Dealing With Unkindness

An underhanded, sarcastic comment threw me last night. It was clearly aimed at me and full of passive-aggression. Only those “in the know” would have understood it- there were a few sniggering looks between those people. Flashback to school and similar experiences. Within seconds I was panicking and questioning- “was that aimed at me?”, “did she really say that?”, “am I just being crazy?”.

It’s those subtle remarks that really set off self-doubt in what I am perceiving and how I’m interpreting it. When other people around you don’t notice anything, you have nobody to validate your way of perceiving what happened, so you continually question and doubt yourself, all the while trying to deal with any emotions that automatically switch on- mainly anxiety, later anger.

In the past- mainly school and work environments- people have always said to me “you’re too sensitive”, “you need a thicker skin”. I don’t agree with that. If I lose my sensitivity, I lose my ability to love deeply, to experience deeply, my innate spirituality, my creativity, my passion. These are things I now see as gifts. It’s taken a long time as I previously believed that yes, I was too sensitive and should learn to be like everybody else. Maybe because I’m sensitive I am also kinder, more compassionate and empathic? In my opinion these are definitely qualities that need to be out there in the world.

But I would like to be less afraid of being hurt. I am so scared of harsh comments, criticism, unkindness and bullying, that I isolate myself enormously.

I think to feel more protected I must love myself so much, and be so involved with serving a purpose in the world, that these comments or unkindness’s just roll off my back, because I’m so into loving and living my life, that I barely take any notice.

When other people behave unkindly I think it is also a good warning sign to keep them out of my life, and to spend time with much kinder folk. There is a strange part of me that is determined to get involved with unkindness and show those that have hurt me that I didn’t deserve it, or to change the person’s view of me to something more positive. My ego views other people’s opinions of me as so important that they are the ones that form my view of myself- my whole identity, so any negative comments coming my way are seen by my ego as major attacks on my psyche.

The more conscious part of me knows that it is my own opinion of myself that matters. It is good to take others’ views of myself into consideration when they are coming from somebody who knows me well, loves me, and is honest and truthful, but nobody has the power to dictate my identity. It happened in childhood- it’s a pattern now that I will break. As a child it was about survival- be the person my parents/teachers want me to be to avoid abandonment. That’s in its most basic form. But I don’t need to do that anymore. I am safe. I will not abandon myself anymore.

1 thought on “Dealing With Unkindness

  1. Roxanne

    I love that you shared this, Rachel. Thank you! I resonate so much with this I could have written it myself. I am amazed how I still get triggered by comments from others even after all the self growth I have done and now helping others heal their childhood wounds. I still go into a sort of numb state of ”ok what just happened” that I can’t decipher at first. Now I look at as an opportunity to stop myself from reacting externally and walk away without reacting so I can go and center myself. …Like you just did by writing this beautiful piece! You spoke from the heart and expressed your true voice. I would have felt the same as you Rachel and I agree with all you say here. I’m sensitive for a good reason and I’m probably not going to stop getting triggered by harshness any time soon but I’m so much quicker at calming myself down and getting back to self-compassion than I used to be. Sounds like you are too Rachel! Abandonment wounds are so hard to heal, especially for highly sensitive creative souls but it helps when we support each other with posts like this. Thanks again for sharing this, Rachel. With love and light, Roxanne

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