Years ago (when Darling Daughter #2 was only a few months old) a rather large, rotund pastor (whom I had only just met mind you) said to me, "Have you got a bun in the oven - or are you just fat?"
Now, how would you handle that situation? How would you respond to this person?
The nerve of this guy sent me into some kind of verbal paralysis.
I was so stunned by his comment I just stood there and laughed along with all the ladies around him who were saying, "Teehee, oh you shouldn't say such things! Teehee!"
That happened 8 years ago, and to this day I still lie in bed thinking up clever comebacks I could have said to him!
Just between you and me, I wish I could let people have it sometimes, don't you?
Letting loose with a flurry of verbal karate chops - "Hi-ya! Have you looked in the mirror lately?!"
But, of course, that would never do.
We all say and do dumb thoughtless things now and again. After all, we are human.
I guess there will always be those who need to practice using that filter inside their head that can prevent the bad stuff from coming out.
It's really important to handle offenses in the right way.
Our natural reaction is usually to lash out and hurt the offender back, but that is never in your best interests, or what's best for your relationship with that person.
I try and think about why the person may have said or done something offensive toward me.
If there's no obvious cause as to why the offense came, I make sure it wasn't something I unintentionally said or didn't say.
Perhaps the person is going through a difficult time and you were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Sometimes there just isn't any logical reason why that person may have hurt you.
The important thing is where do you go from there?
Here are some tips to help you out:
- Don't let your knee-jerk reaction be to lash out verbally or physically - take some time out away from the other person to think and preferably pray about the situation.
- If appropriate, approach the person and share your feelings. Keep in mind that the health of the relationship needs to be your motive, not to hurt them back.
- Forgive them. This is harder than it sounds isn't it? Forgiveness is so important to your emotional health, and it's actually to benefit YOU more than the other person.
- Move on - whether the offender is understanding of you or not. You can't change others, but you can change and grow yourself. And despite your pain, try not to let a negative outcome deter you from reaching out to others.
I know, I know - that's the last thing you feel like doing at the time.
I have found that doing this really helps me get over the hurt, and it's comforting because I know I'm responding in the way Jesus wants me to.
What have your experiences been? I'm interested to hear your thoughts, comments, and questions.
Thanks for calling by, come again soon!
PS - I need to add that you must never condone any sort of physical or sexual violence toward you or your children. Please seek professional help - don't try and handle it on your own.