I came across a blog just today that explains people in similar positions as mine that go through exactly this. Let me give you a couple of the examples they give:
What you said: God never gives us more than we can handle.
What we heard: You’re fine. Quit whining.
What you said: He seems fine to me! Or, All kids do that!
What we heard: You are a very dramatic person and you should get over yourself. Also, you are very likely a huge liar.
I realized lately that I was definitely guilty of this and I don’t think I was alone. I would listen to one thing and hear another one, taking things a little too personally. If people were talking about someone else, I was always thinking they were trying to “tell ME something”. I have learned in the past few years though, to give people the benefit of the doubt. If after a few explanations they are still bent on hurting my feelings though, I give up. We are all in our unique journey and I don’t expect anyone to understand what my son or I are going through, but I am certainly not going to beat compassion out of you if you don’t have any.
The bottom line is that people like to judge anything and everything, I am not sure if they do it to feel superior in some way or what. They love to go on rants on Facebook over the most mundane or hot button topics, and if someone does not think like them they get all bent out of shape. Is it really appropriate to go on and on on social media about how you hate some political candidate, a particular religion or how you feel about abortion? But with a candidate like Donald Trump, who spews hatred at every turn, isn’t any wonder people nowadays feel entitled to spread hate themselves at the cost of family and friendships? I’ve lost count at all family members and close friends I had to “unfollow” on Facebook because, frankly, I was tired of their hateful tirades. I have no time for that. Sorry. And how sad and disappointed I was. Ick. Really?
I try very hard not to judge and to stay positive, even though it’s hard work. I know it’s paying off because just today I was at a thrift store and I overheard a couple of women going on and on about a mutual friend that supposedly “always goes to the Doctor”, and I found myself silently trying to find excuses for this woman they were bad-mouthing behind her back. Maybe she has a condition she’s not comfortable sharing with them? Another couple was just nasty about judging “the person” that donated some personalized keepsake. In the back of my mind I was thinking… “perhaps this person didn’t donate anything, maybe they just passed away.” I honestly try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. One person’s trash is another one’s treasure anyway and we never know what people go through behind closed doors that may not share with anyone. Just because they didn’t share their troubles, it does not mean they are “fine” at all.
We are all ill equipped to judge situations we know nothing about. What we can do is be supportive. Listening is the most important thing I tell everyone to do. Offer to help, acknowledge, respect.
Love & Light,