I’m writing this because I’m always asked how I became so strong and immune to the criticism. The answer is that I am strong, but I’m not immune. It hurts. Even though I know that “it’s not about me” or “some people are projecting” – it still hurts. I’m human.
This morning, CNN ran a special on Brené Brown’s research of authenticity, shame, and risk-taking. And out came the anonymous, angry commenters. I know it’s a part of the internet, but the lack of accountability that goes with harsh words through the computer is so disturbing. Chances are, if any of these people ran into her in Starbucks, they would thank her for her work (or be star-struck) and move on with their lives. Disagree with her or not, I highly doubt many would have the gumption to say so.
Brené Brown followed up with a blog post called Walking The Tightrope. I’ve been reading through her book, I Thought It Was Just Me: The Truth About Perfectionism, Inadequacy, and Power the past couple of days in replacement of reading the ongoing comment-thread. In fact, I have now just handed it over to my husband (speaking of mental boundaries), and he tells me when someone says something constructive and/or positive. People may have disagreed with me, and that is okay. Open dialogue, in which both parties are open to growth and change, promotes great conversation. And, if on Thursday afternoon people walked away from their computer considering how they can respect and love their spouse deeper than they did the day before, that is success.
If you’ve ever felt humiliated by a person, or personally attacked, she speaks so eloquently to the human heart’s inability to remain both authentic and made of stone. So do your soul a favor, and read her blog. And while you’re at it, go to YouTube and watch everything she’s ever said.
I still choose authenticity.
Thanks, Brené. You rock!