Someone close to me recently pointed out one of my flaws. Not one of my "flaws" like I work too hard or care too much. A deep, dark, and twisty flaw that made me instantly answer in my snippy snappy voice. It doesn't matter who said what (I've got the righteous indignation covered, thanks) because I truly believe they weren't being malicious or even unkind. And they weren't incorrect. What they said was true, even if it stung to hear it.
I've been thinking about this exchange since it happened. I wasn't unaware of my flaw. It wasn't a surprise that other people had noticed. What hurt so much was the fact that someone whose opinion I care very much about took the time and effort to notice my flaw and then tell me about it.
I've spoken to this person about how my feelings were hurt and we've come to this unsteady conclusion that they didn't think telling me would necessarily change my flaw, but that I could handle hearing about it without feeling dark and twisty. Which makes me think this whole "I got this, what are you going to throw at me next, Universe?" attitude is not serving me well. Because I could not handle hearing it. Hearing it made me feel naked and exposed and inadequate. My strength is a facade.
I try to be gentle with people. I expect a lot from the people in my life and sometimes I am too hard on them. But this recent exchange has shown me that maybe I need to be a bit more gentle with myself too. I don't have to be the strongest. I don't have to crush everything that comes my way. I could stand to be softer and more compassionate overall. Even if it makes me uncomfortable to admit it.