Use Analyzing Skills to Defeat Hurtful Words
Hurtful words carry great power. They have the potential to shove somebody into a downward spiral of self-doubt and destruction; or, they can jolt that person out of their comfort zone and onto a quest of self-discovery and improvement. Sometimes, there is some truth in the words. Often, there is none.
People say mean things to others for many reasons. More often than not, the person who puts somebody else down won't remember what they said a year later; however, the recipient of those words may remember them for the rest of their lives. One way to limit the negative effects these words have on you is to consider who said them; how well that person knows you or the person or circumstances they referred to; what purpose, if any, they may have had in saying them; whether or not they have any authority or expertise to have made the claim they made; and how long you are willing to allow these comments to disrupt your peace or influence your self-esteem.
Who Hurt You?
Instead of concentrating on what was said, first try examining the person who said it. Was this person someone you love or someone who's supposed to love you? Was it a relative, a friend, a teacher, a coach, or a stranger? Was it somebody whose opinion you previously respected; or, was it somebody who often said things you didn't agree with? Is this person mean to others; or, did they single you out? When you analyze the character of the person who spoke those awful words to you or about you or someone you love, you may find that their words are more a reflection of who they are and not so much about who you are.
What Motivated That Person to Say What Was Said?
Sometimes people say cruel things to others when their own lives are in turmoil. It's not right. It's not an excuse. It's an explanation. When people are under too much stress, they might accuse someone else of having the faults that they fear they possess. Afterward, they may feel some guilt; but they may also feel relief that they got their fears off their chest without even recognizing that their words were misdirected. Think about whether they said what they said intentionally to hurt you or help you. They may have put you down solely to boost their own ego. If intoxication played a role, the words said may not have been meant for you. When people are too drunk or high to think clearly, they often misinterpret different aspects of their reality which causes them to make unwarranted accusations or ignorant statements.
Why Did You Feel Hurt by What Was Said?
After you determine the personality of the person who hurt you and whatever outside influences may have played a part in their insensitivity to your feelings, examine what it was that made you feel bad. Were you bothered because you believe there was truth in what was said? Did it upset you because there was no truth to it at all? Would the words have hurt you if they were spoken in a different tone or in a different setting? Sometimes, it's not what was said that hurts so much as it is who it was said in front of. For example, maybe a coworker or teacher said, "You screwed this all up; you're a horrible worker/student." Maybe, this wouldn't bother you too much if you're the only two people within earshot; you might defend yourself and feel confident in the work you do. However, being shamed in front of others could not only elevate the level of hurt you feel but could also play a major part in how long you hold onto it. When around other people, you might not be so quick to defend yourself because you already feel embarrassed enough. When you can't defend yourself, you may feel angry at yourself which can cause you to feel worse.
Taking the Sting Out
The process of breaking down the individual pieces of who said what and why may help to lessen the pain and to steer you in a more positive direction. In addition, it may help you learn more about the person who broke your heart or your confidence. The information you gather through this analysis may help you take a more in-depth look at your own imperfections and strong points, as well as those of the person who hurt you. It might prompt you to forgive and forget or to move past the negativity of what was said. It may also inspire you to recognize signs that the person who hurt you needs help or maybe they need somebody to show them what kindness looks like. At the end of this analysis, you will probably have a better understanding of who you are, who you are not, and who you aspire to become.