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Learning anything means that you open yourself up to criticism. To learn something new, you sometimes have to be shown what you are doing wrong. In the end, this is all healthy and good. But the same thing can be said about a trip to the dentist and I don’t know anyone who enjoys going to the dentist.
We all react differently to criticism. It hits me hard. I don’t know what your experiences are. I don’t know if I’m truly different although Z often prefaces things by saying “most normal people …” In some ways, this is a harmless joke but perhaps it isn’t the best choice of wording because I can get deep inside my head and wonder how normal I am. I did read something today that triggered this post and I’ll get to that in a bit.
First, I should tell you that I viewed all of my videos. I saw some things that needed improvement but my overall impression was positive. I’m supposed to be doing a demo of my open waltz routine at the studio open house tonight. Initially, I was excited about it. Now, I’m seriously considering coming down with an “illness” to get out of doing it.
Wednesday’s lesson was rough but she was having a bad day so I attributed it to that. Last night, we spent the first 30-35 minutes on the waltz routine and she picked it apart. Not sure if she was trying to teach me a lesson but there didn’t seem to be anything I could do that was right. With about 10 minutes left, we had worked through it and she said “you look defeated”. I said no but I really was
I had made the mistake of telling OwnerGuy that I felt my dancing looked a bit flat so she took the opportunity to work on hustle but with added flair. Hustle is my “have fun” dance and I probably should have said I wasn’t ready to start on that but we did with the predictable bad results.
Today, I stumbled across a blog about highly sensitive people and criticism. I really should give proper credit but just know the rest of this comes from that article. It doesn’t offer much help but it starts to explain WHY I react the way I do which is good.
First point. When HSP’s are criticized and urged to try again, they will probably do it even worse. Check. I’m famous for messing up previously acceptable parts of the routine while over focusing on the thing I’m supposed to be working on. Often leading Z to say things like ” that was strange”
HSP’s can protect themselves from criticism by people pleasing which leads to inauthenticity in communication. Check and double check.
The other defense mechanism is the preemptive strike. Criticize yourself first to deflect the anticipated blow. Oh that’s a big check. Typical scenario. I screw up. Z says “do you know what happened?” Me. “Yeah, I suck at this” These are both bad solutions by the way.
HSP’s who are criticized harshly can lose confidence and/or seek to avoid the criticized. I did mention earlier that I’m considering faking an illness to get out of this, didn’t I? Pretty sure that’s a big check.
This also manifests in a different way for me. Many times, after having something pointed out to me, I’ll stop the next time we do that part. Often, she asks why I stopped. The honest answer (which I never tell her) is I just assumed I’ve screwed something else up and I’m just waiting for her to drop the hammer on me.
The article does recommend speaking to the person to explain how you are impacted. That would be an interesting conversation.
Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for now. Don’t know if any of you react the same way but it was enlightening to see something that pretty accurately describes me. I may not be “normal” but I ain’t the only one who feels like this.

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