This week in Australia, there has been many hurtful words slung in the fight for supplies in supermarkets – primarily panic buying on toilet paper. The premise is flawed as we have enough supplies and manufacture it here. But still, folks panic buy a trolley load! Brawls have erupted in the toilet paper isles of the major supermarkets! Hurtful words have been said.
A few weeks ago I was discussing what happens when we feel irritated by someone else’s words.
What do we gain by feeling irritated? Is there any kind of benefit in this?
- We get to feel like a martyr – meaning I AM still okay so you are NOT
- We get to blame others for our feelings
- We get to feel unhappy and it’s someone else’s fault
Ultimately, all of us need to take responsibility for our own feelings and aim to be more accepting of other people, their temperaments and priorities.
But what about the other side of irritation? The fall out from those spiteful words said in a moment of anger that are often regretted? It is not always easy to repair the damaged relationship, nor unsay what has already been said.
Hurtful words are often said when we do not have, or cannot find, the words to clearly express our needs, clearly or succinctly. It seems like frustration and pain often lie behind the words that are spoken.
“Let your hopes, not your hurts shape your future” – Robert Schuller
The Hidden Meaning Behind Hurtful Words
“In making hurtful comments, we are usually trying to communicate strong, unresolved feelings. However, this seems to work against us as it causes pain in ourselves and others.”
And if we don’t transform pain, we might transmit it.
Thinking about what it is that we really want to communicate when we say hurtful words to, someone we know, is useful.
Angry statement: “You never spend time with me anymore – you don’t care about anyone but yourself!”
The real meaning: “I miss you and sometimes I feel unloved & lonely when we don’t spend time together”
Said with frustration: “Calm down”
The real meaning: “I’m at a loss, I feel inadequate because I have no idea how to help you”
Said with hurt: “I’m done – I want out”
The real meaning: “I don’t want to be hurt anymore and I’m at a loss as to how to make things better between us”
Said in exasperation: “Get over it and just deal with it”
The real meaning: I can’t help anymore, as I am out of useful suggestions.
Expressing our true feelings can makes us feel vulnerable, and if the other person fails to respond to our admissions, with empathy, or begins to accuse or blame, the hurt will be felt even more acutely.
“Spiteful words can hurt your feelings, but silence breaks your heart.” Source – unknown
Do you ever get the silent treatment in times of conflict? Phone calls that are blocked or remain unanswered?
Could this communication breakdown be a method of coping with the situation or possibly freezing you out so that reconciliation is impossible and the other party will be seen to be right? Are they finding it impossible to find any words to convey their true emotions?
Hurtful words damage the trust we feel in any relationship.
Quotes and proverbs provide us with some wisdoms:
“There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience and that is not learning from experience.”-Archibald MacLeish
A gentle word opens the strongest lock
– Old English Proverb
Sunday Sayings – Something to Ponder About