Most of us have insecurities, whether it be about the way we look or in our abilities as parents, partners, as authors, our abilities in the workplace or a whole host of other reasons. From those insecurities we can create a situation or a belief that something that is said or done is aimed at us as we already have a sensitivity in that area. We hear what we think has been said and often that couldn’t be further from the truth. This miscommunication can often be highlighted by the male/female perspective and what we hear is not what is meant.
For example: You feel that maybe you aren’t achieving as well as you should at work, maybe you are but your expectations are too high. So when you hear a colleague being praised for good work it becomes a personal attack on you as what you are really hearing is that you yourself are not so good. I know I have a tendency to want to be perfect and hate making mistakes at work, even minor ones. As a result if I do make a mistake I feel as though the boss, colleague or person I’m dealing with will see me as incompetent.
Maybe you have an issue with your weight and when you hear someone pay a compliment to someone else it feels like a barb to you.
What we see and the reality is sometimes very different. I’m not saying that we hear everything wrong but stop and think before you take a comment to heart. Is this something that you are particularly sensitive about? If so, take a look at the compliment that someone else has been paid. Is it true? Did they do a good job? Are they looking nice? If the answer is yes then maybe you need to take it at face value, acknowledge it and not make it about you. (When I say you, I mean me too!)
We seem to be, and have bred generations of people whose faith in themselves is built on sinking sand and who find the tiniest of excuses to put themselves down. I tackled this very slightly in my latest book.
In A Boy from the Streets, Jose at the age of twelve finds out that he is adopted and has a twin brother whom his adoptive parents want to find. His relationship with his father is such that he believes that he wants to swap him due to his dissatisfaction of him as a son. Nothing can be further from the truth but this insecurity he has and the misconstruction that Jose places on the conversation he overhears leads him into a dangerous and potentially life threatening situation.
So if we can learn anything maybe it should be, none of us are perfect but perhaps you are more perfect than you think. And the chances are that the person you hold up as a shining example of perfection has a whole host of their own insecurities. Cut yourself some slack and if you can’t manage to love yourself, see if you can start by liking you.