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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fight with Words of Kindness

Have you ever been offended? Insulted? Humiliated? Wronged? Cheated? Hurt? If your answer is no, you're lying.

We've all experienced one or more of these awkward, unpleasant feelings of pain and anguish at some point, and there are more to come. It's part of life! A normal reaction would be that of retaliation. Surely, getting back at the one who made the initial offense deserves payback, right? They deserve to feel the same pain that they put upon you. Will that take away the pain? Will revenge right the wrong?

You might be quick to answer "yes", at first, but if you take a deep breath and look at the situation from a different perspective, your answer might change.

Put yourself in the other person's shoes. Is the person who offended you having a bad day? Are they going through a bad situation at this point in their life? Are they not feeling well and they are just taking it out on you? Or, maybe you don't know the person, or don't know them well enough to know what's going on in their head. That's ok. You don't have to know to be the "bigger" person.

A technique that has proven to be successful is to retaliate with kind words, compliments, or acts of service. I'm sensing some raised eyebrows or rolling eyes right now, but I promise it works ~ on so many levels.

First, by responding to offenses, insults, or hurtful remarks with a calm voice and kind words, or even acts of service, you are taking the power away from the offender and turning the negative energy into something positive. If this result doesn't happen right away, keep at it. It will happen. It's hard at first, but once you get going, you'll find it's actually fun.

Second, your offender will eventually realize that the hurtful comments are not affecting you the way they intended. As they stumble for another method of verbal fencing, you keep finding kind words to retaliate with. Your offender will be so caught off guard, they might even stop attacking long enough to say, "Thank you." It's hard to fight against compliments.

Third, hearing your calm voice, kind words, or positive comments might make your offender realize that he/she is acting childish and that fighting words aren't necessary. You might be surprised to find that the whole mood of the situation has changed for the better.

Finally, if you find a way to serve your offender (i.e. write a kind note, give them a plate of cookies, mow their lawn, etc.), your feelings will change toward your offender. That anger or hurt inside will turn to love, or at least respect. And, chances are, it will be reciprocated. Service softens hearts ~ on both sides.

If you are still skeptical, try it. By becoming the peacemaker, your feelings start healing faster. And, you might end up with a new friend. If that's a stretch, at least you won't have any regrets about how you acted or what you said. You leave the situation with your head held high. Remember, "no one can make you feel inferior without your consent." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Fight With Kind Words

6 comments:

  1. Yeah! Great post. I have experienced this many times, and yes it works! (Heck, sometimes I try it on my husband. =)

    But this is a great lesson to keep on learning. I find myself getting into scrapes, or near ones all the time and it's a long process to change ones attitude.

    Thanks for the reminder!

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  2. I love that quote! It is oh-so-true!
    S.B. Niccum
    Author Website
    Blog

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  3. That is a great idea and I believe serving your offender does heal your heart quickly:)

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  4. Great quote -- and very applicable for dealing with trolls we sometimes meet online!

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  5. This is so true, and it is something that I need to do more often. When I'm angry and start to hurl insults, and the other person is being kind, I definitely feel like I am being childish. Thank you for your insight and wisdom!

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  6. What a noble post! We all should aspire to turn away anger, especially because it fuels sorrow within us while so much joy abides. Thank you for the reminder. I hope that I can live the belief. That is often harder to do.

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