June 30, 1999
Taking Criticism

Have you ever had someone say something to you, maybe it was sort of an offhand comment, that you couldnít stop thinking about? That happened to me today. I donít know why it bothers me so much, but it has made me a nervous wreck. Sometimes people say things without thinking about their words first and that bothers me more than what they do say (most of the time). I try to make the most of my words when I am making a comment about a topic that may be sensitive to someone, and I make sure my words mean what I want to say. You can hurt people easily with a misplaced or misused word Ė it has happened to me many times.

As I was driving to FSU this morning to sign some papers I had plenty of time to think about what was bothering me. If I analyze the situation enough I get to the point where it seems ridiculous for me to be bothered by such a little comment. However, I have tried to avoid thinking about it because it makes me feel nervous (for some reason). I guess it makes me question actions that I would never think twice about before. Why do I put so much stock in what other people say? It has always been this way with me. My friends had a hard time joking around with me because I took things personally when they werenít meant that way. I think that must come from being teased so much when I was younger. I do take everything to heart and sometimes it is overwhelming because I am trying to assimilate so much information. I really should try and take myself less seriously, but that is a pretty tall order. Since I have gone to college and lived with a bunch of young women in my sorority I have learned to laugh at myself, my mistakes, and my faults. Sometimes I feel like I have desensitized myself and that may not be such a good thing Ė even though I know I am the same person on the inside that I always have been.

In the past I have been the worst at accepting constructive criticism. It took a long time for me to not get offended when someone told me I needed to take voice lessons (my high school choral director) or asked if I could handle the upper level ballet class (my dance teacher). At this point I will listen to constructive criticism and then decide if it is worth following. Donít approach me with plain criticism, however. What the point of telling me I am doing something wrong if you canít offer a way to make it right? The way I see it, thatís just a rule of thumb.

I made a pizza for my dad and me for dinner and we both commented on how good it was. I couldnít figure out exactly why since I have made similar pizzas before. Later tonight I realized what was different Ė I forgot to put any pizza sauce on it! We had eaten plain crust, cheese, and pepperoni and it was delicious! That was the funniest thing. My mom didnít even realize it until after she had eaten her share later. What a crazy thing for me to do. I guess I was in a hurry to get it in the oven and I had only taken the cheese and pepperoni out of the refrigerator. Anyway, it was really good, so if anyone is adventurous with making pizza I would suggest leaving off the sauce for once.