I was teaching my wellness class about infographics today, and we were talking about image searches. I was trying to explain what my graphically-inclined husband had explained to me about using pngs instead of jpegs to avoid importing the background. One student said, “You still have to search transparent with the search. pngs don’t necessarily have a transparent background.” Oh…..
It is not surprising that my STEM school students have a better grasp on how to do anything related to computers than I do, but as I thanked him, I felt the slightest hint of defensiveness. As a recovering perfectionist, it can be hard for me to hear critique of any kind.
This is one of the areas where my mindfulness has become most helpful. It doesn’t necessarily take that defensiveness away, but I notice it when it’s subtle and I am able to move on without investing anything into it. I don’t argue with it. I don’t agree with it. I don’t grow it by obsessing over it. I just notice and move on.
See if you can notice when your hackles go up over the next few days, whether it’s with students, colleagues, or parents. It may be over something as small as this instance, or something much larger. What happens if you don’t try to argue it away, but just invite it in for a moment and fully acknowledge that you feel defensive? Is there any softening? Even the slightest amount of space?