If you have hard Saturn Aspects to your Sun or your Moon and even your Mercury chances are you had a critical parent. Having one or more critical parents can put a sledgehammer through your childhood confidence and leave effects lasting long into adulthood. If your father or mother responded with criticism and judgment instead of joy and delight when you did what came naturally, you may have felt as if there was something wrong with you and internalized their critical voice inside your head. You learned to hold back and now every time you step out of line or go to express yourself naturally, you rebuke yourself first instead. This will seriously undermine your self-confidence and your relationships with other people... especially women.
But there is hope. Here's how to recover from a critical parent:
Understand That Criticism Is About Projection and Loneliness
Critical people are stuck in a perpetual vicious cycle of projection, pain, loneliness and disconnection. They've been hurt at some point in the past when they felt vulnerable and they're still carrying this wound in their psyche. Often they're afraid of facing the pain they feel around this and don't know how to deal with the unpleasant emotions involved, or perhaps they aren't even consciously aware of it. The criticism that pushes people away further prevents them from experiencing the deep connections with others that would reduce their loneliness and heal the very hurt they are avoiding by criticizing others.
Our criticisms and judgments of others are really just projections of our fear of being rejected so we turn the critical eye on another.
Parents can't help but see themselves in their children, so when you started acting in ways that triggered your mother or father's shame, hurt, sadness or loneliness they are likely to have felt their unhealed pain particularly deeply. So it's not surprising that a critical parent's most common victim is their own children.
The cycle of judgment, pain, criticism and loneliness works like this:
A critical person has some unhealed and often denied emotional wound from the past. The deepest wounds are about loneliness, rejection, abandonment, separation and disconnection.
The overwhelming pain from the unhealed wound is too much, so they deflect it with an internal judgment about the other person.
The judgment is projected outwards onto the other person as a criticism.
Criticism is painful and destroys the empathic connection with other people, causing the person encountering the criticism to either become defensive or to retreat and in some cases strike back. Criticism puts everyone on the defense and only increases your sense of loneliness when no one wants to be around you. Remember how you felt while it was happening to you is really the best remedy.
Defensiveness and retreating lead to further loneliness, rejection and abandonment of the critical person. This reinforces the pain of their original wound, further hurting and isolating them. Over time, criticism becomes their default defense against what feels like a hostile world.
People who criticize others have a fierce internal critic aimed right back at themselves too. When you understand that the parent who criticized you was actually hurting inside as a result of the way their judgments and criticisms shut down their own self-expression and isolated them from other people, you can start to feel more compassion towards them.
Realize: It was never about you
Understand That The Criticism Was Never About You and Avoid doing what happened to you to others.
If a critical parent has wounded you deeply it's helpful to remember that the criticism and the wounding were never really about you. It was always just a projection of something your parent hadn't dealt with in themselves. No truly confident person will need to put another down especially their child unless they themselves have deep insecurity.
Express your real feelings
Learn To Express Your Feelings, it ok. Your parents are two people in the world. Others are quite different from one another, don't miss out on the people that will support you.
One of the most damaging forms of childhood criticism is when we were criticized for how we feel. This is often seen with Saturn Aspect to the Moon. Our feelings represent our deepest experiences and if you encountered criticism when you expressed them as a child, you may have learned that it just wasn't OK to express yourself, or even to be yourself. Shutting down your expression of feeling is the first step towards restricting who you are from showing up in the world.
Being able to express unpleasant emotions freely allows us to accept our experience of life and of ourselves much more deeply. It also frees us to feel the pleasant emotions more deeply including love, peace, happiness and joy.
The best way to express your true feelings is to be direct about them. Avoid passive-aggressive or indirect expressions of how you feel, don't fear saying what you really feel. Don't just assume that other people should know how you are feeling: You leave too much open to interpretation and usually that's not good. Learn how to be direct and tell them.
Learn to say:
“I feel really hurt when you say that” or do not be afraid of getting in touch with your sensitive side, and be honest. If the person rejects you, you don't want them anyway. You want real, so get with it.
Acknowledging your true feelings in the face of criticism helps to break the vicious cycle that critical people, you truly need to build your true self confidence outside of what you were shown in the home.
It will not be a easy task but it is one that will change your life and your relationships for the better in a almost immediate fashion. Break the generational curse now, have you heard of them? Well this is yours, and you are to not pass on the behavior that you were shown. You will alienate yourself, and end up very lonely.
Begin with these simple steps
- Don't Listen To The Critical Voice In Your Head it's a nightmare from the past but you can now build your ideal future.
- Do not do what your hated the most, and criticize others because contrary to what you think, it appears weak, and insecure simply because it is negative. It will also make others not want to be around you and only feed your separation, and loneliness more.
- Forgive your Parents: This does not mean you need to forget, but a good way to get over it, is to feel sorry for them. Realizing that they are so insecure themselves that they needed to pick at their child. Chances are they suffered at the hands of their parents judgments, criticism or even worse. This is why it is so important to stop this behavior now. It will carry on into your future lineage. Stop the cycle.
- Reprogram your mind with daily positive affirmations, you must learn to think positive, and realize that you being critical of others or yourself only serves to undermine you.
- Let People in, don't keep other people at a distance because you find faults with them when they get too close, or avoid intimate relationships because you discover things about people that you don't like. Or you long for the world, the people in it and yourself to be perfect. All of these are symptoms of a critical nature inherited from a critical parent.
The first step towards dropping your own critical nature is to acknowledge it. Stop hiding the fact that you are critical and perfectionist towards yourself and other people. Start revealing your own dark side that you're afraid people will reject you when they discover it. Quit pretending to be a righteous the more critical you are to others, the more they become of you. It never works.
Get emotional healing you need, however you need too. Start by empathizing with your parent, who is obviously suffering their own pain. See a psychiatrist is needed, they can help you release pent up frustration, hurt and anger. Whatever you do, do make a effort, for I assure you, your life is not fated to suffer, but if you do not make the unconscious Conscious, then chances are you will. Change your fate, by changing the way you think!
If you would like personalized counseling and a game plan to do this, see my reports page, and choose the report for when you are ready to make a life change.