Sticks and stones my break my bones
And shouting hurts me just as much.
They say I need to toughen up
But every time the volume rises up a notch
I feel my spine is curling up, protecting me
From too much damage as the letters
Puncture through my skin so paper thin.
There was a situation today when all of us trainee teachers came together for our central training. Everyone is feeling a little bit tetchy and there was a bit of an argument between one of the students and the director.
It wasn’t a screaming match, but you could feel the tension, despite the fact that it was through a screen. And as it happened, I felt myself curl up a little bit, as if to protect myself from any harm.
Of course, these are civilised adults so even if we were in a normal setting, there wouldn’t have been any punches being thrown. And yet I still felt as though I needed to run away. There is something so embedded in my psyche that I fear harm from words.
To me, shouting, or even stern words, are painful and I really can’t explain why. I wish that I had thicker skin but I really do hate it when people tell me that I just need to toughen up. Like how, exactly?
On the other hand, this ‘disability’ of mine, makes me really empathetic. So perhaps it’s actually a super power. I could see that the director was trying not to bite back but I could also see that she looked really hurt, and that made me hurt a bit.
I guess we all have things that we think are weaknesses, but could in fact be a real strength and this is definitely one of mine. I just wish that I could toughen up my skin and still feel for people, but we can’t have everything.
5 thoughts on “still don’t like da shouting”
I really like the idea of looking at that sensitivity as a superpower. Being that much aware of tension and other strong feelings has its drawbacks, but it also makes you extremely skilled at sensing people and their vibes. And that’s important. Your students are lucky they have a teacher who can really ‘get’ their feelings and their responses.
I saw a teacher tell a kid with dyslexia that it was a superpower when he was struggling. His face just lit up and I realised that we all feel like that sometimes. We just focus on the difficulties and forget how it makes us special.
Wow, I thought I was alone in this. I cannot be in a place where people are arguing, raised voices, undercurrents of violence. It scrapes, so uncomfortable, and if it continues, though I don’t know the people, I’ll curl in on myself and cry.
Yes! It’s so nice to hear that other people are the same. I’ve been told to grow up on several occasions by people who think I’m just behaving like a child. It’s so hard to explain to people who don’t feel this way!
And I’ve only this week discovered the term for this and I’m now reading up on it. Difficult, cos it seems most books focus on the downside of being an Empath and how to cope with it, while I want to know how to use it to good effect.
So there you are, Rachel: You are an Empath. We’re not alone, some 20-25% of world population are empaths, most are struggling to cope with excess emotional burden.