simply believe you are perfect and correct in everything that you do. Alternatively, an individual can seek a realistic but positive view of themselves whereby they are able to see their faults and love themselves all the more. The later approach has the advantage of allowing an individual to improve and understand how they are actually viewed by others.

Notes

It is common for the term "self-criticism" to be used to describe negative self-criticism as described above. As such, the term "constructive self-criticism" denotes self-criticism that doesn't harm an individual but can rather be used to improve.
Overview: Self Criticism
Type
Definition
The process of judging oneself.
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