It Doesn’t Work For Me

Last month I commented briefly on the trailer for Elaine Aron’s movie about highly sensitive people, Sensitive – The Untold Story.  I wrote that it was “oddly banal” and even though I’m interested in having information about high sensitivity reach more people, the way the information is delivered is important.  The way the trailer presented the information failed in my opinion.  I was bored by it.

But a lot of people loved it.  The Kickstarter campaign raised over $85,000.  Judging from the comments on the movie’s Kickstarter website, the trailer excited, moved, thrilled many people.  I was disappointed by it.

The fact that so many people loved the trailer really perplexed me and made me hate it even more.  I didn’t have high hopes for the movie itself and wrote a semi-serious list of suggestions for it.  Here are a few of my ideas:

1.  Put a camera on a highly sensitive person 24/7.
2.  Film two highly sensitive people having a conversation about sensitivity, life, everything like the movie My Dinner with Andre.
3.  Make it animated.
4.  Put penguins in it.
5.  The movie itself should reflect what it’s like to be sensitive through the music and editing.

Have you seen The Wolf of Wall Street?  The experience of watching that movie felt like being on cocaine, a reflection of the extreme drug taking going on at the time the movie takes place.

I was hesitant to write any more about Sensitive – The Untold Story.  If I had so many “brilliant” ideas, why don’t I make my own damn movie? Also, I thought I was being too critical, judgmental, nitpicky.

Frank Kline’s Black, White, and Gray

Most things fall into three categories for me:  crap, meh, or the best thing EVER.  Actually, I don’t feel “meh” very often.  I’m very black and white in my thinking, in my opinions, in life.  It’s not a great way to operate.  The truth is I can’t stand ambiguity or uncertainty — gray areas.  It makes me uncomfortable.  But, life is gray.

I’ve found a new approach.  Instead of labeling things “good” or “bad”, they either work for me or they don’t. Things either appeal to my sensibility or they don’t.

The trailer for Sensitive – The Untold Story didn’t work for me.  It didn’t appeal to my sensibility. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value. It doesn’t mean it isn’t important.  It doesn’t mean it won’t accomplish what the producers and Aron set out to do.  Isn’t that better than “it sucked”?

Saying “it doesn’t work for me” is a kinder, gentler, fairer way of criticizing.  More generous.  And more honest.

People who say “Television is bad” aren’t being fair or honest.  Television isn’t bad.  Some of it works, and some of it doesn’t.   In my opinion, this is the most exciting time in television.

Reality TV isn’t bad.  It’s addictive and fascinating.  I don’t watch it anymore, not because it it’s bad, but because I changed and the genre doesn’t appeal to my sensibilities.

Keeping up with the Kardashians isn’t bad.  I watched the show for 15 minutes and I said to myself “I understand why people like this show”.  It works as product of the genre it is part of.

Being judgmental, critical, dismissive feels the same as when I’m judged, criticized, and dismissed.  It creates tension.  It makes me defensive.  Saying something doesn’t work for me feels different in my body.  I don’t know how to describe it.  The word openness comes to mind. Relaxed.

“It doesn’t work for me” is also a softer way of saying “no”.  If you say that phrase to someone who is asking you to do something for them and you explain why the “something” doesn’t work AND they still persist, they’re not asking you.  They’re trying to control you.

Despite the fact that the Sensitive – The Untold Story trailer didn’t work for me, I’m happy those involved raised their funding.  I’m happy it’s being made.  I will watch every second of that thing, whether it works for me or not.






11 thoughts on “It Doesn’t Work For Me

  1. I also like saying, “I can’t do it” or “It’s not for me”- it’s not stating anything about anyone else but me. Interested to see how this movie turns out…


  2. I have no problems saying I don’t like something, as long as it is not directly to the person involved! But I like your way of putting it – and as I mentioned last time, I totally agree with your perceptions of the trailer!


      1. As I have got older, it is much easier to say no, or that I don’t like something. A friend of mine asked me recently if I felt comfortable with her new boyfriend – I didn’t (which probably says more about me than him), and I told her the truth. When I was younger, I would have gushed about how wonderful he was. I find it much easier to say no, too. However, I would still find it very difficult to tell the truth if I thought it would hurt someone else’s feelings, and would never be honest about someone’s outfit, for example!


  3. I used to use that phrase with my pre k students. Depending on what they were doing or saying I might change it up a bit…”that may not work for us” (referring to the class as a whole) or “I’m afraid that won’t work for well for you”. I thought it was just as you said; a kinder, gentler way of criticizing and more honest. I agree with you about this film also. 🙂


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