Kat Atwell is a freelance writer, blogger & stage presence telling stories that deliver laughs, validation & community.

Mental Health | Wellness & Self Image | Experiential & Reviews

Opinions.

My family offers opinions on a lot of things, usually without solicitation. I take these things to heart, and often they hurt my feelings. I've learned, to some degree, to share less with them, so as not to get the unrequested advice, but it's hard not to, as I'm a person who seeks affirmation. I like being told I did a good job, that my efforts were recognized, that I'm good enough, smart enough, etc.

I think I fight so hard for it because the "good job" is so hard to come by.

My mother remarked on my thinning hair on the phone earlier this evening, based on a picture I posted as a joke on Facebook yesterday. When my daughter was born, I lost a ridiculous amount of hair from the top of my head. Sadly, a lot of it didn't come back. It likely wouldn't be as noticeable if 1) I didn't dye my hair so dark, and 2) I didn't take close up shots that include the top of my head, but it is what it is. Here's my question: What the hell am I supposed to do with that information?

My current goal is to work on becoming a more assertive person. Typically, I counter ridiculous statements with jokes and avoid them altogether. I did that today, but it's still gnawing at me.

I don't understand how making fun of people for flaws is a loving act. For the same reason, I don't like comedians who have made themselves successes by mocking others. I hate laughter at the expense of others. I hate making people uncomfortable against their will. Roasts? Hate 'em. I don't GET it. Prank phone calls? Same thing. It makes me sad, probably on a level deeper than I recognize.

I'm also making a concerted effort to offer my opinion only when it's asked for, because I know from personal experience I don't like getting advice I didn't request.

My hope was to find a quote that best summed up how I felt, but I think I already did that. If you know me, and I tell you something, you'll know I'm seeking advice if I'm asking for it. Otherwise, I just need to be heard.

It's worth it.

Wendy Whiner.