There are few things I would change about myself. I am my best and worst critic.
If the opportunity arose to fix something instantly, it would be where at times I can be very sensitive. It is something I know many are working on and it is not an easy battle. I’ve learned that this is taking years to work through. I believe it is very much a learned behavior.
There are many reasons people can be sensitive to personal comments and remarks. From my own perspective, I have chalked it up to being a victim of some relentless bullying in my younger days along having to constantly defend myself to people around me. Whether it was other pupils in school, teachers, minor sports teammates and even people in the family. I always felt that I had to be on the defensive more than I should have been.
Hearing Actor Jonah Hill recently talk about being a sensitive person had me thinking about how far I have come. Some days I can readily accept being who I am in this regard. Other days I wish I could change it.
When I was younger, one of the critiques I received was to “grow a backbone”. I distinctly remember officials in my high-school who did not take bullying concerns seriously and they would say things like this.
In the age of more awareness of bullying, this type of pass-off is no longer acceptable and rightly so. I seriously wish that people took the concerns of bullying victims seriously when I was in school. More often than not, things were swept under the rug.
Much has changed for me over the years. I still consider myself a sensitive person in many ways and on many different things. It is a difficult thing to overcome, and another battle I am determined to win. My work in the word business is a great example. I have no problem with someone offering a critique of my work. Whether it is through here or a book review, I rather enjoy the feedback. It means people are reading and that I have the chance to learn something from that feedback.
If you are sensitive, do not think that you have to grow a backbone. You have one. Instead, develop coping skills that allow you to deflect criticism more constructively. Defend yourself when necessary, and look for the best ways to do it. Talk to someone if you need to. Seek re-assurance if you need it. It is perfectly fine to do so.
Originally published on Dann Alexander
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