Learning a new language is hard, learning it with others may be even harder.
So, I’m going to be a bit transparent in this post.
The first month I was able to pick up Thai quite well. I was asked by my teacher to help my roommate, and other students wanted to practice Thai with me. I was doing well, and I knew it, but I tried my best not to let it go to my head.
Before learning the language I asked the Father to help me, thus any triumphs that I had I made sure to acknowledged him. All of my successes came from him alone.
Then, all of a sudden, another student started to do really well, which is awesome, until he/she began being unpleasant about his/her progress.
He/she began to correct others in class and correct me in public, which really embarrasses me. I’ve been so hurt by this that I don’t even try to practice in their presence. I feel totally crippled and belittled.
It’s hard enough for a perfectionist like me to mess up and deal with my own thoughts of disappointment, but now I had another voice pointing out my mistakes.
I’ve talked with him/her now about what I was feeling and he/she hasn’t corrected me since, but I still feel the effects and find it hard to speak when I’m in his/her presence.
It’s hard because I want to practice, not for the sake of simply knowing the language, but to better communicate with friends.
I spoke with a very wise friend about this situation and she gave me some wonderful insight that I hope to remember along the way:
Examine your heart to see the root issue of your feelings. Whenever I am offended with correction, it is because I’m being prideful or I place too much value in my intellectual abilities or what others perceive my abilities to be. You may not be able to change how people treat you but you can change how you respond. Don’t let anyone rob you of this gift that you have been given.
Being here, learning the language, and being able to, day by day, better talk with friends is a gift, and it would be a shame to have it robbed because of embarrassment or pride.