We’re intelligent people. We like to be logical, precise, controlled and just. But when the black dog is behind us, or someone’s just said something that really makes us feel bad, it can be very peculiar to see all that fly out the window and find these strange emotions churning in their place. When I’m badly hurt by something, I’m often very silent, as my mind races to find the correct answer, the precise justification for my feelings or the truly encompassing start to my exposition.
In those situations, you might have someone wanting to help you. They might even be the person that said whatever it was that put you down. They might even not sound like they’re helping at all with their questions or explanations. But often it is this very person who does care the most for you. And here you can apply that intelligent, logical brain for a minute to help you.
The first thing I try to do is to at least apologise for being upset. Sure, it may be a small thing, but sometimes the other person doesn’t even know that anything might be wrong. Apologise if you’ve snapped at them, or done something ill-mannered. We can agree that even if you feel like they’re the one who has hurt you and you dearly want an apology, that you shouldn’t be lashing out or being nasty.
Which leads me to the second thing I try to do: precisely differentiate between how they’re trying to help (even if it’s not actually helping you) and whatever has hurt you. You may realise that, even though they’re being a klutz – and I know I’ve been really stupid when it’s come to trying to comfort someone else when they’re feeling down – they at least care for you. It’s not much, but we can all work on that.
Most importantly, we have to try to not be sarcastic, rude, difficult, or antagonistic while we’re dealing with our problems. It might feel that the effort will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, but believe me it’s nothing compared to what gets broken if you deliberately set out to hurt the person who’s trying to help you. 🙂