Drop it

Has someone ever hurt your feelings? Of course they have. It’s as common as nightfall. There are three steps to keeping yourself poised, balanced and strong in the face of such pain. These three steps are also the key to your peace of mind.

If someone came up to you and said “1953 Studebakers suck” would your feelings be hurt? Of course not. Now if they came up to you and said “Those shoes you are wearing look like thrift store rejects” would your feelings be hurt? Of course they would. Why? Because this time it’s personal!

When someone hurts your feelings it is if they had just thrown a hot coal at you. If it’s not personal, you step out of the way but if it is personal, you catch it. If you are feeling particularly testy you may even go out of your way to catch it and when you catch it the hurt begins. And then you respond to the hurt that you just accepted.

Step one is “Acknowledge that you have been hurt” . Don’t try to put on a stoic face to yourself or to anyone else. If it hurt, admit to yourself and to the hot coal thrower that it hurt. That is not weakness or being too sensitive. That is honesty. There is tremendous strength in honesty.

Step two is “Don’t take it personal!” My wonderful grandmother, God rest her soul, was never upset for more than a minute or two when someone hurt her feelings. When I questioned her about it she always said “Consider the source!” In other words, it’s always about them not you! They are the ones that are out of balance. They are the ones that are not caring about the impact of their words. They are the ones being cruel, spiteful or just downright mean. They have the problem.

Step three is “Let it go”. Notice I didn’t say forget about it. Forgetting is impossible. We cannot forget anything that has deeply affected us. When a hot coal is thrown and we catch it, the longer we hold on to it, the more it hurts. Drop it! Let it go! You will remember the incident and that’s a good thing. By remembering you will adjust your interaction with that person and if it continues you will and should dismiss that person from your life.

You have acknowledged that it happened, you have made it their problem and not yours and now any further ruminating on the subject just adds more pain TO YOU AND NOT THEM. Let it go as quickly as you can every single time it surfaces in your thoughts. Otherwise, you are helping someone to continue to hurt you. And that’s just wrong.

(c)2014 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride


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