Too much makeup. Not enough makeup. Too skinny. Too curvy. Too elegant. Too shabby. Too enthusiastic. Too boring. You name it, I’ve hard it.
The funny thing about feedback is that everyone feels they have the right to share it, that their opinion matters and deserves to be taken into account. Is that really true?
Why would I want to hear how, in your opinion, I need to be anything else than what I already am – right here, right now? What gives your the privilege of being a better judge for myself than, well, me?
As I’m patiently learning to practice kindness to my own body and mind, I sometime struggle with seeing other people’s opinions for what they really are: an expression of subjective experience strongly related to socio-cultural context.
It is only when I listen very closely and carefully to what they have to say that I manage to notice their true intentions: they want me to be happy. And I know that my perception of these situations won’t change overnight.
However, as I’m trying to see the best in others, I’m also starting to see the best in myself.
I’m learning to see their efforts to encourage and protect me. I’m learning to see how, sometimes, they simply want to feel better about themselves. I’m learning to accept their limitations and appreciate their imperfections.
So, I try to step back into the area that I can actually control and apply the principles of compassionate communication, according to which, our reactions to others are a direct expression of our own meaning-making process.
When I’m able to identify the underlying needs in others, it becomes easier to naturally and safely distance myself from their judgement and criticism and to see it for what it actually is – an insight into my own insecurities