Ever since The Bachelor's 2022 season premiered, Clayton has faced backlash and criticism over how he has handled himself, from his "gross" kissing noises and alleged lack of personality to how he eliminated fan-favorite Elizabeth Corrigan over villain Shanae Ankney.
"Overall, the experience for me watching hasn't been fun, simply because I'm seeing all the damage that I caused," Clayton tweeted after last week's episode.
"I really meant well, but my actions weren't always the best as I now can see the repercussions from my decisions."
During a recent appearance on the "Talking It Out with Bachelor Nation" podcast co-hosted by Bryan Abasolo and Mike Johnson, Clayton discussed the "culture shock" of being the Bachelor and what it's been like to watch his season unfold on TV with the rest of the world.
"It's been every much a bit of a shock, yeah," Clayton said.
"To me, I don't know exactly what I was expecting. I came into all this being like, 'It's going to be brand new and so no matter what I do, it will all be a first to me.'"
Clayton said he didn't "really have any prior knowledge" of The Bachelor franchise.
"And that's something that I look back at and I wonder, 'Should I have maybe watched these episodes beforehand or gotten an idea of what it was I was getting into?'" Clayton recalled.
"And I'll never really have the answer to that because I decided to go into it being my authentic self -- and I didn't want to have any outside influence affecting me as I went into this journey."
But because of that, Clayton said he's been "hit by one thing after the next," and all of the hate and negativity surrounding his casting and his season has apparently been overwhelming.
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"Now, the hardest part is watching it back. I thought the hardest part would be being on the show. But now it's watching it back with the audience that sees a glimpse of what all had occurred," Clayton explained.
"They're kind of seeing the highlights or the lowlights, or however you want to explain it when you're describing what you're seeing on TV. But that's again, one percent of what was occurring."
Clayton suggested how it's frustrating when people make judgements or "assumptions" based on a two-hour episode each week.
"You wish that somebody could have seen it all, right?" Clayton noted.
"But we can't. There's only so much time in an episode, so I spent a lot of my time recently trying to answer people's questions and trying to give people a sense of what will happen."
However, Clayton apparently learned that he can't please and satisfy everyone.
"I realized that I'm just spinning my wheels sometimes," Clayton said. "There's nothing I can do between the things I want to say and can't say and the things that haven't happened yet."
"I just have to wait for them to carry and work their way through," he added. "It's just a lot to be patient. I think patience is a virtue and that's something that I've realized."
Clayton also told Becca Kufrin on her "Bachelor Happy Hour" podcast recently that he'd be lying if he said being The Bachelor star is "all sunshine and roses."
"I have definitely fallen victim to reading everything -- which everybody's told me, 'Stop reading all the comments' -- but my thought was, 'If I know what's out there, there's no surprises,'" Clayton said at the time.
Clayton said he was seeing a lot of the drama for the first time himself and he would have reacted or responded differently had he been made aware of what was going on.
Clayton also explained how he tried to be a good listener throughout his season, rather than doing all the talking -- which he said he's good at -- and so that's why people have accused him of not having much depth.
"I'm still trying to figure out who that person is, and I don't want to say something that might be misinterpreted," Clayton told Becca.
Clayton admitted he needed to take a step back and "stop reading all the comments" because they can be "detrimental."
"You start to go down this rabbit hole of you read one comment and then the next one piles on and then the next one piles on. You just realize very quickly that you can't keep everyone happy," Clayton said.
"I read one recently about how 'Clayton is too reassuring to the women.'"