I have a confession: I am a very sensitive person, and sometimes tend to care wayyyyy too much what people think of me. It’s mostly because I take what people say very seriously, especially those I value most. Sometimes this can be a very bad thing because I’ll let the tiniest little negative comment affect me in a BIG, BIG way. Someone told me I was big-boned once, and I thought about it all day long, feeling fat. When a coworker once told me all I think about was guys and that I need to get over myself (and my drama) I cried at work. When a guy in college told me he wasn’t ready for a relationship, I assumed it was me and wondered what was wrong with me. Was I not pretty enough? Why did I let these little comments get to me? Who are they to make me feel bad about myself? What they say shouldn’t matter, after all.
I specifically recall when I was a junior in college in an advanced Health Communication seminar class. The crazy, negative, intimidating teacher (who everyone in college feared may I add), went around the room asking all of us what we wanted to do when we “grow up.” “I want to be a writer,” I said timidly. (For an outgoing person, I’d always get so timid in college lectures.) “A WHAT? SPEAK UP!” she screamed back at me. “A writer…I want to write for a magazine,” I added quickly. “FUR A MAGAZINE? CATS HAVE FUR. It’s FOR, F-O-R. Before you become a writer you may want to learn to speak correct grammar.” I was humiliated. I completely shut down. I felt stupid/hopeless/mortified/embarrassed/weak.
So what did I do? I dropped that class first of all, then went home and sobbed to my dad (sorry dad). But what my dad said to me turned my day around in a snap. First he made a lame attempt at a joke, saying I should have said “FUR YOU!” But then he told me how great of a writer I am, how wonderful of a daughter I am, and how much I have to offer. Suddenly, I was back to my normal self, high on life, just from his one little chat.
You see, sometimes my sensitivity to what people say can be a good thing (when they say nice things, that is). It’s a shame we can let those little negative, hurtful comments get to us so much and don’t relish enough on all the nice, positive things people say. Think about it: you remember those terrible, mean, god awful things people said about you (behind your back or to your face), but those little happy comments seem to fade away.
I want to make it an effort to remember more of the positive things people say to me. You know, the little things people say throughout the day that can turn your day around, making you high on life. Those are the things we should remember. Yesterday was the perfect example of this. As many of you know I was having a “blah” day, and no matter what I did I couldn’t snap out of my blah-ness. And you know the deal. When you’re feeling blah, every single thing that happens gets to you even more than usual. Therefore, minor, trivial things suddenly seemed to be bigger than they actually were. Anyway, I walked home from the cafe I was at all afternoon still feeling “blah” when I turned on my computer to find one of the nicest compliments (from someone I don’t even know…on Twitter!)
“I just spent the last hour reading your blogs…So inspiring. Thank you!!! #amazing” (@heatherg22)
Wow, someone spent an hour reading MY blog? And she’s inspired by it and found it amazing? I suddenly felt on top of the world. After all, my goal is to inspire women day by day through my writing, hoping they can take a little something from it and learn a tad along the way too. So when a reader sends me a wonderful compliment such as this, it reallllllyyyy makes me feel good. You see, the tiniest things people say really do make a difference, especially for someone like myself who takes what people say so seriously.
So lesson learned: next time you’re about to say something to someone that may not come out quite so nice, bite your tongue. And next time you wonder whether or not you should compliment someone or do something out-of-the-ordinary nice, DO IT. What do you have to lose? We need more little, nice happy thoughts in this world to dwell on (instead of little mean, thoughtless ones). After all, it makes for a much more cheery day!
Are you sensitive to what people say to you? What’s something not-so-nice someone’s said you just couldn’t get over, or something wonderful someone’s said to you that completely brightened your day?