If you don’t like this post I might just cry…

Last weekend someone said something to me that really hurt my feelings. I am not sure if I am just being oversensitive and making a big deal out of nothing (probably, yes) or if a normal person would feel the same. It was meant as a joke, not intended to be hurtful, but for whatever reason I just can’t seem to let it go. Growing up, my Dad would always tell me how I was oversensitive (pot, meet kettle) but yet his criticism did nothing to help me develop a thicker skin. I don’t know why it is but I just take everything to heart; even jokes- which I feel are probably based on truth and therefore still hurtful.

To make matters worse, I get upset at things people say to other people that aren’t even directed to me or pertain to me and I have been known to get upset even if the person who the comment was directed towards doesn’t. For example, the other night I snapped at our friend T because he made some snarky comment to his wife K, a stay at home mother, about needing time to himself to relax when he gets home from work. He said that after a long day of being elbow deep in pig guts (sorry, graphic I know) he needs time to decompress and I said don’t you think K needs time to decompress after being elbow deep in baby poop (not the word I used) all day??? Probably not my place to be commenting on other people’s personal situations but I just couldn’t control myself, the words just came out. Luckily T didn’t take any offense to it and just responded with a chuckle and his patented retort; touché.

As you know, I am like this at work too. The other week my boss made a comment which made me feel like he thought I was incompetent and it has stuck with me ever since. I hate not being able to let go of these feelings and now I have to wonder was that his real intention or was I just overreacting? I have also been known to take performance evaluations to heart and completely freak out when I feel I have been unfairly evaluated and did not receive what I thought I deserved. Is it that maybe a part of being oversensitive is that I misinterpret harmless comments and do not know how to handle criticisms when I receive it?

So, what do I do? I don’t want to be so oversensitive but I am not sure how to stop the feelings I get when people make jokes or remarks that make me feel like I am being judged or looked down on. I want to stop caring so much without actually stopping caring, if that makes sense. Is it a tradeoff or is there a way to be sensitive without being overly sensitive?

As I was writing this I received an email with a link to an article about 6 steps to deal with criticism. Can you say kismet? Since that article fits in ideally with this topic I just had to read it. The article lists the below guidelines which I believe need to be incorporated into my behaviors immediately.

  • Don’t Take It Personally
  • Think of Criticism Positively
  • Deconstruct the Criticism
  • Understand the Critic
  • Incorporate and Embrace Thoughtfully
  • Don’t Worry Too Much About It

I think these guidelines will really help me battle my oversensitivity both at work and in my personal life. If you have the same issues as me I highly recommend taking a look at this article. It provides the reader with tools and ideas that are very insightful. In closing, it provides a great quote from Aristotle which has helped to provide me with some perspective on this issue; “criticism is something you can easily avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing and being nothing”. Touché, Aristotle, touché.

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March 29, 2011. Tags: , , , . Career, Life.

8 Comments

  1. jakennicksmomma replied:

    Im going to have to read this article. Though Matt knows better to all out and say that I am being oversenitive I have definetly been there many a time. I have tried to be more “thick skinned” also, but for me I end up being oversensetive or an ice queen. Ugh!

    About a year ago the Macy’s underwear old lady made me cry. I know stupid. Then I realized she was a 60 something year old woman who has to work in the Macy’s underwear department and I shouldn’t take her nasty remarks to heart.

    You rock and are an amazing friend! Shrug it off or if your still pissed use it in your workout.

    • Dacia replied:

      Although I would like to learn how to actually handle criticisms and jokes in a healthier manner, I think using it to fuel my workouts is a great idea. I have lots of things I like to focus on when I am at the gym; getting healthy, losing weight, feeling better mentally and physically, etc. so taking all the anger and using it towards my work out is good. Only downside, not much anger- much more hurt and resentment. That is why I have to learn how to develop a thicker skin- I really taje things to personally.

  2. jamesandjax replied:

    I take so many things personally, too, and I read way too much into others’ words AND actions; I would love to change this about myself. That and the fact that it takes me years to let things go.

    I don’t think I will be able to think of criticism positively, though. The first and last bulleted points are more my style, realistically.

    Thanks for posting this. Like Kathleen said, use your anger in your workout! Great idea! When I’m angry, I just cry and slam things–not productive at all.

  3. Dacia replied:

    I agree, using my anger in a productive manner is a good idea.

    If you have a chance, you should read the article (it is very short) and see what they say about each of the bulleted points. Maybe something will resonate with you.

    The up side of this blog is I get to see that there are other people out there that are just like me and it makes me feel less of a basketcase. Lol!

  4. hookerchick replied:

    THANK YOU for posting that link. Now if only I could remember it when shit hits the fan at work…

    I like using my anger in a productive way and it usually works pretty well. I find it very helpful. When I was doing TaeBo, I used to picture people;s faces from work and I was punching them. The only downside is that it then made me think of work.

    • Dacia replied:

      Lol! Very true! I think it will definitely be an adjustment trying to incorporate these guidelines into my normal process on how I react to things but I think that they could really help. Maybe I will make a list, laminate it and send it to you and you can wear it on your lanyard with your badge. I should do one for me too! On the other side will be Jaime’s mantra: I can choose peace instead of this.

  5. alysonnoe replied:

    Sorry, just getting a chance to sit and catch up…

    I take EVERYTHING to heart! I mull it over for days, drag it out, overanalyze it to death and once I have let it go… I rethink about my feelings and how hurt I am/was and rehash it. Yet, all without the other person even knowing because I am too sensitive to even let the other person know that my feelings were hurt for fear that I may hurt their feelings. Then I will REALLY feel shitty. YUP!!! I am that insecure. And I’m going to put it out there, my weight plays a factor in this too. I feel insecure inside and out. I KNOW that mine stems from a really shitty upbringing. I only wish I knew how to be one of those independent girls out on their own, or the chick who doesn’t get jealous.

    Dacia, I think that with all that you are doing to get healthy, and feel better for yourself you’re going to gain that thick skin. Think about it! Yes, your feelings may get hurt easily BUT look at what you are doing to make yourself a healthier you. You’re out there, walking, exercising, going to the gym full speed ahead and all being a full figured woman! Something that most of us ” full figured woman” fear!!! You’re kicking ass girlfriend!!! You’re stronger than you think!!!!! ❤

    • Dacia replied:

      Thanks so much Alyson! It’s always good to know that there are other people out there struggling with the same things and going through the same stuff. I hope that I am able to gain a thicker skin because sometimes I am just too obsessive about stuff people say, and like you, I am too passive to ever say anything. I am trying to work on that. Let people know how I feel and try to take everything a little less seriously.

      I really appreicate you taking the time to sit down and read my blog- being a working mohter of two can’t be easy. It means alot to have your support and it’s great hearing your feedback! Thanks and good luck!

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