5 Strategies for Overcoming Self-Criticism

By Stacey Feintuch
Reviewed by Susan Ko, Ph.D.
February 15, 2023

This article is part of a series on how to cope with common feelings that can be tough to experience. Here, experts provide simple strategies for acknowledging and managing self-criticism.

The voices inside our heads can be cruel sometimes: “I’m not good enough. People don’t like me.” Sound familiar? That’s self-criticism, or negative self-talk.

More specifically, self-criticism is when we point out what we judge to be our own undesirable actions, physical attributes, or personality characteristics, says Ryan Howes, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist in Pasadena, California. “While many of us are our own worst critic, some people have an internal critic that is relentless, pointing out even minor flaws or missteps and rehashing negative statements about them without end,” he says.