Years ago, a very close friend taught me a precious lesson I have never forgotten. At the time, neither of us realized the lesson I was to learn. What happened, she said something that hurt me bad. I don’t remember what was said, only the lesson I learned.
All that day and evening, my feelings were hurt. I was not quick with a comeback. The result was I was unhappy and couldn’t get her comment out of my mind. How could a friend of mind care so little about my feelings? I felt terrible.
We had the same breaks the following day, so I approached her. I let her know how I felt and asked why she would say something to hurt my feelings.
She looked at me and gave me the up and down look (Those who are in my age bracket will remember when men would look you up and down before speaking to you); that was the look she gave me, put her hand on her hip, assume a pose, and said, “Honey, if you let something I said hurt your feelings, that is on you, not me,” and walked away.
I stood there, not knowing what to do! The nerve! She’s supposed to be my best friend! I huffed and puffed about it the rest of the day. But I was thinking about what she said.
At some point during the day, it hit me. She was right! I had given her control over me and my emotions! While I was upset, she was doing just fine. Nothing was bothering her. I wasn’t ready to let her know what I had discovered; however, when she asked me to be a speaker at the company dinner celebrating her twenty years with the company, I accepted.
At the dinner, I shared that story, and I thanked her for teaching me to never give control of myself over to someone else. Several people came over afterward shred similar incidents they had experienced with people and thanked me for sharing.
It would have been easy to stay angry over hurt feelings. Instead, I took her response and found the pearl of wisdom hidden inside, and it has been a saving grace for me.
The next time someone says something that hurts your feelings, remember, it’s their opinion. File it away and move on. Actual words have power, but only you can let them do irreparable damage. After all, happiness is an inside job!
Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.