I have a good friend who always says, “What someone is saying to you says more about them….. then it does about you.”
She shared this thought with me because I was always taking things people said about me… to heart… and allowing myself to be hurt by their comments.
I caught myself acting is if this “source” this “person” who was speaking to me… was somehow like my Higher Power: “all-knowing.”
As I began really listen to others, with my friend’s words in my mind, I realized that she was right.
I began to see motives behind many of these hurtful statements and most often it was related to that person’s own filters, their self-esteem issues, their character flaws, and suddenly… I could see that nothing they were saying really had anything to do with me.
This helped me to begin listening to people without reacting.
I began the habit of waiting 24 hours before responding to a particularly snarky or cruel comment. I learned by giving myself time to think, to calm my emotions instead of automatically reacting, I could then assess if there was any truth in the statement. I could decide if there really was something that needed to be discussed with this person who was being particularly unkind, or what I needed to ignore, or “let go” of completely.
I have found by stepping back and listening for hidden motives before reacting to a conversation, I can save myself hours of worry, resentment, frustration, and anger, and learn to have empathy for a person who is in too much pain to be kind to me at the moment.
“Dear God, help me to step back when I find myself struggling to remain calm in any situation. Help me to see that others have their own issues and flaws that they may be projecting onto me and let me share my compassion with them and find grace in my actions.”