Are You Too Sensitive?

I have covered this topic before a bit in ‘waiting for others to change’ and ‘are you too invested’, but it’s worth looking at again.

One of the questions I was asked, ‘Is there any satisfaction in knowing you’re too-compassionate, and always believe the best in people?’ It was regarding someone who was supporting a friend’s music and this guy had snapped at him a few times in what he felt was a condescending way. He had posted up some video with info in a language he didn’t understand and got snapped at for requesting an English version suggesting it was only for fans from that country. There were other incidences where he was really short with people around him too. He also said he drove a lot and spent a lot of money supporting him. He felt really hurt by that seeing as he was always supporting him.

There are two mini topics I want to talk about; the word ‘Supporting’ and the word ‘Expectations’.

Supporting; This is a topic I have been meaning to cover anyways seeing as I am also an artist in the public eye. For anybody who has been around long enough, you may remember my joke about the underwire bra. When I hear the word ‘support’, forgive me but that is what I think of. I am personally really happy to hear when someone says, ‘I will support you Karen’ but the reason I am not a big fan of the saying is because when artists have the support of a fan base or friends, there is a danger that a codependent relationship can transpire. I personally released the music from being a part of that. I make my living working and you’ll never hear me thank anyone for their support. I don’t regurgitate phrases like, “I couldn’t do this without you.” That phrase isn’t true. I have made music for years without anyone. I make music and I share it with anyone who wants to listen happily, but I am sorry to say I am not one of those artists who will thank the fans for their support. I have supported myself for years. What this does is frees me from becoming indebted to people, frees the people who buy the music from having to purchase everything I put out and most importantly frees the music from having to make money and turning into some marketable bubblegum crap. I make music and then I share it for those who want to hear it. I feel like the music has something to offer too, so it’s not a case of me being in debt to someone who buys it.

I do believe friends offer love and support to one another, but true love and support shouldn’t come with the expectations.

Expectations; Do you remember me saying that ‘when we have expectations of other people we will be disappointed?’ That was a phrase I learned (and really one of the only good things I learned) from a therapist.

I encounter this almost daily and I guess I have just learned to allow them to have their journey and let go of any responsibility or control in the matter. Everyone has problems, complications and a history. Most of those we don’t see based on one or two sentences from them. In the music industry there is a danger of ego taking over and so artists will also recite music industry phrases that make them seem a bit more ‘rockstar’. “Check out my music”, “Thanks for Your Support” or anything to do with Itunes, myspace, facebook, youtube and reverb nation are some of the things they think they should say. Many artists have a sense of entitlement because they think they have worked harder than anyone out there so it makes them eligible to unload and unleash snobby phrases on their listeners. As a music listener, I really want the people I love to be really cool. I don’t want to know that Ian Gillan is a jerk if he is because I love Deep Purple. It would be disappointing to me. There can be an expectation that Ian should be cool because his music is cool. The truth is Ian is a person and I shouldn’t worry about how cool he is or if he appreciates me and my ‘support’ or not. He didn’t ask me for it. He recorded some songs because he wanted to. If I get something from his music, does it matter if he’s a jerk?

The one other thing I want to bring up is this particular person asked me if he was being too sensitive. There is something simply outstanding about being sensitive in a desensitized society. It’s not a bad trait. But I don’t suspect that is the problem here. I think maybe it’s more a case that he truly felt like he was supporting this artist, felt invested in him as an artist and friend and therefore had some expectations that he would be treated better. Our reaction to all of it is where we feel too sensitive, but I believe the feeling of being too sensitive is just the reaction. We shouldn’t be questioning our own heart, we should be questioning our motivation and our own expectations. I’ve said many times that it’s best for me to do something nice for someone and then run away like it never happened. That way, you go onto do the next thing in life and don’t look back to see if you got anything back. It does hurt though when you immediately get something negative back. We also shouldn’t be questioning our hearts then, we should be questioning our expectations and evaluate what it truly means to show love without anything in return. The truth is the people who are truly mean, may be the very ones who need our love!

Making music like nobody is listening…spreading love like a Chef sprinkles icing sugar on pancakes,
(He just does it and no patrons come to thank him)

Karen :)

All sensitive people agree that there is a peculiar emotion provoked by works of art.”
~Clive Bell


  1. Your in luck. Ian is very, very far from being a "jerk". He is an intelligent, thoughtful individual with immense generosity of spirit. There!

  2. ps... I know, I know, it's 'you're' not 'your'. Sheesh.