Sometimes I can be prone to slight exaggeration. OK, perhaps even a lot of exaggeration. I don’t necessarily mean the obvious blatant kind of linguistic exaggeration we all do about a million times a day (see what I did there?) but more a subtle, unintentional over-emphasis on (perceived) negative intent towards me.
For example if someone speaks harshly or abruptly to me for any reason, it feels like I’m being shouted at, and so I react as if I’m being yelled at even when the person is not actually raising their voice that much, if at all. So when repeating the conversation to someone else at a later date I’ll sometimes recall that so-and-so shouted at me, often only to be corrected, and I generally find on reflection I have to concede.
The thing is, I’m not deliberately attention-seeking or playing manipulative mind-games when I do this. It’s more that as an inveterate people-pleaser, emotionally I feel crushed inside to be so confrontationally critiqued by anyone. It’s as if the smaller and more insignificant I feel the larger and louder my ‘aggressor’ seems: A raging torrent to my tear-drop drip. I metaphorically shrink in size as they grow in stature, and so my language reacts to my memory accordingly.
I don’t like that I still do this at my age, still tend to speak so passionately from the heart in the heat of the moment instead of consulting the cool head of reason for clarity. It upsets me always to feel so vulnerable, and I wonder if it’s something I’ll ever grow out of, or if I’m always going to react in this over-exaggerated way?