Originally Posted by FitChick
I have never taken criticism well so I have developed a very antagonistic nature and when provoked/criticised I generally bite back,
I can't seem to 'breathe' and let it go ie think before I react/speak.
Your post has a number of clues suggesting that you have some self-esteem difficulty. It appears to me that this is at the root of your reactions as well as your pattern of "never taken criticism well". You are probably hurt by criticism because it reflects your own negative appraisal of yourself. Usually, such negative self evaluations are learned within parent-child relationships when we were children. We "internalize" the negative, critical parental voices which often come in variations on the theme, "You're not good enough".
A very good start toward changing these internal messages (internal self-talk) is to begin by noticing that they are there to begin with, and to understand how they came to be there. When we do this we begin to see that the messages are just that: habitual thoughts in our head, and are not ultimately what is true about ourselves. I'd also recommend practicing mindfulness mediation. Jack Kornfield has a very good introductory book on how to meditate. It's a thin little thing .... I'll return to post the title.
It's titled Meditation for Beginners
I figure even folks who have meditated for years can benefit from this book. Jack is one of my favorite people.