Reasons Why Your Autistic Partner is Sensitive to Criticism

Reasons Why Your Autistic Partner is Sensitive to Criticism

Autistic people make great partners, regardless of their disability or little shortcomings.

Although relationships are not devoid of criticism from both parties, your autistic partner may find it difficult to handle criticism.

Criticizing your autistic partner can go two ways; either they become defensive about the situation or they feel really bad about it up to the point of anxiety or low spirits.

There are biological reasons that explain why your autistic partner is sensitive to criticism.

Regardless, the reasons for your autistic partner's sensitivity to criticism may be their history with criticism from other people.

If your partner had bad experiences in the past with the way people criticize them, it would make them very sensitive to criticism.

Another reason your autistic partner is sensitive to criticism may be because they are criticized way too often.

This would make them extremely sensitive to criticism.

Where the criticism they receive is usually negative ones, it would also make them sensitive.

High levels of stress may be another reason why your autistic partner is sensitive to criticism.

When your partner is overwhelmed with a stressful situation, it may affect how they respond to criticism.

If your autistic partner has low self-esteem, it would also make them sensitive to criticism.

If this is the case, the slightest form of correction would be perceived as criticism.

When your partner's feelings are easily disregarded by close friends and family, it would make them sensitive to criticism.

Below are reasons why your autistic partner is sensitive to criticism:

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Bad Experience With Criticism 

The reason why your autistic partner is sensitive to criticism may be because they had bad experiences in the past with how people criticized them.

For instance, if your partner received constant and harsh criticism from their parents or teachers while growing up, it may be the reason they are sensitive to criticism.

In situations where their parents set unrealistic expectations for them to achieve while they were kids and heavily criticized them when they did not live up to those expectations, it may be the reason they are now sensitive to criticism.

If they were also not accepted amongst their age group while growing up, it may make them sensitive to criticism.

All their bad experiences would add up to affect them negatively.

The Criticism is Constant 

Constant criticism of a person or their behavior is an unpleasant thing for anyone to experience.

Autistic people find it even more difficult to handle.

It feels more like a witch hunt rather than a call to improve the criticized behavior.

Constant criticism magnifies their sensitivity to criticism and has negative effects on them, especially on their self-esteem.

It makes it difficult to determine which criticism is constructive and that are negative.

It also makes it difficult for them to process the criticism in a healthy manner.

Where your autistic partner is a victim of frequent criticism, maybe from family, friends, or from their colleagues or bosses at work, it may be the reason why they are very sensitive to criticism.

You need to also examine yourself to see if you might be responsible for the persistent criticism.

Whether you are the one responsible or not, you and your partner must work together to determine how to handle the criticisms or prevent them from coming up. 

They Are Stressed 

Excessive stress may be one of the reasons your autistic partner is sensitive to criticism.

Although autistic people are sensitive to a lot of things, like light, noise, their physical environment, and emotions.

An increase in their stress levels also makes them hypersensitive to criticism.

It might be so bad that even the slightest form of correction or suggestion would have a negative impact on them.

The increase in the stress level of your partner may be a result of demanding jobs, family pressure, raising a child, or illness.

When you are sure that the reason for your partner's sensitivity to criticism is stress, both of you can have a conversation about it.

When you do, you can identify the stressful situation, the cause of the stress, and how it can be managed or eliminated.

They Have Low Self-Esteem

Many autistic people suffer from low self-esteem.

This may be a result of their autism or other external factors.

For example, if they were made objects of rejection and ridicule by their peers while growing up, they would have most likely developed low self-esteem.

And where your autistic partner has low perceptions of themselves, it would make them sensitive to criticism.

Their low self-esteem would make them unable to understand or interpret the criticism.

Even when you communicate your criticism with the best of intentions, you might crush their self-esteem.

As a result, even very few corrections make them extremely anxious and have long-lasting effects on them.

You need to work with your partner to develop healthy self-esteem.

The first step would be to let them understand that criticisms do not make them any less good.

They just need to identify when criticism is intended to motivate them to do better and when it is just plain negative and should be disregarded.

Their Feelings are Easily Dismissed 

When your partner feels like their feelings are always dismissed or excluded, it may be a reason why they are sensitive to criticism.

When their feelings are regularly excluded either by family or friends, it would make them misconceive your criticism and become very sensitive to them.

Some autistic people when they have their feelings easily dismissed by people around them might even perceive constructive criticism as negative ones.

Even when you have good intentions for passing the criticism, they would not see it.

Disregarding their feelings all the time would make them perceive situations that were not intended as criticism as one.

Conclusion

Sensitivity to criticism is one of the traits of an autistic person.

The reasons why your autistic partner is sensitive to criticism may be because they had bad experiences with criticism while growing up, constant and negative criticism by people around them, high levels of stress, low self-esteem, and when people constantly and easily dismiss how they feel about things.

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May 25th, 2024

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