Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Bob’s Banter


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By Robert Clements

Handling Hurtful Words..!
“Miss,” says the little fellow running after his class teacher, “He called me a bad word!”
The wise teacher looks at her young student, “And what did you do to provoke him to say that?”
No, I’m not defending the boy or girl who said an ugly word, but very often we forget the provocation as we punish an offender who reacted. But the situation doesn’t rest there. In quarrels between a husband and wife, the husband or wife next day remembers the words thrown at him or her, but forget what got the other to say them.
It’s time we started putting angry words back in context.
Many years ago, I remember a casual worker in my business, who was trying to form a union in my company by sending me a lawyer’s notice. I took it to my lawyer, and pointing the harsh sentences out to him said, “Look what he’s calling me!” The lawyer nodded, and said, “You want to hit him back?” “Yes,” I said, “The audacity of that man, he’s just a labourer in my company and he needs to be taught a lesson!” “And that’s exactly what he wants you to do,” said my lawyer, “He has no facts to attack you with, so with these name calling words he expects you to get so riled up, that you will respond violently, and with your response, he will build his case.” “So, what do I do?” I asked. “Don’t respond to them,” said the lawyer with a chuckle, “Just react to the facts!”
Needless to say, we won the case, and I’ve always remembered my lawyer’s advice. When people throw words at us in anger, it’s not our job to catch those words and hurl them back with more vigour, but here’s some advice; go deep into what caused them to say what they said, and proceed with your response accordingly.
A loving father took a doll away from his toddler daughter. The little one threw a tantrum and then in a fit of rage slapped her father. The father, reacting to the sudden pain and without thinking slapped her back, stunning the little one. It took many days for his daughter to come back to him, without being afraid.
That’s what we do, when we hold onto angry words and react to them. Our spontaneous and unthinking reaction to them causes unnecessary and sometimes irreversible damage. Instead, understand the context, look deep into the provocation, then wisely decide how you will handle not the words, but the situation. If the words were said out of despair, handle the feeling, if frustration, look into what the cause and reason is, and suddenly life will become all the easier in the living, and many a relationship, saved!
Here are some more very practical steps to help you understand and deal with hurtful words:
The first step is not to take It personally: The first step in dealing with hurtful words is to remember that they are often coming from a place of insecurity or negativity within the person saying them. In other words, it’s not necessarily about you – it’s about them. Instead of taking these words to heart and internalizing them as truth, try to detach yourself emotionally and focus on the fact that this is just someone else’s opinion.
Next, look for perspective. Realise that one key way to lessen the impact of hurtful words is by looking at them within a broader context. Ask yourself questions like: – Why did this person say what they said? – What might be going on in their life that caused them to speak this way? – Is their opinion valid? Or are they speaking out of ignorance? Thinking through these questions can help you gain perspective on the situation, which can make it feel less personal and allow you to approach things more objectively. Then start setting boundaries: It’s important not to let others dictate how we feel about ourselves. By setting our own personal boundaries and communicating them when necessary, we can prevent others from having too much power over our emotions.
This might involve telling someone that their words are not helpful or that you don’t appreciate their input. Or it could be something as simple as walking away from a conversation if it’s starting to feel toxic.
Also learn to practice self-care. Start realising that hurtful words can take a toll on us emotionally, so it’s important to practice self-care in the aftermath of these experiences. This could mean doing something kind for yourself like taking a bubble bath or spending time with people who lift your spirits.
Another effective way to cope is by journaling or talking through your feelings with someone you trust. Venting about what happened can help release some of the pent-up emotions associated with hurtful words and provide an outlet for processing the experience.
Finally, learn to let go by remembering that holding onto hurtful words only gives people more power over you. It’s important to acknowledge what was said and how it made you feel, but then let go of any attachment to those comments. This might mean forgiving the person who said those things or simply choosing not to dwell on them any longer. Instead, focus on positive self-talk and affirmations that build up your confidence and resilience in the face of adversity.
To conclude, while hurtful words can be painful and difficult to deal with, they don’t have to control our lives or define who we are. By practicing self-awareness, setting boundaries, practicing self-care, gaining perspective and letting go when necessary – we can empower ourselves to move forward confidently in the face of negativity and maintain our emotional well-being in spite of any adversity life may bring!
Like I said earlier, practise these simple methods and life will become all the easier in the living, and many a relationship will be saved..!
The Author conducts an Online Writers and Speakers Course. For more details send a thumbs-up to him on WhatsApp 9892572883 or [email protected]


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