Mahatma Gandhi suggested turning the other cheek toward the person who slaps you. But doing that is neither always possible nor acceptable.
In everyday life, people hurt each other all the time. And figuring out how to deal with the hurt can be a major challenge.
As a rather “thin-skinned” person, I admit I have let things get to me—badly at times. But because I feel it more, I have also taken the time to look for better ways to cope. Here are some questions that I find useful to ask myself:
Was it intentional? If the other person said or did something unpleasant to make you feel bad, it might be a good idea to express your displeasure. Staying bottled up can lead to frustration and depression. And when the anger finally burst forth, it can cause a lot of damage. Also, if you don’t speak up for yourself, the other person will simply feel encouraged to hurt you more. On the other hand, if you can see that the person’s intention was not mala fide, have it in yourself to forgive and forget. It’s easier, anyway!
Is there a pattern? Sometimes, people get nasty over the same things, over and over. A common example occurs in people with obsessive-compulsive tendencies. They may not like wrinkles on their bed sheet, so they will snap at you. They hate being late, so they will give you an earful for taking 10 minutes longer in the shower. There are two things you can do about this: either change the way you react, or accept the way they act. To understand makes it easier to forgive.
Are they worth it? Someone who hurts you again and again depletes your energy and can diminish your self-esteem. Is such a relationship really worth staying in, or is it time you considered snapping the ties that bind—or suffocate? Don’t let yourself stay imprisoned in a cycle of negativity. Break free, if your heart and mind have been urging you to. It can be a gloriously life-changing decision!
How to Say You’re Sorry