Today I snapped a picture of a friend dozing off in class. Problem was, my camera flashed and I got a lot of weird looks. I felt bad for a while…
As I recovered from this incident on the car ride home, I did a little self-psychoanalysis. Here’s my theory about why I’m over-sensitive:
Growing up, I was always the kid that got made fun of. During my lowest point, I had a bully sit next to me every day on the bus and tell me I didn’t have any friends. “Name one person who is your friend…” he’d say, and I’d cry because I couldn’t name anyone. So after a decade of not fitting in despite trying, maybe I got wired to think I was no good. Also, genetics probably plays a role since a lot of my family members are sensitive too.
Right now, I have friends and family who treat me like super yummy soup, so I’ve got no license to complain. But all it takes is a minor slip-up and I start thinking I am gross-crap soup. Usually I recover fast enough and it’s no biggie.
I want to stop thinking things are my fault by default. If I don’t catch a frisbee in a game or bump into someone in the hallway, I’d like to move on to the next play or help pick up the person’s stuff without saying “sorry” obsequiously. Maybe it wasn’t my fault and even if it was what matters is improvement.
I’m not saying it’s good to never feel bad. This is how we social creatures learn to not snap pictures in class and behave. But I’d like to shake myself off quicker. I’d like to be more content just sitting quietly and listening, and not needing to always be smart and funny and proving that I’m this super yummy soup. I’d like a warm inner glow, where I can just relax and be secure with myself. Is there any store where I can get that?
The next time I get yelled at, I’ll try reminding myself that I’m just a bit player in the lives of most people around me. I’ll try visualizing myself as a big shiny metal can without a label. I’ll say to myself: “Most people don’t think I’m gross crap soup, they have no judgments towards me at all.”
I think this mental pattern will be a tough one to change (though it might slowly get better). But maybe that’s ok. If you too are super sensitive and have the “gross crap soup” syndrome, you are not alone! Gross Crap Soupers, let’s stick together!