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Step Back and Take a Deep Breath

I’m not writing this for the good of the other people involved in this mental and emotional struggle you are facing or will face.  I’m writing for your good because I know where our minds can go at times.  These are the scenarios that begin a spiral that leads us to a place where we feel like people don’t care about us and that we are all alone.

Do you feel hurt by something?  Can I ask you to do something real quick? Take a breath.  Pull your mind away from creating the various scenarios that our minds can create around these situations and take a few minutes to ask some questions.

Obviously there are situations in which there is hurt intended.  Those are terrible yet unavoidable when we are going through life in a world full of other humans.  However, I’m not talking about those scenarios.  I’m talking about the ones that we feel hurt by an action and, because we feel hurt, we begin imprinting our own hurt into the situation.

Our emotions drive what we believe about the other parties involved.  We feel hurt so they must have meant to hurt us, or they under-appreciate us, or they just flat out don’t care about us.  At times some of those can be true, but it isn’t a hard and fast rule that a hurt on your part means the party that hurt you is guilty of anything that I mentioned above.

Before I continue I want to make something very clear.  I’m not writing this for the good of the other people involved in this mental and emotional struggle you are facing or will face.  I’m writing for your good because I know where our minds can go at times.  These are the scenarios that begin a spiral that leads us to a place where we feel like people don’t care about us and that we are all alone.  I’ve been there.  I know what that’s like.  To be surrounded by people that tell you how much they care for you and yet be so emotionally unavailable that you may as well be left on a planet all to yourself.  You know you don’t feel like yourself, but that self feels so distant that it doesn’t really seem obtainable to get back there.  I write this to help you understand that you don’t have to withdraw to protect yourself from the constant pains that come from interactions.

The fact of the matter is, all our minds work very differently.  Some people’s minds work very analytically, some very emotionally, some very disconnected and some very self-aware.  The problem in how we relate to each other is, unless two people’s minds work very similar, there will always be a misunderstanding over the lines of communication because something that I think is clear in my words and actions is very unclear to the person I am trying to communicate to.

I tend to over explain to try to avoid hurt feelings and misunderstandings.  To many of my more analytical friends I am simply just putting too much into the communication when a simple statement of fact is explanation enough.  Turn that around and their statement of fact to me comes off as cold and disheartening.  Both instances could have been made for the exact same reasons and handled in the same way but it was the personal perspective of the recipient of the message that shaped how the message was heard.

We have a hand in shaping how we hear a message.  So that’s where we come full circle and I ask you to take a breath when you’re feeling hurt.  I ask you to take a breath and ask a few questions.

1. Why was this decision made/statement used?  This seems like a simple question to answer until you remove your own emotion from the situation.  Your emotion wasn’t present at the beginning of the decision, so if you do your best to remove it you may come to why the decision was made.

2. Ask yourself who made the decision or took the action that you feel hurt by.  How have they acted in the past?  Are they an analytical person that views facts and figures above emotion?  If so, then attempt to see the facts and figures they present.

3. Did you express your thoughts on the situation and present how you were feeling? I’m the first to admit that I will bottle up emotions to avoid the awkwardness that tends to follow about feeling hurt.  Bottles don’t hold forever.  At some point they break. Maybe it’s a crack that allows emotions to begin to seep out until the bottle is completely drained, or maybe that bottle shatters and the contents of the bottle explode everywhere, leaving the vessel not only empty, but shattered and seeking a way to put itself back together again.

I write this because our perspectives are so different from each other and yet so vital to how we communicate and receive messages through that communicationNone of this is to excuse hurtful behavior toward you.  Read that again if you need.  Once you step back and examine the situation it allows you to see, to what degree is possible, the reasoning for the decisions that you feel hurt by.  If it is anything that puts you at risk or lessens your importance as a person then remove yourself from that situation.  If you can’t do it on your own then get help.  None of this is intended to excuse abuse.  If anything it will help you more readily identify abuse and protect yourself because it leaves you without the excuse of emotion to cloud your judgement.

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