I really hate getting told.
And I hate that I hate it, because when someone points out what I need to tune up on, it's not like I didn't already know. So, I get automatically irritated that someone said it out loud when my conscience has already been yelling at me.
The other thing that happens is that a light gets thrown on one of my most basic fears.
The fear of getting found out. And isn't that why we humans naturally respond to criticism with defensiveness? Don't we want to create a buffer zone between ourself and the possibility that we are just a bundle of hypocritical good intention? That given enough stress, or disappointment, or thwarted goals, we would actually just be bitter, angry, nasty people?
One of the great challenges of being human is learning to hear criticism. Really hear it; take it in and sort it out, discard what is not true; and learn from what is. And I think that the people who actually practise that sort of humility continue to grow instead of folding down into themselves, hardened and defensive. I guess its a case of not fighting against something. Sort of like when a woman is labouring a baby and is encouraged to relax her muscles into the contraction instead of fighting against it.
I never was much good at that either.
But good did come out of it eventually.