It hurts when someone we care about says something mean to us, more so than when a total stranger says it. The hurt feels deeper when it comes from someone we know and trust–despite our best efforts, it’s hard to put a protective wall up to that person. Therefore, when they zing us with a hurtful comment, it’s twice as bad because we just weren’t expecting that from them.
However, we need to remember that any and all mean and snarky comments usually have everything to do with the commenter, not the commentee. It’s a human reaction; we hurt, we lash out. In that moment of zapping someone with a nasty remark, it takes some of the pain away…not for always, but for a little time. When someone is in pain, even a minute or two of relief helps.
Whatever the reason for the unkind zing, we don’t deserve it. Understanding is a good start. Realizing that the hurt hurled at us doesn’t define us also helps. Once we recognize that we are not really the target, but simply the surface at which the comment is thrown, we can let that comment slide off us and not affect us.
So, how do we arm ourselves? Easier than you’d think! Remember good old Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise sounding the red alert alarm? Remember what he said when the ship was being attacked? “Shields up!” That’s the magic formula right there. Put up your *shield when you walk out into the world. Your shield can look any way you’d like, and you can adjust it to have two-way communication. I’ll tell you what mine looks like to give you an idea. My own shield is a beautiful clear rock crystal bubble that allows only good energy in and keeps out all bad energy. I can walk around in it, breathe in it, drive my car in it; I can do anything in it.
When I start my day and leave my home to go out into the world, I imagine I am walking into my beautiful bubble and closing it up behind me. I say to myself, ‘good energy in, bad energy OUT.’ When I’m bombarded with bad energy, I see that bubble and see all that negativity crashing against it so that it never touches me. It’s a great visual and it reminds me again that mean comments do not define me. Let me add here that some comments that may sting may also be meant to help and not hurt. We can add that property to our shields because that is actually good energy; something that will help us on our journey.
Take some time to think about what you’d like your shield to look like. Choose the material, the size, the shape, etc., see it clearly in your head. From then on, when anything negative comes your way, see it sliding right down the side of your shield–it can’t hurt you or even reach you.
We don’t need to let other people’s pain overcome our self-worth. For example, you may have a friend who adores pasta, but it makes her put on weight. When she sees you eating it with no apparent weight gain, it’s easy for her to make a snide comment–she wishes she could enjoy that pasta, but knows she can’t. Her pain is real to her, but it has very little to do with you.
So, starting today, remember the magic words: “SHIELDS UP!”
*The shield concept comes from the classes I’ve taken from the wonderful Noreen McDonald at noreenmcdonald.com.