What is it about hearing flaws and faults that makes one so insecure? I don't accept for a moment that I'm the only one who has a hard time hearing someone parrot back to me the things I know I need to work on. I'm not talking about working on sewing skills, or some kind of external talent or hobby that you're attempting to develop, I'm talking about the things that make you you.
Begrudgingly, I admit that I am not always aware of how my words will be interpreted by a listening party. It's a murky subject and not very clear cut. There are some people who are so sensitive they can't listen to anything without finding fault, there are some people who don't let anything get to them, and then there's the by and large majority of folks out there who might take offense or feel sleight at what is said, but are usually good enough to chalk it up to the offending party's bad day, lack of awareness, or some other good natured excuse.
This happens, to me at least, quite often when I first meet people. I've been told by several people several times over that I don't make good first impressions. Even writing this to a pseudo audience of virtual readers I get a prickly feeling on the back of my neck. No one wants to feel like a lumbering fool with no savoir-faire. I, like most ego-inflated young men, want to feel suave and sophisticated. I've worked on my first impressions quite a bit since this was first brought to my attention.
And that's where I want to end this post-- with the statement that I'm very well aware of my shortcomings and that I work on them. It makes hearing my shortcomings all the harder to endure because I know I have them, I'm painfully aware of them, and I'm working on them. I need to not be so sensitive; I tend to run away with the criticism and apply it in places and in magnitudes that was never meant or conceived by those that point them out to me.
I suppose I ought to be thankful, though. If no one mentions them aloud, I can easily content myself to think I'm further ahead on the character perfection curve (which obviously isn't attainable) than I really am. Being thankful, though, is difficult in these circumstances because by and large the people who can point out your flaws are the people who know you best, and those who know you best tend to have a soft spot in your heart. I, like most ego-inflated young men, seek the approval of those I love and trust.
In the end, though, it's better to hear them from the people who love you than the people who don't.