Selective Hearing
June 12, 2020
Alexandra Wade

There are certain people that no matter what you’ll say, they’ll find a way to interpret it differently. They’ll take what you say in a completely different direction. Throughout my life, I used to fear to get myself into a situation like this. So, I would watch my tongue and thing long before saying something. I was so careful to not go through it with others, that eventually, it happened to me. I remember that day very well. My and a good friend of mine had a little argument over some insignificant detail when she said to me: “Around me, you don’t have to be insecure or shy, I’m your best friend.” For a reason I didn’t understand at the time, I was extremely offended by that remark. I didn’t care about the context of it, but I just couldn’t let go of the insecurity comment. Why would she say this about me? Does she think I’m insecure? Does she think I can’t hold my own?

Getty Images/ PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections/ Frederic Cirou

I couldn’t get it out of my mind; I couldn’t stop asking myself these questions. Everyone I talked to about the situation told me that I was overreacting and that that wasn’t what she had meant. Hearing that, I tried to dig deeper and find out why it bugged me so much. Everyone told me that it shouldn’t, but it did, and I needed to find out why. What I had come out with was that this was something that I criticized myself for in the past. I felt insecure myself, in many fields, and hearing someone else say it was hard for me. My friend, unintentionally, hit a nerve. At that moment, I realized that I had done what I was afraid others would do to me. I only heard a part of what she said; I chose what to hear. Eventually, we made amends, and I started working on my insecurity. Sometimes, when we choose what to hear, it stems from something deeper within us. So, next time it happens to you, pay attention to it.

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