I recently experienced a very, very bad week at school. Usually, whenever I’m going through something stressful, I just try to brush it off by doing things that I love, such as reading, surfing the internet, or window shopping. However, during that unfortunate week, I felt like I was on the verge of a breakdown of sorts—it’s as if everything around me has started to unravel. For example, I usually try to brush off all sorts of criticism, but when one of my closest friends called me out for not being able to handle criticism well, I just cried and felt awful about myself, when in fact, the criticism that she gave me was constructive and that she did it because she wanted me to be a better person. My frame of thought was heavily muddled by my feelings, in a sense that I perceive all criticism (both constructive and negative) as personal attacks instead of looking at constructive criticism as points for improvement, among many other things. I can openly admit that my emotional intelligence is low, because my feelings tend to mess up everything, and that I use my feelings too much instead of my head when dealing with my problems. Sometimes, I wonder, if I worked on improving my emotional intelligence before reacting strongly to things, maybe I can handle things better. Of course, I’m not going to rationalize and blame my circumstances for turning me into the person that I am now because I strongly believe that people can grow and improve. If only I were more self-aware, maybe I can be more open and accepting of constructive criticism, and I would be very game to continuously improve on everything that I do. I have negative fucks to give when people say crappy things about me, and I would be more empathetic and open to people.
In the end, this horrible week I had at school became the catalyst for me to truly improve on myself. I used to think that improving myself was limited to engaging yourself in different opportunities and using the skills that you’ve learned in those opportunities to prove to others that you can keep up and be one with them, without realizing and accepting your weaknesses for you to truly grow and improve as an individual. Right now, I am gradually working on these weaknesses to improve myself. For example, I am gradually adopting a more positive attitude when it comes to handling criticism at school work or extra-curricular activities. Instead of being defensive about the constructive criticism given to me, I try to actively listen, and I think of the criticism being given to me as points for improvement instead, or I start seeing my mistakes as new opportunities to learn. Aside from learning how to handle criticism better, I am also learning how to detach myself of my grudges, as well as my negative thoughts and feelings about myself. I honestly believe that I am not a lost cause, and I know that I will be a better person. However, this path to growth is not easy and quick, and the least that I could do is just to be patient and positive about these changes.