This can be a sign of rejection sensitive dysphoria (RSD), a common symptom of ADHD that may also occur in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Both of those mental health disorders are highly prevalent but underdiagnosed, particularly in highly-intelligent individuals and women.

It seems obvious that software engineering would attract people with either or both disorders, though. ADHD is characterized by hyperfocus on interesting subjects, which sounds like being "in the zone" coding for hours. And ASD is characterized by "special interests" not commonly held by most individuals, like, you know, programming languages.

While ultimately it's on the individual to learn to manage their responses, the reality is often that individuals with RSD cannot accept "constructive" feedback. It's not a choice; it's an executive function deficit associated with sensory processing and emotional dysregulation. So telling someone "just don't take it personally" like it's a character deficit may indicate that the person giving the feedback needs to change their approach.

Or, you know, you can just fire people with ADHD and fire people with ASD, like most companies. After all, they're not team players and can't take feedback, which must be a personal choice and could never be RSD. Unfortunately, that only perpetuates the inability of people with RSD to develop appropriate "soft skills" to succeed in the workplace long-term, especially if the individual never receives a diagnosis that leads them to get individualized counseling.

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