Thick skin

I love how cute this elephant is!

I recently met with a co-worker for lunch. She had observed one of my classes & made lots of notes regarding my teaching. To say I was nervous was an understatement. I was assuming the worst – You suck, you should be fired, I’m gonna tell our boss this, why do you even bother with teaching, etc. She has a Master’s (I believe in kinesiology) & teaches dance at a well-known southern university. Then there’s me. Self-taught yet determined. Yes, she intimidates me professionally. Personally, she’s very kind, funny, & has a warm heart. đŸ™‚

We sat down & made some small talk before we got started. She pulled out her highly organized, typed notes & said, “Okay, now usually I don’t give these notes to the teachers. They can’t handle it. These are just my notes so they kinda lack some tact. But I think you’ll know what I mean. You have thick skin so I know you won’t be offended…”

“Thick skin.” Those words still ring in my ears.

I don’t see myself as one who is able to handle criticism well. On the contrary, I feel very weak & fragile. I take criticism very personally & I work very hard to correct it. I fully admit to being a People Pleaser. I want to know what I need to do to make you happy, even if I’m unhappy. Especially when it comes to my job.

So yeah. I don’t handle it well. The difference is I just don’t show it. I put on my poker face, make a few jokes (as that is my defense mechanism), & try to smile through my awkwardness. On the inside, I’m beating myself up & feeling like a failure. “Of course, I should have them do that! Why didn’t I think of that? Ugh! Why do I even do this job?” & so on.

But she thinks I have thick skin? Does she see something I don’t? Or do I have her that fooled? Hmm…

Oh, by the way, she said I’m doing a great job. đŸ™‚ Any corrections she offered were very minor.

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