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Forums / Staying well / Be Yourself but who am I?

Topic: Be Yourself but who am I?

  1. Elizabeth CP
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    22 July 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Yesterday we were invited toong a friends house to see a video of a long hike he had done. Another friend who we hadn't seen for 15 years was there with his wife along with lots of strangers. On the way my husband told me he was feeling apprehensive possibly due to fear of feeling out of place due to his disability. In fact we stayed longer than planned & hope to catch up with our friend again because we both felt good being there.

    For the first time in decades I felt as if I not just accepted but valued for myself as my husband, friend & myself recalled the crazy things we used to do together before marriage & kids. That crazy adventurous person still exists even though we are much more restricted in what we can do because of my husband's disability. Most people today see me as an older person caring for her husband. People probably think we're stupid or reckless doing some of the things we attempt & other really don't know us at all. Even when I was young most of my peers didn't understand me & I felt I was being judged because I did things they didn't approve of

    What I learnt from this recent experience is to be yourself it helps to spend time with other people who share your interests or values. We don't have just one role or a single interest so it is OK to spend time with different groups of people pursuing different interests

    4 people found this helpful
  2. quirkywords
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    22 July 2018 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Greetings to everyone trying to be yourself.

    What a lovely post. Thanks Elizabeth.

    I think you story shows me that friends who see the real us and can share memories can really help us to be oourselves.

    A friend I have know for over 40 years once was telling my adult child about all the silly and risky things we got up to you so long ago.

    My child said oh mum would never have done that she is so conservative!!! I did and I wasn't.

    Quirky

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  3. quirkywords
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    1 August 2018 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Hello everyone

    A few things have happened to me recently that has made me think so much more about what Be yourself really means and how much I am prepared to stick to my principles.

    An adult child of mine said he was embarrassed for how I look as his friends said I was not looking after myself.

    i won’t go into the details, but it naturally upset me. I am not glamorous or classy but I am fit for my age , not overweight .

    I am who I am, I am healthy,

    If someone you love says they are ashamed and embarrassed because of who you are, how can you be proud to be yourself.

    I don’t want this to be about me, I am ok now, but I want to get some perspectives from others.

    Quirky

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  4. Ggrand
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    2 August 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Hello Quirky..

    You are who you are, and your healthy....as well as being, Kind, caring, compassionate, helpful and have a beautiful soul who is always helping others...I know you said you don't want it about you....but I just wanted to remind you just how special you are... and that lovely Quirky is me telling you how I see you.....

    Grandy...

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  5. quirkywords
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    2 August 2018 in reply to Ggrand

    Grand as you know our adult children can hurt us deeply even though we know they are words,.

    Thanks for your kind words they ,they mean so much to me. My son just sees the outside and apparently I embarrass his friends because I look my age.

    I would like to know how people stay true to themselves while accepting feedback from friends and family.

    Quirky

    3 people found this helpful
  6. Quercus
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    3 August 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky,

    I saw what you wrote on my thread about rejection and now I understand the full story.

    To me your question has an easy answer....

    How do you stay true to yourself while accepting feedback from friends and family....

    Learn to identify when feedback needs to be rejected.

    Just because someone is a loved one doesn't mean we have to tolerate being treated like shit.

    What your son said was cruel and out of line.

    Ok so he feels embarrassed... He's an adult. Deal with it.

    Just because he feels uncomfortable does not give him the right to put you down. He could have kept quiet and not hurt you. He could have asked you if you are happy.

    He could have said Mum I feel a bit awkward about how I look as I age. Do you ever feel uncomfortable too? Is this normal?

    He could have then discovered you are comfortable in your own skin and to keep his mouth shut.

    GGrand is right.

    When someone you love makes you question yourself... It is time to seek out the opinion of others you trust.

    What would your partner say?

    If it's worth anything I think your son has rude friends and needs a kick in the bum for being disrespectful.

    The Quirky I know and respect and value deserves better than that.

    Feel free to copy and send these words to your son from me 😊

    1 person found this helpful
  7. quirkywords
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    3 August 2018 in reply to Quercus

    Hello everyone,

    Nat,

    Thank you so much. In my head I knew all that but my heart just broke.

    If someone had said that to my friend I would ha e replied like you did but it is so hard to be respectful and give advice to ourselves.

    Why do we fall apart when our loved ones are disrespectful but we can help others with the same problem?

    Quirky

    2 people found this helpful
  8. quirkywords
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    11 August 2018 in reply to Quercus

    Hello everyone

    Can we ever truly be ourselves when we have so many people we have to please and get on with?

    I wonder how many people who struggles with this idea of being themselves or do most people just accept who they are and feel ok with people telling them to change.

    I think as we age it is hard to be yourself as people have expectation son how you will. behave.

    i am interested in any thoughts and comments from all.

    Quirky

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  9. Moonstruck
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    11 August 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Oh Quirky...my dear dear friend....you are going to be bored with this usual old response of mine...but you did say "comments from all". I can't think of anyone at all in my life who tells me to change....so I can't offer a solution.

    wishing you kind thoughts and hoping you can relax and just "be". You are good enough...just as you are. xx

    2 people found this helpful
  10. Elizabeth CP
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    11 August 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    I wonder how many people who struggles with this idea of being themselves or do most people just accept who they are and feel ok with people telling them to change

    .I wonder if we need to consider who is giving us the advice & how that fits with our own values, interests etc. For example if my daughter gives me advice re exercise or other activities which impact on my back I listen because even f I don't like following her advice I know she understands my needs so her advice will be beneficial. I sometimes get people giving me advice on what things I should do with my husband. I know they are genuinely concerned & want to help but if they prefer to play safe rather than take risks their advice is not suited to us.

    If a person's ideas are different to your ideas then don't worry about their advice.

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  11. quirkywords
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    12 August 2018 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Hello all,

    Thanks Moon, your comments are never boring but reassuring and I would like to live like you surrounded by people who do not want me to to change. It will never happen to me but it is nice to think it may or it could. moon what is a the secret of having people who do not try to change you, I would like to know.

    Elizabeth,

    Thanks for your comments . As usual they are well thought out and helpful.

    yes it is helpful to consider who is giving the advice but for me when it is from a loved one on a personal matter the comments are hard to ignore and it is hard not to be hurt by them. even if the intention comes from a place of love, I am very sensitive so I find it hard no to be affected.

    I do try to rationalise the unhelpful comments and not give the power to upset me but I find thi some hard.

    If people give me advice about my shop and they have no experience , I politely thank them, and listen but if it is not useful I will not take notice of it.

    So is the key, consider who is giving the advice, and how to cope with unhelpful comments without letting them upset you. ?

    Quirky

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  12. GoodWitch
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    14 August 2018 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Hi Quirky

    When it comes to advice, I only listen to advice I've asked for. Unsolicited advice from anyone, even family members, I consider to be an intrusion on my right to make my own choices, but then I have become very cantankerous in my late 40s lol. I will pretty much tell people off for starting any sentence with 'you should..."

    It is hard I agree to find that balance between being yourself and making compromises in your personal relationships that you need to make to get along. I haven't found that balance myself, still looking. I know I spent my first 40 years trying to appease everyone, putting their needs above my own, allowing subtle (or not so subtle) criticism to make me feel less than. I tried to be what everyone wanted me to be and I've ended up broken in some way. Been depressed for a while and am now finally starting to build myself back up. That involves putting myself first and telling people to butt out, which hasn't been popular let me say. I'm still not sure how to move forward in my relationship when the dynamic has changed so much, or if I even want to. So I don't have all the answers for sure.

    But I'm sorry for what your son said, that's horrible. He should never have said that but yes our kids can be hurtful. But just because they are our kids doesn't mean we have to listen to them on all matters. Sounds to me like he needs to grow up and stop judging others, including you. You can only be yourself, and if you are healthy, happy, making sure your kids are safe etc. the rest isn't up to him to remark upon.

    Best

    GW

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  13. Elizabeth CP
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    14 August 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky & everyone else reading.

    My answers comes from the point of view of someone with the same problem rather than someone that is successful in managing other people's criticism. I'm trying to think of ways that may help myself & others with the same problem cope better.

    I wonder if trying to think of the perspective of the other person would help.

    For example I had a nasty situation at work several years ago. One colleague made it clear she didn't like me & made comments & did things which made me feel really bad. It finally came to a head after a particularly nasty incident. I went in tears to my supervisor. Things were even worse for the next week after my colleague found out I'd reported her & she had to meet with the manager & our supervisor. Afterwards I found out that she admitted that I looked like someone who had treated her badly in the past so seeing me triggered really negative feelings which then led to the negative comments & actions. Once it was in the open it was easier for both. I was able to remind myself that the problem was her not me & we both agreed on some ways to work without spending too much time together.

    I wonder if a similar approach can be applied with family members. Reminding yourself that your son (or whoever is the problem) is immature or is going through a stressful time or whatever the situation is. This problem is leading them to say things which are not appropriate.This doesn't change the comments but maybe it can take the sting out because we realise it is the person's problem speaking not the truth about ourself.

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  14. quirkywords
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    14 August 2018 in reply to GoodWitch

    Hello everyone reading,

    Good Witch,

    What a wonderful thoughtful reply thanks. I think being a people pleaser is a hard habit to get out of.

    I find one minute I am a strong woman who can help and support others and then a few minutes later I am crying over something another person felt was helpful/

    Elizabeth,

    I really appreciate your comment. I do think about what other people maybe going through, like feeling embarrassed because their friend said something about their mother, and being stressed by coping with a young baby , or someone is not well, lost their job, grieving and many other things. I always put myself in another's shoes but it does not help the pain of the comment. I excuse people, I make allowances etc but I wonder why people don't think how I may be feeling when they comment negatively to me.

    Quirky

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  15. Elizabeth CP
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    14 August 2018 in reply to quirkywords
    Hi Quirky, You are right. People should think about what they are saying & avoid saying hurtful comments. Unfortunately we live in a world of imperfect humans who do & say things which are wrong or hurtful. My point was about ways to help us cope with those comments as well as we can. I am not suggesting the person has the right to be rude or hurtful no matter what the circumstances.
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  16. quirkywords
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    14 August 2018 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Hello all,

    Elizabeth I agree with you that we need to learn to cope that is why I try and see the perspective of the other person and their motivation in saying things that I may have thought were hurtful.

    I feel most people do not intend their words to hurt they just are unaware of the effect they will have. I appreciate your thoughtful comments.

    Quirky

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  17. GoodWitch
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    15 August 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Just wanted to add a bit more,

    I agree that putting yourself in the other person's shoes can help you understand and maybe take the sting out a bit, but it is also very easy to slip into a habit of making excuses for behaviour that is just bad. So just be careful I guess I'm saying. I made excuses for people all the time when what I should have been doing was saying 'hey, I understand you're going through a lot but that is not ok to say that to me'. They may be having a tough time sure, but what about you? You're also entitled to your feelings and have every right to tell the other person when they've been hurtful. If they are decent people who just didn't realise how their comment would effect you, they will show remorse and apologise and stop making those kinds of comments.

    If they don't apologise but tell you to 'lighten up' or try to justify their words...that says a lot about them I think.

    just my thoughts, hope I'm helpful

    GW

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  18. quirkywords
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    15 August 2018 in reply to GoodWitch

    Hello everyone,

    GW,

    yes thanks I understand there is the understanding but also not accepting disrespect or rudeness. I am someone who over apologises from a family who rarely apologises as I do not like conflict or confrontation. So I say sorry and we move on.

    I know of people who have not seen or spoken to their families for decades because of misunderstanding so if that means I apologise so I have a relationship with my family I will do that.

    You can be right and alone or you can understand and move on.

    Quirky

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  19. Vegetarian Marshmallow
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    24 August 2018 in reply to quirkywords
    So your son said this: "he was embarrassed for how I look"

    But it seems that to you it felt like this?: "embarrassed because of who you are"

    These are very different things, to me. If your son criticises something else (your cooking, your dancing, your taste in music, your political preferences), do you feel the same; "I'm being criticised for WHO I AM"?

    Is appearance a sore spot for you? If so, why?
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  20. quirkywords
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    25 August 2018 in reply to Vegetarian Marshmallow

    Hello everyone,

    Vegetarian Marshmellow,

    welcome to this thread and thanks for your comment.

    I used my personal experience to talk in general about handling feedback while still being oneself.

    I think that how one looks is an integral part of who one is. WE express who we are through how we look. Body image plays a part in who we are and how we act.

    I am not sure what you mean by a sore spot, I am sensitive to all unfair criticism as I know many people are.

    I suppose the point I was getting at. Is we are always being told to be ourselves but then we are often told how to improve ourselves by friends, family, health professionals, social media , and many other groups.

    I understand your distinction about how we look and who we are but I feel for many they are linked .

    i appreciate your thoughts and input and look forward to more feed back.

    Quirky

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  21. Elizabeth CP
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    25 August 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Quirky said we are always being told to be ourselves but then we are often told how to improve ourselves by friends, family, health professionals, social media , and many other groups. I think there is a difference in solicited or wanted advice & unwanted advice.

    I remember years ago being told by work colleagues that I should buy a better car to replace my old one. My priorities were very different so to follow the other's advice would mean giving up things which mattered to me in other words I'd no be myself. Any advice which is inconsistent with your own wants, values or priorities needs to be discarded no matter how well meaning.

    If I go to a health professional I expect advice which will help me improve my health Physical or mental so I can better live the way I want or do the things I want. In other words be myself. That sort of advice is definitely worth following. Similarly sometimes friends or family (& BB members) share ideas which they have found helpful for them. If these ideas seem to be able to help you improve in a way which enables you to live the way you want then it is worth trying.

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  22. Quercus
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    25 August 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky,

    I read this...

    "we are always being told to be ourselves but then we are often told how to improve ourselves"

    And thought Heck Yes!

    Sometimes I think the first question we need to ask before giving advice is whether any is wanted or needed!

    Unwanted comments from loved ones hurt the most because usually they are masked as coming from a caring place. But a cruel comment is still cruel even if you dress it up with some BS care.

    Marshmallow saw appearance as a sore spot... I don't. I see the sore spot as your son not bothering to ask first how you feel or if you even want feedback before giving it. Not thinking of your feelings but about his own.

    Why is it we hesitate to criticise a stranger for fear of upsetting them yet people we love cop our cruelest comments?

    Quirky. Your son was out of line speaking up. You're great as you are.

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  23. quirkywords
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    26 August 2018 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Hello everyone,

    Elizabeth I agree that there is a difference between wanted and unwanted advice but sometimes we seek the advice but are not happy with the advice because the person giving the advice does not understand our circumstances.

    i do agree that asking for advice that will help our health is different from sayone saying you should try this diet or your should lose weight.

    Quercus,

    What apowerful question,

    ? Why is it we hesitate to criticise a stranger for fear of upsetting them yet people we love cop our cruelest somments!?

    that really made me think as I have been guilty of that and now I feel guilty. it is because we know whatever we say to our loved ones they will still love us so we don’t filter our comments. Of course sometimes a thoughtless comment can mean relatives not talking for months or years.

    Thanks Quercus for your kind words.

    Quirky

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  24. Doolhof
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    26 August 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky and All,

    Just popping by to say "HI".

    I have a friend who will quite openly and loudly criticise just about anyone. She also does this to her partner frequently.

    Maybe the reason we do so with loved ones is because they are there! Sometimes all the time! In our minds we build up an account of all the things that have been done wrong and we get to a point where we just have to let out the frustration.

    Maybe it is because of the sense of familiarity.

    It is hard to take words back though. They can hang there for ever between a couple of people.

    Honesty isn't always the best policy!

    Cheers all from Dools

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  25. quirkywords
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    26 August 2018 in reply to Doolhof

    Hello everyone,

    Mrs Dools I am so pleased your dropped by, you and everyone is always welcome to say hi.

    I also know people who criticise their partners in public and think it is funny in a way.

    I feel uncomfortable being around someone who is constantly negative to loved ones.

    I think when people criticise others that is not honesty just their opinions, there are other ways to help people change behaviour rather than saying bluntly and in front of others very negative words.

    Quirky

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  26. Rocketman77
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    29 August 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky,

    I think there are a couple of points you make in this post that should be able to give you all the perspective that you need.

    When you Wrote “I am who I am, I am healthy” this is the best perspective you could have. Many of us lack even that basic clarity. Further your comment about how can you be proud of yourself if someone you love is embarrassed by you, my initial thoughts were that if you have clarity on who you are then you should by default have that pride in yourself yes?

    Probably a very simplistic view on things but having skimmed through a little of this thread it would appear that you have plenty to be proud about.

    Cheers.

    4 people found this helpful
  27. quirkywords
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    3 September 2018 in reply to Rocketman77

    Hello everyone,

    elizabeth thanks for your helpful points for me to understand what happened.

    It is hard to be proud of oneself when we get messages from others to the contrary .

    I feel if we believe in ourselves no matter what others say or feel about ourselves that is the key.

    Be yourself as everyone else is taken, as Oscar Wilde said.

    We are all unique and we should celebrate that and not be afraid to shine and be different if we are doing no harm to others.

    I think if we believe in ourselves we can trust others and accept them as they are. I t will have a ripple affect.

    What do others think?

    Quirky

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  28. GoodWitch
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    5 September 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    100 percent agree Quirky, if you love and accept yourself others will see that and mirror it. If you love yourself, people stop asking you to do unreasonable things or they stop saying things about your appearance. It's quite magic really. It's like confidence scares some people. But if you are obviously not confident (I've been there too) you draw mean people to you like a magnet.

    Be yourself, everyone else is taken, one of my favourite quotes. I also like "I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.” Marilyn Munroe. It's about people accepting you for who you are, the good and bad, not just getting all the good stuff without being there for the hard yards. I love it.

    GW

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  29. demonblaster
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    5 September 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky and everyone

    Was thinking about this today amongst other times.

    For me and I imagine many it's taking a life time to like myself fully. Gained a lot of confidence and self like from extreme low self esteem with a long way to go. Until then I find it difficult to remain being myself when nasties feel it's their duty to openly put me down. Most people I can be myself around and they get my goods but the others just confirm what that part of me has believed most of my life. (Down on myself)

    One day I'll have enough confidence to not care what they think. Something that contributes to low self esteem I feel is hearing people put others down especially if we're down on ourselves. Not explaining it properly, best I can do atm

    Quirky it breaks my heart what your son said to you. Hate you being so hurt. Do you think he was letting anger out which often is to the ones we love the most. Kinda projecting his inner pain. Could be way off track.

    Still thinking on what I'm coming back too ☺

    Hope you're well darl and all

    Care

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  30. quirkywords
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    6 September 2018 in reply to demonblaster

    Hello everyone

    Demonblaster,

    You write well and thanks for your contribution.

    You wrote

    "One day I'll have enough confidence to not care what they think." I look forward to that day.

    DB you are a very kind person and you give a lot of yourself to others on the forum. Never let what others say stop you from being you.

    GW

    I would like to believe that if one does like oneself others wont criticise but it isn't always the case. I have seen very confident t people who like themselves brought to tears by cruel words of families and strangers.

    I would really like the people who say cruel things to others to take some responsibility and not always saying that the person who gets upset needs to be stronger, needs to be more confident and needs to have a thick skin.

    What if being myself means I am sensitive.?

    Quirky

    2 people found this helpful

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