5 Tips For Healing Emotional Paper Cuts
Let me just start out by saying this: I believe that people are good. I believe that the majority of us just want to live the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I believe that most people don’t intentionally hurt others. The majority of people in my life have been loving and supportive. Strangers from all over the world have said the kindest words to me! I like to keep my blog positive, but I also like to keep it real. I’m so lucky to have the love and support that I do, but unfortunately, it’s not the case 100% of the time.
I hate the saying “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Sure, sticks and stones hurt, but words hurt too. They hurt bad. A mean comment is like a paper cut. In the grand scheme of things it’s small, but it’s still very painful. It’s a wound that is difficult to heal because it can so easily be re-opened. It’s easy to focus on that small cut because it causes so much pain.
I am no stranger to mean comments about me and my life choices. My mistakes have been very public and prominent since I was 16 years old. Over the years, people have felt the need to express how they negativeley feel about me in person, behind my back, by text, phone calls, letters, emails and most recently, comments on my blog and social media accounts. Neighbors, classmates, friends, family, and complete strangers (the majority) have all been ones to make less than kind remarks to me. This post pertains to my person experience, but I think we all deal with a mean comment at one point or another for different reasons. I have learned a thing or two over the years to deal with these types of comments. These things have helped and continue to help heal the emotional paper cuts caused by words.
- Kill em’ with kindness. When someone is saying mean things to you, reacting the same way is like throwing fire on fire. It’s not going to solve anything and it sure as heck won’t make that person view you any differently. You don’t need to be best friends with a person who says awful things to you, but being a good, kind person goes a long way. Easier said than done, right? I know, but I promise that you will never regret being kind. You will, however always regret being mean.
- Educate. In my situation, I believe that a large majority of the rude comments I’ve received over the years have been from people who truly don’t know what I’ve been through. They may not know about certain circumstances I was in so they jump to conclusions. They may have a bad view of adoption and they take it out on me. Whatever the reason, I like to take opportunities like these to educate people. Speak up! I LOVE answering questions, and probably hand out more information than anyone really wants to know. I have had so many people come to me letting me know that I have helped change their view on different things solely because I go out of my way to educate. People may not be willing/open to listening about your side of things and that’s okay. At least you fought back with education rather than more mean words.
- Confidence is key. This is another thing that is easier said than done. Work on having confidence in yourself and your life. This way, when people throw their opinions at you, you can take them with a grain of salt. You’ll be able to stand tall and (for the most part) not let mean comments sway your thinking. Don’t be the person saying mean things to yourself. We are all our own worst critic, I get that 100%. But if you can learn to make those thoughts go away, your confidence and self esteem will blossom.
- Walk Away. In this age of cyber bullying and the ability to hide behind a computer, I find that people are throwing out more and more horrible comments to people online. I can guarantee you that the majority of people saying awful things online wouldn’t ever say those things to someone’s face. Especially if they got to know that person they were saying those things to. Sometimes, people do say awful things to your face and those are the ones that hurt the most. If you don’t feel like anything you say will change their view, then walk away. Don’t reply. For me, when I receive a comment, message or email that I feel is too nasty, I delete it. Not because I’m too “weak” to get back to them, but because I’m strong enough to not let that stuff affect my life now. If I had a horrible comment sitting on my blog, I would always go back to it, read it and feel awful. By deleting it I can get back to moving forward with my life and focusing on positive things.
- Focus on the good comments. For every one hundred good comments, I get one nasty comment. It’s hard not to focus on that one, but going over and reading, or thinking about the wonderful things people have to say is always very helpful. Focus on the opinions that matter most to you, from people that matter most to you. Like I said before, I believe that people are good.
I have been called every awful name under the sun. I have been bullied, abused and ridiculed. I have countless emotional paper cuts caused by the words of others. Some have scarred over, but I’m still getting new ones all the time. What makes me so upset is that I’m not the only one who deals with this. I know of people who have it far worse than me. So this is my plea from my little blog: Please, please think before you speak/write. Think about how your words could affect someone. Take the time to get to know someone, to learn their story, to see things from their side. If you still don’t agree with them after that, then move on.
If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Simple as that.
Remember, God loves you and thinks you’re doing an awesome job.
Peace and love, homies.