Tuesday, 8 August 2017

I can’t take criticism

I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who can take criticism in their stride. You know the type, it seems to roll right off of them. They can take it on board, move on and get over it.

I am not one of those people. Critiques, comments and criticisms can play on my mind for not only days or weeks, but sometimes months after.

One personal failing of mine has haunted me for about 20 years. Me and my sister were at a fun fair, but our parents would only allow us to go on one ride. My sister wanted the bumper cars, but I wanted the ghost train. As the youngest sibling, my choice won out. But alas, the ghost train was the LEAST scary horror show ever put on and we ended the ride very disappointed. I’m guessing my sister voiced her dissatisfaction with my choice. Or maybe I just blamed myself. Either way, I’ve been replaying this incident for the past two decades as proof that I make bad choices every time I’m faced with a decision.

I guess what I’m saying is, I’m sensitive. And your critical opinion plays on my own insecurities.
Spotted a typo in my blog post and pointed it out publicly? That’s a paddlin.

Asked me to repeat myself for a third time? That’s a paddlin.

It’s like I have to think of myself as perfect. And if you point out anything less than perfect, it’ll haunt me for the rest of my life.

I write by profession. Having a typo called out feels like a real personal failure. The fear hits me. Is my whole job jeopardized because I make typographical errors? What if I'm fired? If I'm not good at this, then  (because not perfect = total failure to me.)

As a kid (and still sometimes now as an adult-in-denial) I would get my r's and w's mixed up. I can specifically remember doing spellings in like my third year of primary school and two of the words to learn for that week were Jar and Jaw. And I could not say them for the life of me.

Anytime someone asks me to repeat myself, I get flashbacks of my angry school teacher asking me to repeat Jaw again and again. (I still can't say it today, and refer to it as 'the chin area').

I guess it's just a part of my sensitive personality. Yano? The reason I cry at films, TV shows, books, personal stories etc. The reason I was probably predisposed to depression to begin with. The way I feel about things.

I'm not over my past. I'm not over my insecurities. And I'm still wrapped up in feeling like a failure and being self-conscious.

But I do want to work on it. I want to not presume everything you say to me is actually an insult. I want to believe that when you point out an error, a mistake, or some make-up I forgot to blend in it's not a commentary on how I'm failing in my every day life. But it's not that simple.

I'm trying to remind myself that no one's perfect. That perfect is a myth. That I've been buying into this myth my whole life. That skinny celebs are also not perfect, because being skinny isn't all that great.
And I'm trying to learn to handle criticism more constructively. Like, I will carefully check I have blended my make-up correctly in better lighting.
And just to take criticism. Take it and not over think or over analyse it. Just take it and carry on with my life without having it weigh me down.

(Seriously, throw your criticism at me – I want to learn to take it.)

Until next time,

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