Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bothered By Insensitive Comments and People

Oh, how I would just love to be like all the other people in the world and function normally.  You know, where you've got a skin thick as nails and could care less what other people say or do.  Wait, that's what I wish I was like.  Maybe I should rethink that statement.

At one time, I didn't let it show and I didn't let it bother me what most people said or wrote to me, let alone how they treated me.  I just didn't care and if I did, it was treated like most everything else in my life where I internalized it.  Now, I'm at a point though where my body is waking up and I no longer store everything internally.  As a result, I'm much more sensitive about everything than ever before.

All my life I have been an extremely sensitive person.  In fact, they label my type of people as highly sensitive people.  I'm not sure I want that badge or the sensitivity at times because it seems to just make life harder.  Trying to find my way through it is like trying to sprint through a thorn patch.  It doesn't feel good, nor is it something you desire to do.

It would be better if I could stand up and tell individuals that hey, you're being an insensitive jerk!  Yet, what would that get in life, other than a bunch of people that would be offended and most likely think I was attacking them.  Most people don't listen to critiques or suggestions anyway, so it would most likely end up in a verbal war of the words.  It isn't worth it in my mind because if someone is so insensitive with their comments, then is anything I'm going to say to them really going to make much difference.  I hardly think so.

Being bothered by insensitive comments and people feels like a journey where I'm the only one on the road.  I don't see many people even talking about this, let alone giving two hoots in a swamp about it.  After all, about all a person sees these days is comments on news articles of which most should never be written, and a bunch of people yelling on the TV proclaiming their opinions as something worthy of your time.

Recently I worked on a major project and I did it because I'm passionate about it.  I did not do it to get praise from anyone.  However, after about a week of not hearing anything from anyone, I finally got a couple of comments on the project.  Of  course, these were the first two comments and both were nitpicking critical statements.  Within these comments, there was not one iota of something positive.  There was no "this was good" but maybe this could have been better.  So, one has to assume that if there is nothing positive, than the project must not have been good.  What else are you supposed to assume?  Remember what assume means.

However, I think there is another way to look at it.  The comments made were insensitive.  Maybe they could have been better worded, but to make criticism of nit-picky points the only feedback you give to someone, insensitive is about the only way you can describe it.

There are more ways to state things than just being insensitive.  I learned a long time ago when I was managing that if you walked in there and focused on what the people were doing wrong, you would get the bird flipped at you behind your back and sometimes to your face.  On the other hand, if you went in and found the positive aspects of what they were doing and then gave them suggestions that they could buy into, you would get much further.  It is still the same comment, but one is done in a supportive way and one is done in a degrading way.

I know not everyone is bothered by insensitive comments or people like I am and that is most likely a good thing.  I wish people would think more before they say and write things as well as before they act.  Just a few moments of putting yourself in the other person's shoes might be 1000 times more effective then opening your mouth and inserting your foot.  I realize for some, this is asking a lot, but to be honest, if you learn to do this, you'll be a much more effective communicator with people.

In the meantime, I have to try and not be so bothered by insensitive comments and people because these actions run rampant in our society today.  It is not an easy world to live in or to navigate.  I'm sure there are others out there like myself and even though I'd love to say that I just don't let things bother me, that isn't the truth.  Deep down inside of me, they do affect me much like they do most of the world.  Of course, we can act like they don't, but then I can also hop on my spaceship and fly to the moon.

 Blog Post And Images (c) 5/28/12 Don Shetterly - use and reprint by permission only You are welcomed to share the link to this blog post, but ask for for permission before reprinting this article. Thanks!

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