Getting in touch with your sensitive side(s)

Posted on January 20, 2012


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This post was originally published in the spring of last year. It was one of my very first posts. I’ve reworked it a bit for the I’ve Become My Parents book.  Enjoy.

Getting in touch with your sensitive side(s)

OK, so you have my genes and, as you’re learning, the package comes with a number of features, including sensitivity to, well…everything. This isn’t about allergies; we’ll deal with that some other time. I’m talking about getting to know your sensitive side.

Well both of them, really.

That’s right, you’ve got no non-sensitive side. No matter which way you turn, you’re pointing a sensitive side right at the rough and prickly side of everything else.

This truly is a mixed blessing. Having become my parents, I’ll say things like, “Yes, I know they’re all a bunch of schmucks and they shouldn’t have said that about you; but some day the world will appreciate the wonderful, sensitive person that you are.” And I suppose they will. But until then, it’s gonna suck.

You’ll notice that kids can be pretty damn cruel. Half the time they’re just being honest, but that’s what stinks the most about it. Kids hurl the truth at each other like a dodgeball at recess, only the truth actually hurts a lot more when it hits you in the groin. When you’re older, you’ll realize that the truth is a force to be wielded by well-trained experts only, in carefully controlled environments. The truth gets grown-ups fired.

In the mean time, I’m afraid you’ll be one of those sensitive types who take everything personally. So when that pudgy kid with the buzz cut and freckles calls you short you can respond a few ways:

Option 1: Follow the advice of the genes you inherited from me and wander off into a corner by yourself and pull inside a shell for much of the rest of the school year.

Option 2: Realize that you are short and he’s just being honest, then note to yourself that he’s actually the same height as you but weighs about 3 times more, has no real friends, was held back twice in 2nd grade, can’t possibly live up to his dad’s inflated expectations, has a drug-addicted brother and a pregnant teen sister, and realize you’re lucky to just be short.

I vote for Option 2.