I used to pride myself on being sensitive. The problem was I was easily hurt by the things other people said to me. I lived in a chronic state of pain which lead to a lifetime of unhappiness and low self-esteem. But the alternative (being cold and aloof) was less appealing so I resigned myself to a life of sorrow. But as I got older and more comfortable with myself, the criticisms and negative comments of others became less problematic for me. I realized that words have no power other than what I assign to them. The word stupid for example does not evoke any particular emotion unless I take personal offense to being called stupid.
If you are easily offended by what others say, consider working on building a healthier sense of self, one which allows you to listen to both positive and negative comments directed at you. There is much that can be learned from the unattractive remarks we hear about ourselves. After all, which one of us would not benefit from correcting some of our imperfections? Here are a few more tips:
1. Don't take personal offense to what is being said. Their truth is more opinion than fact.
2. Listen objectively to their comments. Like a mirror, people reflect back to us what they see that we may not be aware of. This can prove to be of great benefit to us.
3. Pay attention to your internal reaction. What does it reveal about you? Are you too sensitive, insecure, opinionated, close-minded? Work on improving these.
4. Did you misunderstand or misinterpret what the other party said? Ask for clarification.
5. If they are deliberately being rude or hurtful address your concerns and set boundaries. Then forgive them for their poor behavior and let go of the hurt.
If you are the perpetrator of hurtful words, take into consideration the following suggestions:
1. Before beginning, consider your motives. Are they honorable? If not, do not proceed until they are.
2. Speak the truth and temper it with compassion and sensitivity.
3. Carefully choose your words making sure to consider all possible methods of expressing yourself.
4. Imagine how the other party is interpreting what you are saying. Put yourself in their shoes.
5. Remember that it is what you say as well as how you say it. Choose polite honesty over brutal honesty every time. You're efforts will be greatly appreciated and you will earn the respect of all parties.
Words don't have to hurt. It is the individual who gives them power. Choose your words carefully for once spoken they can never be silenced.
Some great articles to read:
"M & M's: Motive and Method" @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-newsletter.html#motive
"Tell It Like It Is" @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-newsletter.html#tell-it
"The Looking Glass" @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-newsletter.html#looking-glass
Janet Pfeiffer, international inspirational speaker and award-winning author has appeared on CNN, Lifetime, ABC News, The 700 Club, NBC News, Fox News, The Harvest Show, Celebration, TruTV and many others. She’s been a guest on over 100 top radio shows, is a contributor to Ebru Today TV and hosts her own radio show, Anger 911, on www.Anger911.net.
Janet's spoken at the United Nations, Notre Dame University, was a keynote speaker for the YWCA National Week Without Violence Campaign, and is a past board member for the World Addiction Foundation.
She's a former columnist for the Daily Record and contributing writer to Woman’s World Magazine, Living Solo, Prime Woman Magazine, and N.J. Family. Her name has appeared in print more than 72 million times, including The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Alaska Business Monthly and more than 50 other publications.
A consultant to corporations including AT&T, U.S. Army, U.S. Postal Service, and Hoffman-LaRoche, Janet is N.J. State certified in domestic violence, an instructor at a battered women's shelter, and founder of The Antidote to Anger Group. She specializes in healing anger and conflict and creating inner peace and writes a weekly blog and bi-monthly newsletter.
Janet has authored 8 books, including the highly acclaimed The Secret Side of Anger (endorsed by NY Times bestselling author, Dr. Bernie Siegel).
Read what Marci Shimoff, New York Times bestselling author, says of Janet's latest book, The Great Truth; Shattering Life's Most Insidious Lies That Sabotage Your Happiness Along With the Revelation of Life's Sole Purpose:
"Janet dispels the lies and misconceptions many people have lived by and outlines a practical path to an extraordinary life beyond suffering. Written with honesty, clarity, sincerity, and humor, this book serves as a wonderful guide for anyone seeking a more enriching and fulfilling life.”
Dr. Bernie Siegel says, "All books of wisdom are meant to be read more than once. The Great Truth is one such book."