Ask Someone Else's Mom by Susan Writer

Thin-Skinned LW Struggles with Critical Boss

DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: People always tell me I need to toughen up when it comes to taking criticism. They tell me not to take it personally, but how do you do that, especially when you have a boss who loves to loudly tell you everything you do wrong, usually in front of the whole office?

I like my job and don’t want to seem like a loser because I can’t take some criticism, but when it's done this way, I think anyone would have trouble with it. --- SENSITIVE BY NATURE

DEAR SENSITIVE BY NATURE: The thing about criticism is that there’s often something to be learned from it ─ yet I don’t know anyone who likes being criticized, no matter how thick- or thin-skinned they are.

In this case, having your alleged flaws aired in front of coworkers has got to be even more demoralizing, and might say more about your boss’s management style than your learning curve, which may very well be a work in progress.

While you can’t count on your boss doing things differently, you can work on not letting the criticism get to you beyond changing whatever you’re being called on to change. If your boss is a bully, like all bullies, he or she thrives on getting a reaction and will only capitalize on any emotional weakness you demonstrate to get at you even more.

The same survival tactic applies in other areas of your life; so let the knocks roll off you as much as you can.

Need advice? Please send your questions to Someone Else’s Mom at AskSomeoneElsesMom@gmail.com.