hurt people hurt feelings

Kindness is magic. When I feel myself getting frustrated, I remember that kindness is magic. It doesn't make me feel better. It reminds me how I want to handle feelings of resentment, fear, jealousy, annoyance, or anger. 

Shitty feelings feel shitty. That's the nature of them. It sucks when those shitty feelings involve other people being assholes. There's this feeling of injustice that needs to be corrected. The way I choose to go about that feeling is to not do anything. At least, I try to not do anything. Yet.

If someone has just done something that really pissed me off, it's best I don't say anything. I risk saying too much or not getting my point across. It frequently causes even more of a mix up. I find myself thinking, "it's not fair that they said that to me. My feelings are hurt, obviously they're in the wrong." 

Instead of reacting to that thought, I say, "kindness is magic." It gives me a pause. It buys me some time so I can take a step back. The fact that I'm sad doesn't always mean that other people are wrong. It feels like they're wrong. It feels like I have been wronged. I think, "well, if they knew they hurt my feelings maybe they would stop doing that." That's totally true. It's also sometimes just a personality trait. 

When I've been hurt by someone, I have to consider whether I've hurt them. It doesn't make their behavior okay. It does help me understand and empathize with their behavior. Every situation is 90/10. That means that 90% of the current situation is based on your entire history with the person you're talking to. 10% of it actually has to do with the present moment. 

So, when someone is shitty, I have to consider their side of their history with me. And, I have to consider my side of that history. Maybe I'm especially pissed because I'm actually still pissed about something that happened months ago. Maybe the same is true for that person. 

My teacher taught me that when someone triggers you, it's a red flag that you need to take a closer look at yourself. Is this person triggering a deep insecurity that you're afraid is true? Get curious about it. 

what to do 

breathe

If you're feeling that blood boil feeling that totally sucks, try to slow down by taking a few deep breaths. You can try square breathing by following this illustration. Try doing this exercise three times and see how you feel. Increasing oxygen to your brain helps you feel calm. 

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write 

It's so easy to stay pissed off. The more you think about how you have been wronged, the angrier you may begin to feel. Writing can help because it helps you see this issue outside of yourself. Thinking about your feelings and your relationships can be really productive. It's not going to be super productive if you're super fired up the whole time.  

In order to get to a space where you can think about the situation objectively, you can write out your frustration. Try to see what might be important to look at and what you can leave behind. 

talk 

First, talk to a friend or a mentor. It can be so easy to have tunnel vision when you're deeply enmeshed in a frustration. Having someone to talk to can help you gain a clearer perspective. Then you can decide whether or not you want to talk to the person who has hurt your feelings. 

It isn't always necessary to have a conversation. Maybe you learned what you needed to and you don't feel like you need to talk this out with the person you were frustrated with. Maybe you do. 

When you go to have a direct conversation with someone, make sure you have an outline of what you want to say. Talking about feelings is a vulnerable thing to do and it can be easy to get defensive and angry. Breathe your way through it. Be kind to yourself and to others. 

kindness is magic 

When you don't know what to do, do the kind thing. If you don't know what to say, don't say anything. We can't know the whole situation. We can't know the whole story, even if we were there and paying attention. You feel your heart pounding in your ears and your palms start sweating. Pause.