“The hardest part for creatives when naming and examining the generalized other is that when we share our work, we get feedback and messages from all kinds of people all the time. They unabashedly praise or constructively criticize or verbally attack our art, which, good or bad, feels personal. From trusted mentors and friends to faceless internet trolls, it can be hard to differentiate ourselves from what we create and how we perceive others’ reactions to it.

“We are put in positions to receive feedback from people we do not know at all (like a competition panel) or from someone we do know and certainly do not respect or admire, like the toxic teacher who holds the key to your future as an artist or performer.

“If the abuse or shaming is something you believe is required of you in the name of being a great artist, please know — that is a lie. Do not give this person power over you for one more minute. It is possible to hone your selective hearing for critical feedback, to distill the words down to something helpful, and to leave the rest. That starts with the difficult work of naming a supportive, helpful, loving Everybody for yourself.”