Posts tagged ‘hurtful comments’

October 18, 2010

Are you being sabotaged?

by Dandy

In my post Self-sabotage, I wrote about the little and big things we do to sabotage our best efforts.  The negative self-talk, the excuses, the self-doubt all besiege our interests in bettering our lives.  We often work against ourselves and don’t realize it.  I received many thoughtful replies to that post and while writing it I realized that sometimes it’s not just ourselves that sabotage.  Sometimes it’s others.  It can even come from people who love and care about us.

It may or may not be intentional, but our friends and family might be disrupting our attempts to better ourselves.  Common tactics are complaining, temptation, and passing judgement.  For example, if you are wanting to get fit, they may complain that the gym  is taking up too much of your time.  Or you may be trying to get ahead at work and taking college classes for advancement, your friends may tempt you by asking you to go out with them instead of going to class.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that your loved ones may not realize their comments and behaviors are upsetting to you.  Also they may have insecurities about their own life issues and they don’t like the pressure this puts on them to take a closer look at those issues. There is also the possibility that they fear they’ll be left behind while you are making these positive changes.  They may feel the relationship is threatened.

They may also fail to understand why these changes you are making are so important to you.  It is to your benefit and theirs if you explain that you fear for your health, which is why you’re hitting the gym.  You can explain that you are unhappy with the lack of responsibility and low wages at your job, hence the dedication to achieving more education.  Your loved ones may not appreciate your reasons if they are unable to relate.

Their negative behaviors can certainly hurt and cause you distress especially if you are stumbling down the road to self-improvement.  Of course you cannot control the behaviors of others, but you can control your own.  So how do you neutralize this sabotage?

It’s important to be honest with your loved ones.  Tell them why you are unhappy with your life and how much it means to you to try to do something about it.  Ask them for their help.  If you involve them in this mission for self-improvement they will be more apt to see your point of view.  If you have support you are more likely than not to succeed.  Ask your friends to exercise with you.  Ask them to take a brisk walk with you while you catch up on the latest.  Then reward yourselves by resting at the local coffee shop over skinny lattes.  Ask a loved one to help you study, or ask if it would be ok to call them the night before a big exam to receive a dose of “you can do it” for your shaky nerves.

If your on the tail end of their passing judgement, tell yourself it’s not about you.  That it is a mere reflection of their own personal issues.  Your life is your own.  They can’t live it for you.

It’s also good to be prepared ahead of time if you know you’ll meet up with those that have trouble with you life changes.  For the person who isn’t comfortable with your health efforts by offering you a huge slab of cake, tell them, “it looks delicious and you might have some later.”  But for anyone who keeps persisting with temptations simply say, “I’m trying to make a positive change for myself and I would love and appreciate your support.”

Our journeys are our own responsibilities and you are accountable for your choices.  For those who really do want what’s best for you, their actions will speak louder than words, by helping you achieve your dreams and goals.  Only you can decide what is best for you.   The reigns are all yours!

October 12, 2010

How rude!!!

by Dandy

 No matter who you are or where you live we all have one thing in common…at one point or another we encounter impolite, rude, tactless, uncouth people.  There are varying degrees of rudeness.  Some can be easily overlooked and forgotten, and sometimes the offense is startling and cruel.

It’s not easy to deal with rudeness especially if this is a person you encounter everyday, such as a co-worker, neighbor, or relative.  However, there are strategies you can take that make dealing with such people easier for you.

The most important thing for you to do is to never, ever react with rudeness in return.  Forget it.  You may want to reply with a witty, sharp comment, but this doesn’t resolve the problem.  It only encourages the banter of tactlessness (I think that’s a word).  It also reflects poorly on you.

You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.  Make it difficult for them to be rude to you by being sweet as maple syrup.  Kill the rudeness with kindness.  It’s not fun being rude to a person who is really nice and polite.

Try to look past the outward behavior.  Remember there is a reason for everything.  I was once at a second-hand clothing store, standing in a long check out line.  The cashier was frenzied and fumbling in her stress.  She was curt and short to every person who checked out their items ahead of me.  When it was my turn to check out I smiled at the cashier, made eye contact, said a bright,” hello”.  Then I complimented her on her pretty accent.  She told me where she was from and it was a place I’ve always wanted to travel to.  By this brief chit-chat her entire countenance changed.  She even laughed!  As I left, she cheerfully told me to have a great day.  I’ve been back to this store a few more times and she always remembers me, and greets me with a smile.  I’d like to give the credit to my charm, but really it was just genuine kindness.  I gave the poor, frenzied cashier some slack.  We all need a break now and then.  Treat people like a friend.  Talk politely.  Smile. Watch them change.

Another thing to know when it comes to dealing with rude people is to be honest.  If this rudeness is a reoccurring thing, tell them their behavior and/or comments are not appreciated and they shouldn’t expect you to accept it any longer.  In many cases, the rude person doesn’t know their actions hurt others.  But bringing it to their attention will cause them to take a look at their behavior.  Stand up for yourself, but do so in a positive manner.

Assess the behavior.  Sometimes a person just doesn’t have social graces or may have some mild social anxiety.  This is very different from a blatantly rude individual whose comments are said with purposeful intention.  Assertive communication is needed for hurtful, cutting comments not someone who is socially awkward.

Remain detached.  If you are not only dealing with a rude individual, but a profoundly negative one, smile and don’t say anything.  Don’t get involved.  This type of person is seeking a reaction, a negative one.  It’s what they feed on.  Try observing and then tell yourself, “what a shame this person is so negative.  This unhappiness has nothing to do with me.”

If nothing else say goodbye.  If ignoring, confronting, detaching doesn’t work, it may be in your best interest to move on.  This can be particularly difficult if the person who is making the rude comments is a close friend.  For example, if  a friend is persistently making disparaging comments about your weight, or relationship, or parenting style and it is tearing you up, then it may be time to move on and away from this person.  Wish them well and say goodbye.

It’s hard not to take rude comments personally.  We do not have to respond to every thoughtless comment.  You won’t be any less of a person if you choose to walk away from the rude person.

“Whenever anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach it”.  Rene Descartes

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