Posts Tagged ‘hurt’

Sticks and Stones: Disarming Hurtful Words

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” @

“Tell It Like It Is” @

“The Looking Glass” @

What Makes (Mike) Rice Boil? A Look at Aggressive Behavior

Aggressive behavior – many believe it is a sign of power, self-confidence, and courage. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Last week the country witnessed the termination of Rutgers University head basketball coach, Mike Rice. Video surfaced of his mean-spirited treatment of his players during practice. From name-calling to shoving, grabbing to gay slurs, his actions received nation-wide criticisms resulting in his dismissal.

Aggressive behavior is actually rooted in fear. One does not fully trust the individuals involved and must exert authority over them in order to force them to comply with his/her demands thus producing the desired outcome. Yelling, hitting, throwing things, intimidation, manipulation, coercion, and threats are all forms of bullying and abuse (pseudonyms of aggression). By instilling fear in the other party, one can create the illusion of having control over them by gaining their cooperation. In reality, the individual chooses to comply in an attempt to quiet the abuser. Aggressors have no concern for the well-being of others and will inflict verbal, psychological or physical harm on them in order to get their way. There is never justification for inflicting harm on another person or putting them at risk.

In Rice’s case, his need to have a winning team overrode his ability to make wise decisions. After all, there was a lot at stake for him. If his players did not follow his orders, they may not win. This would reflect poorly on him as a coach (feelings of shame), possibly affect his position at Rutgers, impact his salary, and result in loss of respect from his peers. His concerns (fear) led to the need to have dominance and compliance from every player on his team and he chose aggression as a means to an end.

However, as with all bullying behavior, while the short term results may be as desired, in the long run the consequences are devastating. Loss of job and income, public humiliation, health problems, relationship issues, respect of family, friends, and peers are just some of the risks. Shoving can lead to injury, even death, to the other party which could then lead to assault or murder charges. People need to consider the long-term and far-reaching consequences of their actions before engaging in such destructive behaviors. Remember: one bad choice can change your life forever.

For more, read “What Were They Thinking?” @
Order your copy of The Secret Side of Anger @

KISS Away Anger

My guest today, Dr. Erica Kosal, has been dealing with the devastating illness of her husband, Jim, for the past five years. Understandably, she has experienced a wide range of emotions including stress and anger. But this college professor and mother of two refused to allow those feelings to get the better of her. Instead, she relied on some age-old wisdom from her mother as well as some creative new techniques she developed for herself.
As a child, Erica’s mother recommended that when bad things happen it’s important to acknowledge them but not dwell on them. Refocusing on what is positive allows one to avoid the pitfalls of bitterness, hopelessness, and self-pity – three deadly emotions sure to send one into a downward spiral of despair and anger. Erica later expanded this lesson into one of developing a global perspective – an attitude of living beyond the moment (contrary to what many people practice in terms of living for today). If today is particularly bad, one may have a difficult seeing tomorrow’s sunlight. But the practice of seeing each day or moment in relation to the entirety allows one to be reminded of the good days already lived as well as those waiting on the horizon.
Attitude and perspective also became cornerstones for keeping anger at bay. Reflecting on gratitude for what they had verses resentment over what could no longer be enabled Erica and her husband to cherish the time they shared and make the most of each moment.
Her “Chunk-It” technique may sound too simple to be effective but it works. Rather than view her current situation in its entirety (which can be overwhelming, leading to feelings of hopelessness and despair), she broke down each day into smaller more controllable chunks. In that way, she could manage each task without feeling as though she was being devoured by the enormity of her husband’s condition.
Relying on hypnosis (deep relaxation) and something called The Healing Codes (a combination of prayer and activating energy points on the body), Erica had managed to navigate her way through the greatest challenge of her life without jeopardizing her health, sanity and family.
No one is immune to unexpected challenges and hardships. When trying to find our way in our new circumstances it is easy to fall prey to stress, anger, and sometimes rage. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the most effective. Find what works for you and make it a KISS: Keep It Simple, Sweetie.
Share your suggestions here so others may benefit.
To learn more about Dr. Erica Kosal, author of “Miracles for Daddy: A Family’s Inspirational Fight Against a Modern Medical Goliath” visit her website @!services.
To learn more about anger and simple ways to express and heal it, pick up a copy of The Secret Side of Anger @