Words have tremendous power although it may be harmless sound waves.
In this post I would like to share with you few tips on how to deal with the impact of negative words spoken to you. Trust me if you are not careful in this area, your emotions will soon be controlled by the words of the people around you.
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‘You are not good enough!’, ‘You are a failure’, ‘You are a fool’, ‘You are always like this’, ‘You will never succeed’, ‘I’m fed up with you’, ‘You are good for nothing’, ‘You are a useless fellow’, ‘You can never do that’ – these are some of the hurtful words you may hear from your parents or friends or elders or colleagues or even spouse in your day-to-day life which can hurt your feelings or may be few other indirect words which can leave the same negative impact on you.
The simple reason being that it acts as an arrow that pierces our inner being. Those sentences mostly contains the words ‘you’ which is directly aimed at you more than towards the action that prompted you to do that. And that’s why it hurts. That’s quite human!
Many times if the person who spoke those words are older to you or if it is your husband/wife or your parents, or your boss, or someone superior to you, you may not be able to react soon. Hence you may feel intimated or helpless or humiliated and you try to hide those hurts within you.
Human nature is that if someone hurts you, immediately you may want to react in a similar way. In some cases there are people who violently retaliate and some even resort to backbiting or being vindicate. This is not the right way to deal with harmful words. But there is a better way. This post is to discuss few tips on how to deal with such words.
Few tips to deal with hurtful words
The first and foremost thing you need to understand is this
Tip#1 Know this truth – You cannot control their words but you can control your thoughts.
Well! It sounds difficult. Infact self control is the toughest thing for most people. But with a bit of self-discipline and God’s help it is possible. This is an area where most people are struggling with and let me tell you the good news that with God’s help nothing is impossible.
A person with strong conviction and personality has good control on himself/herself – that’s the trait of a true spiritual person. So remember! People who hurt you can never really harm you unless you allow yourself to be hurt. Read the next few tips to know how to do that.
Tip#2 Never let those negative words of others define who you are.
Or in other words simply refuse to believe them. If someone tells you, ‘You are a fool’, it could have been that some of your actions made him/her say that. But that doesn’t make you a fool. It’s painful to hear such negative comments but instantly refuse to believe it in your mind.
In some cases when those who really care for you- your elders, parents, close friends- tries to correct you, you may feel hurt. But if you take those words in a positive sense, then you cause those words to have a positive impact on you. For that you need to learn to deal with those negative words before it starts affecting you. It takes some time to practice this but if you are careful you can!
I’m not telling you to deal with those hurtful words with resentment in your mind but you have to be careful about what you take in. You are a child of God. You are very much valuable in the sight of God, so never allow yourselves to feel inferior just by the words of other people.
That may be the reason why Jesus warns in Matthew 5:22,
But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
Note:- Mathew is a book written by the disciple of Jesus. This book was written in Aramaic language. Raca comes from the Aramaic term Reqa which means “empty-headed,” insinuating a person’s stupidity or inferiority. It was an offensive name used to show utter contempt for another person
So you also need to be careful with your words. Beware! If you are making fun of another human by commenting about their appearance or physical infirmities, you are actually insulting the God who created them. Sometimes you may be doing it for fun and didn’t really meant it, but you will never know how the other person takes it.
Tip#3 Turn those words into positive thoughts within you.
If there is something wrong with your actions, and others trying to correct you, it can sometimes hurt your feelings if their words are harsh. But don’t worry! You may make mistakes but it all depends on how you are willing to admit your mistakes and try to correct it. There is always room for improvement if you take it in the positive sense.
In that case change those words into positive thoughts. Think like this in your mind, ‘Yes, I’m wrong that’s why he/she spoke to me like that. I admit it. I’ll find out ways to improve. I will read books or other useful articles to improve this area where I am going wrong. Now I have hope because I know I can change. I will make every effort to carry out the advice’ – this is how you can train yourself to think positively and turn those hurtful words to produce a positive transformation in you.
Also be thankful to them for correcting you even though they hurt you. If you think this way, each and every hurtful words may make you a better person instead of feeling dejected, depressed and hurt. So next time someone tries to hurt you with words try to master the skill of being immune to these kind of words. Cheers!
But if we are to take those hurtful words in a negative sense, the thoughts which would flash through your mind may be something like this – ‘Oh what made him/her say that?’, ‘Why my father/mother/brother/sister is always making such remarks?’, ‘Is there something wrong with me?’, ‘Oh I’m not good enough!’, ‘I’m a failure’, ‘I will never succeed’, ‘All my life I have been like this’, ‘This is the same thing my teachers also tell me’, ‘Everybody hates me’, ‘I am not fit for this world’ and it will continue to go on, if you do not willfully put a stop to it.
Then slowly as you take those thoughts in, you will start hating yourself and it adversely affect your personality. You will not know now, but on a later stage in your life you will know how grievously it had impacted you without your knowledge. It all started with few careless words spoken by someone.
Can just few words have that much effect on you?
Yes it can! There is a beautiful verse in the Bible.
There is one who speaks rashly, like a piercing sword; but the tongue of the wise brings healing. [Proverbs 12:8]
Note:-Proverbs is a small book in the Holy Bible which contains the wise sayings of King Solomon and others, a good book for gaining knowledge and wisdom in day-to-day life
One thing to note here – Speaking harshly is the sign of an immature personality but a wise person knows how to put the content in appropriate words which can truly bring out amazing results.
Does your words bring healing to someone or create wounds in them? A wise person chooses his words carefully.
Tip#4 If the other person is purposefully hurting you for no reason, simply be silent and ignore it.
It’s none of your business. We need not respond to every personal comment from people. It’s not your problem that they keep on hurting you, it’s their problem. So simply leave it.
Jesus is the best person from whom we can learn this simple principle of being silent. Many times He remained silent not because He didn’t know what to say but since He was wise He choose to be quiet.
Sometimes we need to give God a chance to speak! If you are innocent and someone hurts you, remember there is a God who watches everything and listens to every conversation.
If God is for us, who can be against us. [Romans 8:31]
Tip#5 Talk about it with someone whom you trust
If you have tried all the above, still you may hear those words echoing in your minds and you will still be battling with those words in your mind. Sometimes it may take much time to fully recover from those negative effects. Also, when you are down, your mind will not react properly. It is at this time you really need a person-an elder or your best friend or your parents- with whom you can discuss about this and get the advice.
‘Talking about it with someone whom you trust‘- I call it as prayer when I discuss these things with God because I found Him as the most trustworthy person with whom I can share anything and everything.
You know why?
These are the 5 reasons why I chose Jesus to be the trustworthy person
- He will keep this confidential
- He is never busy to spend time with you
- He knows exactly how you feel
- He knows the perfect solution
- Above all He loves you and cares for you
Hence talking to God and reading His Word is the most powerful thing you can do. You can open up your heart to Him. If you feel like crying, do it. In fact He is like a father to whom we can share all our worries, hurts and emotional feelings.
When you pray you are talking to God, when you read His Word He is talking to you personally.
This is a true story from the Bible – First Book of Samuel Chapters 1,2,3
Once there lived a woman named Hannah. She was childless. Her relatives used to make fun of her and call her nick names. But she used to be silent and was very sad deep inside her heart. Many times her husband tried to console her but still she was unhappy. One day she went to the temple of God and started weeping in God’s presence and told her request to God. And the Bible says that her face was no more sad. It was because she told her problem to the right person. And God heard her prayer and gave her a boy child. He was named Samuel and he became a prophet of God.
That’s the power of sharing your hurts with God. Also remember to read God’s word with prayer and you will definitely hear His Voice as you read it with genuine thirst for hearing His Voice. And let me tell you a truth – once God heals your heart, your mind will be full of peace and happiness and your mind will become so refreshed as if you have never heard those hurtful words ever!
So what’s stopping you? Why not take your problems to the Lord?
Let me give you a verse from the Bible which really helps
Never worry about anything. Instead, in every situation let your petitions be made known to God through prayers and requests, with thanksgiving. Then God’s peace, which goes far beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your hearts and minds in union with the Messiah Jesus. [Philippians 4:6,7]
Note:- Philippians is a letter written by Paul to the church at Philippians when he was in prison.
Three things to note here
- Never worry about anything
- Instead tell God anything and everything that concerns you -your worries, hurts, feelings etc. (Not because He doesn’t know but He loves to hear from you)
- Then you will receive God’s peace which is most needed when your mind is disturbed
Let me summarize
Watch over your thoughts so that other’s words will not negatively influence you. Never forget to involve God in such situations because God really loves you. Also remember to chose your words carefully so that you can make sure you don’t hurt others.
What are the other things you do to overcome hurtful words spoken by others? How does it affect you? What are the struggles you face? Please drop a comment below and let’s discuss.