“I’m shocked at how much I criticize my Dad for letting other people walk all over him and for not standing up for himself.”

"Bicicletas para Acquilar" by Mimi Stuart
Live the Life you Desire

I suspect your dad’s behavior stems from a deep belief that he is not worthy of being cared for and loved. Feelings of inadequacy often result when a person never received real affection or acknowledgement from their own parents. People who have in their own mind “disappointed” their parents often set themselves up to perpetuate the cycle of disappointing others.

The intention behind your criticism seems to be the positive desire that your dad become self-empowered. To convey to him that he should have faith in himself and deserves more, you probably express yourself with passion.

However, passionate encouragement can be taken the wrong way. The words are meant to be convincing and uplifting: “You deserve better. Stop letting people walk all over you!” Yet, the vigor of the remarks may be heard by him as one more example of how he disappoints others: “You’re always disappointing me. You’re never good enough.” Although there is some truth to both parts of the message, the latter part exacerbates the vicious cycle of inadequacy.

Often, the most compelling thing we can do, particularly with adult relatives, is to accept them without trying to change them, warts and all. Being kind and having a sense of humor—not the mean sarcastic type—are often the best ways to show love and acceptance.

by Alison Poulsen, PhD

Read “I feel so critical of my partner. I can’t help pointing out every flaw.”

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2 thoughts on ““I’m shocked at how much I criticize my Dad for letting other people walk all over him and for not standing up for himself.”

  1. debbie rangiawha

    Everything said here is totally meaningful and true. I gave up my friends for awhile to be in touch with reality more so what i like activity wise. I gave up all my interests for knowledge and experience for “how to deal with politics in the work field and keep a job” not holding work down. This is to help me deal with where negative comes from in my life and from who….There leads me to great deal of my thoughts using my own positive belief and value of me to the best of my ability of strength to survive and carrying a strong deal of thick skin. Been overly sensitive will always destroy your values and means of reason to the critics you know personally, professionally and emotionally. Things will become personal in each critiscm that has been addressed and dericted by another….

    I believe it incurs to bullying and freedom of speech taken from individual to hoping their opponent they critical too will withdrawal, be depressed and same level as them. They want control and not reason or bother with a person who is pathetic to them.

    i have experience this with friends in the pass and i dealing in another level now.
    I back anyone up who been threw this position.

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Inspire vs. attack: “Why don’t you just believe in yourself! Why do you always have to let fear get the best of you?” | Healthy Relationships and Solutions to Happiness and Love

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