When someone disapproves of us or something we did or said, it’s not comfortable, is it? It feels icky. We feel small, like this woman in the picture hiding in a box. To tolerate the disapproval of others doesn’t mean we don’t feel bad about it. Of course we feel bad about it. Nobody likes to be scolded, yelled at, told they are stupid or ridiculous or misinformed or ignorant. Negative feedback is always going to sting. Abusive feedback is always going to feel even worse.
The problem for some of us is that when someone disapproves of us, it not only hurts, but we feel that we need to change something about ourselves or about what we believe in order to gain their approval. Another problem is that instead of feeling a sting when someone disapproves, many of us feel an overwhelming and even debilitating sense of shame that paralyzes us in different ways.