How to deal with that nagging voice that craves validation?

I got a bad review at work this week. I did everything required and more and I still got slated. My immediate reaction was to go on the defensive and, when my (legitimate) arguments were dismissed out of hand, to leave the room so that I wouldn't burst into tears (rage/shame/hurt) in front of the visiting colleagues who had carried out the review.

I complained to my manager - she knows my standards, my numerous customer compliments, my previous rave reviews - I complained to my husband, I cried myself to sleep after many hours of lying awake frustrated and angry.

Then yesterday my manager asked me how I was doing now I'd gotten over it. Gotten over it?! I was still angry, steaming mad! My work, one of the few things I judge myself truly good at, had been independently judged and found wanting .

A few hours ago I read another post on here (cataloguing fleas) and something clicked in my head - I'd thought I was being objective about my own review/work (after all, I acknowledged one or two minor errors I'd made and could PROVE error on their part in defence of a number of their criticisms) but reading through the op's list of fleas was like looking into a mirror, so many of them were mine.

And I finally thought about why I responded so negatively to a workplace review that was supposed to be constructive and to help develop standardisation across all our branches: if nobody tells me I'm good, I obviously have no value at all. If if don't excel there's no point in doing it at all. The other people I complained to about it (with the exception of my husband who is just awesome) obviously didn't think it was a big deal cause they don't hold themselves to the same standards as I do, right?

I've been kicking myself since (yeah, yeah, I know, I know) and cussing myself out for being so desperate to succeed and excel and to prove my own worth to others and to myself. So they made a couple of mistakes in the review, I MADE MORE. Acknowledging that and the fact that one bad review isn't going to cost me my career or invalidate past successes or... or anything really.

I'm trying to take it constructively now, the way it was meant, and to think of ways to improve in the future but - regardless of workplace failures or successes - I have learnt one thing at least: if I'm going to accept the praise I have to take the criticism too however painful.

My apologies for the length of this. Typing it out has hwlped me clarify a few points for myself.

TLDR: I expect people to judge me constantly and negatively and try to ensure that I always have my best professional face on as I crave validation and acceptance. Negative validation sends me into a spin.

Sidenote: my name essentially means "the judged" and I've known that as long as I can remember, and have hated and welcomed judgment in equal measure as long as I can remember too.

/r/raisedbynarcissists Thread