Expectantly the seven year old girl showed the family friend, a visual artist her drawing. She felt great about her creation.“Nice, but look at those lines, they should all go into the same direction” he said and drew them differently. She was shocked and offended that he would draw on her piece.He offered two more suggestions and praise. She didn’t even hear them any more. She felt criticized and ashamed.
It isn’t easy for anyone to receive criticism but it is especially difficult for an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) HSPs think about things very deeply, sometimes putting too much weight on a comment. This HSP is now my client. She noticed that she had a difficult time,whenever her husband offered suggestions for her business projects, reacting very angrily and resentful towards him. She wanted his professional expertise but could not accept it. This caused friction, hurt and pain in their relationship.
During an EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Session she remembered the incident with the drawing. We tapped on feeling harshly criticized and discouraged. All she had wanted from the Artist was praise and encouragement. Little did the man know that his well intentioned feedback was received as severe criticism and would influence her until now.
During several sessions we looked at similar events where she had the same expectations, but had again perceived feedback as criticism. She could not even hear anymore when someone praised or encouraged her.This created a belief that she couldn’t do anything right.
After multiple sessions she has come to a point where she knows when she needs praise or feedback. Now she is able to ask for either or. Sometimes she still feels criticized but she doesn’t become defensive or go on the offensive. She is simply aware. The goal was never to avoid any feelings but to understand them, move through them and move on.
(Photo by Sarah Jane from Pexels)