Why It’s Okay To Be Self-Critical

Breaking the stigma around what it means to not always love yourself


 There is such a stigma around self-criticism and loathing. It could be described as, harmful, damaging, unhelpful, and every other word that correlates with being useless. I mean yes, that may be true, it probably wouldn’t win the award for the most glamorous way to deal with bad feelings, but glam unfortunately isn’t always the answer.

 Everyone has a different version of what it is to self-criticize.

 Summit High School junior and Mental Health Coordinator Anneli Bourque says “self-loathing can sometimes be a way to shed some skin and start new, like yeah, there are some days where I can’t  pull myself out of my bed if I tried, but that’s like my way of relaxing and letting all that pent up feeling out of my body” 

 Self-loathing doesn’t always have to mean tearing apart every aspect of yourself  until your tears run dry, it comes in a spectrum:

 Summit High School junior Paige Parton explained her definition of self-criticism, “I feel like it can really mean any type of dissatisfaction or frustration with yourself. Not feeling confident in your social skills or really drowning in mental to-dos, or just like being over school and grades” 

 Self criticism can be something that doesn’t affect you every day, in fact, it’s not healthy for it to be constant. 

 Summit High School sophomore, Alicia Watson shared her routine on how she deals with bad days, “It’s a really thin line, if I’m ever in a mood where I’m just not loving myself, I try to be like ‘ok, you can be sad and mopey for the next day…but then we got to pull ourselves out of that and it’s really something I try to practice.”

 Is she right or is she right? Give in a little to the moodiness of it all. Say: yes, I am in an absolute shit mood with myself right now and I don’t feel like fixing it at the moment and that’s okay. 

 It’s important  to be real with how we feel and to validate it. Don’t force yourself to be productive and on your game when that’s the exact opposite of how you’re feeling. Give yourself days to feel like shit, and own it,  let yourself curl into a little ball and be human. So when it’s time to rise, your focus and drive are even better. 

 An anonymous Summit High School senior believes that “We can all achieve great things, and we are all made to push through anything, but giving that grace, that pillow, is so critical to evolving to be better, self loath and criticism is pretty important to recognize so we know where we can grow, no matter how gross we feel in the moment.”

 It’s time to break away from these secretive and hostile attitudes. I mean, why be ashamed for having days where at the time it’s just a little harder to see the bright side of ourselves? Self-criticism doesn’t need to be at the head of the table for hard topics, but it at least deserves a seat. Self-criticism is often kept in the dark when it doesn’t have to be. We must allow every feeling we have of ourselves to be acknowledged for what it is, but we also mustn’t let it drown out the true beauty we all have.