sister always criticizes my work

by terry

i have run several successful home based business in the last 20 years and prior to that was in corporate America holding several successful position.

in the last year i have returned to my artistic talents which were put on hold during this time. i love to share what i'm doing with my three sisters. two of them are always complimentary of what i do but a third always finds a way to negate what i have done.

the most recent work was an altered art book that i created that the teacher loved the cover of and is going to put on her blog. when i sent the picture to my sisters, this particular sister said, "I like it but I would not have used that blue with that hinge." I would never think to do this or say this to an artist. maybe i am being too sensitive, but she has done this over the years with many things that i have created.

how can i respond so she shuts up and keeps her remarks to herself?


Ben's Answer:

Just tell her the truth: "When I share something with you that I've worked hard on, I'm not really asking you for critical feedback - I'm just wanting a little acceptance and recognition."

She might not be capable of holding her tongue and keeping herself from judging you or your work; Most likely she's jealous and insecure. Those in the habit of judging others, are secretly in the habit of harshly judging themselves.

If she gets defensive or more critical of you for speaking the truth about your feelings, then the self-respecting thing to do is to stop showing her your work or looking to her for any kind of praise, validation or recognition. It's just a set up for hurt feelings and disappointment.

Best wishes,
Ben Schwarcz, MFT
Santa Rosa Psychotherapist

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