Overly Sensitive to Criticism

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Hi. I’m a 15 year old high school student. My problem is that I am so getting affected on the criticism of others. Like for example, my hair. I don’t like it because it’s not pretty and my schoolmates just don’t quit in insulting me. Sometimes, I can go out in the campus without minding my hair but when a certain person talks about it and tells it to me, I get sad and lose my self-confidence then I don’t go out anymore. It’s like I don’t want to go to school because of what my hair looks like. Please help me. I want others to adore not criticize me.

A: It is absolutely normal for a teen to be hypersensitive to criticism. You are at a time in life when people want most to be accepted by others. It’s painful when another student makes a rude comment or criticizes. Part of maturing is to understand that people who are throwing insults are usually pretty insecure. They make themselves feel better by pretending they are better than another person. It’s all a game to cover up their own worries that they can’t fit in.

So the next time that person makes a comment about your hair, toss your head and say something like “I’ve always liked it. Sorry it bothers you” and keep on going with your head held high. Do that often enough and you’ll start to believe it. Believe it and you won’t be vulnerable to whatever mean-spirited person tries to bring you down.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 31 Jul 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Overly Sensitive to Criticism. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 2, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/07/31/overly-sensitive-to-criticism/