Many of us are taught, since we were children, that it is a sign of weakness to show emotions. In school, in recess, by teachers, and almost everybody, we are taught “to hold it together” or be a “real man,” as many boys are told. As if a man is supposed to be bigger than life. Everyone does this with good intent; a child to be raised strong. But the child is taught not to express emotions. Not to vent anger, and thus stress builds.
Throughout our careers, we are also taught to keep emotions to ourselves and away from business and business associates. If someone hurts our feelings, it is a sign of strength to pretend like we are not hurt, and that whatever someone says, it does not hurt us: “Sticks and stones can hurt my bones, but words never hurt me,” said a colleague of mine whenever someone was rude to her. This is so untrue. Sticks and stones can hurt, and so can words. They do hurt, and it is foolish to pretend otherwise.
Here are the two scenarios to ponder when you are on the receiving end of hurtful words:
Scenario 1: You are hurt by the words.
So your reaction can be:
a) Ignore and proceed with the conversation.
b) Ignore and avoid the hostile person where possible.
c) Express how you feel and tell the other person to stop.
d) Have a tantrum and let the other person have it.
I think these are basically all the possible reactions.
Scenario 2: You know the words can be hurtful and could be intentional but you are not hurt by them
So your reaction can be what? What are the choices. Aren’t they still the same as in scenario 1 above? So what does that tell us?Regardless of whether you are hurt or not, all reactions are possible and can be used occasionally at your discretion, and as you find necessary. So maybe our focus should be on the” hurt” part. So what determines if we are hurt or not?
What determines how much or whether we are hurt is how we “take” what has been said. It is not the words, but the interpretation that our mind does for us. For example, if the hurtful words were spoken in a foreign language, then one would not be hurt at all. Even though the words carry the same meaning. So, the words themselves carry no strength or weight. It is our minds that put meaning and “hurt” into the words. Then the mind chooses to linger on the idea of being angry, humiliated, and hurt for as long as the mind holds on to this choice.
So our mind is what we need to re-condition. How we take things. How we react to them. The million dollar (or even more) question is how can we do that? How do we condition our minds not to be hurt by what others say? I wish I knew for sure. I am working on this challenge and do not have an answer yet. IF YOU DO PLEASE DO SHARE.
However, when hurt, there are a few things one can do to reduce the pain intensity and length of the agony. Try these proven techniques:
1. Breathing deeply, purposefully, and slowly
2. Observing the pain, not attaching meaning to it or analyzing it
3. Accepting the fact that one is hurt and forgiving self for being hurt
4. Observing the thoughts as they come and not reacting to them
5. Accepting the fact that these things can happen and they are part of life
6. Finding refuge in those who pick us up and make us feel good
7. Confiding how you feel with a friend
8. Taking the mind into something else
10. Cardio exercise
11. Laughing, even if faking it
I am working on finding a proactive way to prevent the hurt altogether, instead of having to deal with it after the fact. If anyone has any leads, please share.