One of my most conflicting personality traits is how sensitive I am.
It’s something that has come to light in the last few days particularly, as I’ve had a really hard time actually keeping my shit together when it comes to working and not just bursting into tears- and it’s really got me thinking…
Because throughout my life I’ve seen that there are so many benefits to caring what others think but there are also so many pitfalls of being someone who wears their heart on their sleeve and every feeling on their face.
On the one hand, being an overly sensitive person allows me to be highly empathetic to most people. I really care about how others perceive me, and (not to blow my own trumpet) but I reckon that I’m a really good advice giver… (not just because I’ve made basically every mistake in the book), but because I find it easy to relate to and understand the feelings of other people.
But it’s kind of a double-edged sword.
There have been times in the past where I’ve been a dick. I’ve said bitchy things and I’ve acted in ways that I’m not supremely proud of, but as soon as the words have come out of my mouth or have been sent onto the big inescapable bubble of social media, I feel instantly guilty. I’ll imagine how I’d feel if I was being treated the same way and I’ll get that horrible sinking feeling.
It sucks- because quite often I’m not necessarily the person in the wrong, but I’ll get so worked up and worried that I’ll give in and apologise. I get so over-sensitive, and so anxious and worried about that other person- that I forget who I should actually be putting first. Me.
It’s the same thing with trolls or bullies. I’ve always learned that “if you don’t react they’ll get bored and stop”- but it feels nearly impossible to hide how I’m feeling, and there have been multiple occasions that I’ve let on that things are affecting me, only to make it worse.
I’ve let my sensitive/ ‘wet lettuce’ approach to life mean that people have walked all over me in the past. I’ve allowed toxic people to tell me things about myself, I’ve let others dictate the things I should and shouldn’t be doing and it’s started to impact other aspects of me too.
The issue I’m now finding with being so sensitive is the way I go about handling criticism.
I really, REALLY hate being told I’m wrong or I’ve not done something well and the frustrating part comes when I can’t take it as constructive and end up panicking, overthinking and wondering if I’m just not cut out for certain things.
It’s tough to balance this because on some level I know that I really just need to man the fuck up.
Not everyone is going to be easy on me (particularly in the workplace), sometimes I’m going to be criticised and sometimes I wish I could just shove that sensitive and overly-anxious part of myself out the back-door.
Sometimes I kind of want to be a bit less of a wimp and a bit more bad-ass. I want to feel like I’m not letting things totally swallow me up and absorb me.
But I guess it’s all part of the learning curve of growing up eh?