When you begin to develop deeper knowledge of who you really are, when you become intimate with yourself, when you fully inhabit your body and fully embrace both light and darkness within you, it becomes very difficult for others to upset you with their judgement, opinions and criticism.
You still may be more vulnerable when receiving criticism from those you love, but even with them something changes, because you no longer feel obliged to instantly morph into something they may approve. Instead, you receive these critical comments as a gift.
You appreciate that someone you love shared their honest opinion, even though they knew it may upset you, even if they had to deal with their fear of losing you. You recognize that they spoke their heart, because they wanted you to grow and shine. So you accept this gift not as the final judgement, but as a valuable feedback from someone who loves you and has your best interests in heart.
Then you decide what to do with this gift. You never just throw it away. Even if after careful consideration you decide to disagree, you still treasure it and hold it in your heart. And when you agree, you do not feel as if it shatters your self-image or reduces your self-worth. You do not puff up, and you do not shrink. You just use it as a guiding light on your quest to deeper awareness and even deeper knowledge of yourself.
When two people, who are striving to develop deeper knowledge of their true self, who are willing to embrace their light and darkness and who are determined to grow, join their hearts in a loving relationship, whether it is love, friendship or deep soul connection, it is the most beautiful and rewarding experience. They neither allow their own insecurity or bad mood guide their tongue, nor feel any need to walk around each other on tiptoes. As a result, they no longer need masks or armor, they can speak their hearts and help each other grow.