Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News
February 2, 2014
What you can do when someone hurts your feelings
No matter how hard you try to avoid it, sooner or later you allow someone to hurt your feelings. While it is true that no one can hurt your feelings unless you give them permission to do so, you still do it. We all do. And we all take our turn saying something cruel or stupid that hurts someone else’s feelings.
So what can we do to help ourselves when we have been wounded by offensive words hurled at us by someone? Instead of trying to “get even” with the offensive person, you may find some of these suggestions helpful.
1) Make an effort to give the offender the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps the comment which offended you was not aimed at you. At least consider that possibility.
2) If you are certain that the hurting words were directed toward you, try to excuse the offender for some reason. Perhaps the person had an upset stomach or was stressed out by personal problems at home. Maybe the offender’s colleagues had been giving him a bad time and he was just passing on the pain.
3) If you are sure the offender meant to cause you grief, be careful not to overreact. Calm your emotions and try to understand what motivated the attack upon you. Had remarks you made triggered the offender’s anger? Make an honest effort to determine if you helped to create the problem.
4) Refuse to nurse your hurt feelings and make a mountain out of a molehill. So your feelings were hurt; get over it. Grab yourself by the nap of the neck and put this problem behind you. Bounce back. Refuse to let the acid tongue of one other person ruin your day.
5) Take a look at your shirt sleeves. You may be wearing your feelings on your sleeves. If that is true, then ask the good Lord to give you a tougher skin. Decide that in the future you will not be so easily offended.
6) Forgive the offensive person. Do it in your heart first. You may need to speak to the person who hurt your feelings. Say something like, "What you said hurt me, but I don’t want that to harm our friendship. If I did or said something that prompted you to say what you did, then I ask you to forgive me."
7) However you react do not begin sending cryptic messages to the offender. Life is too short to waste time sending hidden messages in the hope that people can read your mind. If you have something to say, say it, and if possible, say it graciously. Leave the barbs for the fence. Speak truthfully but speak in love.
8) If offering forgiveness is difficult for you, then watch out. You may be sitting in the holier-than-thou seat. It is unlikely that you are completely innocent. You offend people too. You are capable of speaking carelessly or sharply when you are suffering from heartburn or some other agitation. Because you too can be offensive, you can forgive those who offend you.
9) Resist the temptation to tell other people about the incident. It only gets worse when you start telling your friends about the terrible thing someone has done to hurt your precious feelings. It will not help to drag your friends into a problem which none of them need and which none of them can solve for you. Wait until you have a REAL problem for which you can seek the comfort of your friends.
10) Get over it and move on. Focus on the beautiful things in your life. Realize that life is much too short to spend time wrestling with issues that have no eternal value. Enjoy yourself. Enjoy your friends. Enjoy life. Use your energy to live, laugh and love. Get busy doing kind things for others and you will soon forget your feelings were hurt. + + +