Have you ever been in a social situation where someone made a comment that you took personally? Of course, you have. I have, too. And sometimes I've gone home and stewed over the comment, getting more and more agitated. What I have learned through the years, however, is that nine times out of 10, I was being overly sensitive. Most often, critical or negative comments are more about what's going on with the person who said them than about anyone else. Generally it's a projection of their own realities and experiences.
I have also been on the other end of this—and have blurted out a comment that, only later, I realize might have hurt or insulted someone around me. At such times, I'm aware that the comment was more about what I was feeling at the time or experiences I've had around whatever issue was being discussed at the time.
Sometimes I've had to circle back and apologize to someone for making an impulsive comment and assure that person that I had no intention of hurting her or him. Such experiences help me to remember, when I'm on the other end of such exchanges, that I probably wasn't a target either. It's always good to remember this—and to learn to not take things so personally. Doing so will remove us from the possibility of being victims of needless suffering. It will also remind us to use our filters when we speak out in the company of others!
I'm reminded that I need to practice kindness and thoughtfulness in my words—and that I need to be patient and understanding when others make careless remarks or comments about which they're resolute and forceful.
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