Dear Rat Brain,
So here’s the thing: everyone has something to say. Opinions are like assholes. Everyone’s got one, and we rarely want to see them.
You especially don’t want to see them. Keep that shit in your pants. Literally.
I know you think that curling up in a ball and pretending criticism doesn’t exist means it’ll go away. I know you think that people should be softer on you because you’re “sensitive” or “anxious”. People should keep their opinions about you to themselves in case you get hurt by it, even if their lives would benefit from you taking that criticism on board. Or rather, you should be doing everything you can to prevent others being provoked into sharing a (shock) negative impression of you.
It’s funny how you believe that’s true. Purely because that’s you’ve decided it is.
It IS funny, when you think about it. Criticism is basically like exposing someone’s vulnerable underbelly, and… Poking them in the side with a hammer.
And that person then proceeds to snatch the hammer, and hit themselves in the face.
‘Look what you did to me! How could you hurt me like this? You knew I was sensitive to hammers!’
My therapist calls this clean/dirty discomfort. The clean part is the poke. The dirty part is everything you tell or do to yourself as a result.
No one is forcing you to love yourself, or treat yourself with any respect. But do you have to hit yourself instead?
(Why’s everything gotta be dirty with you?)