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Question on thoughtless comments
147 Posts
Hi..I am Pamela.

My question is...after a time.*whatever time period you need it to be*..will you speak to the people that made these comments and explain how they were better off not being said..educate them..it's better to acknowledge what you have been through then make an off the cuff remark?
Does my question make sense?
4 Replies
8591 Posts

@Vox I still speak to those people, but I just keep them more at a distance now. They just aren't ones I choose to confide in any longer. I cut them a bit of slack…because ..I'm FAR from the perfect person myself…and if the roles were reversed I'm not sure if I would know what to say either. I know I would never purposely say anything hurtful to anyone…but I'm sure without even realizing it, I have hurt others myself with some of my behaviour. . I truly still dont think others are purposely trying to be mean. They are just plain thoughless…..so I just think twice about if and who I feel like confiding in. Not sure I'm making sense now.

Cynthia Mac
4127 Posts

@Vox, Hi, Pamela,

I think the “time” will vary from person to person. I was always TERRIBLE at knowing what to say. Sometimes I still screw it up. Made a faux pas the other day, in fact. I‘ve come to realize that, for me, a lot of it is nerves, some is just that I’m an introvert, and that funerals are particularly bad settings. Now, I would no more wish to have these “blurts” than cause any other type of scene, and, wherever possible, I try to make amends when I screw up.

For me, when I’ve had to deal with a difficult person or situation where I’ve been offended, I’ve practiced a few “stock phrases” to have on hand.

To give you a perhaps silly example, I used to have a co-worker who would step across the “circle” when we were chatting in the office to pull a dog hair or a speck of lint off my jacket. This made me feel like she was pointing out my imperfections to the whole group. First, I popped into her office to explain this to her, and then, when she did it several more times, I finally said to her (in the group), “Thank you for being my lint roller.” She never did it again.

So, different scenarios call for different responses. As @Brighty said, some people can be alerted with just a gentle reminder, and some need a full-on public smack down.

Good luck with your peeps!

10 Posts

For me, I think most people don’t mean to blurt out those thoughtless comments, it’s like a knee jerk reaction to news that has shocked or touched them. I’ve learned to let those types of comments go…most of them are embarrassed about their reaction and didn’t mean to offend. Sometimes, if necessary, address the comment in the moment. However, I also think there is a difference when someone continues to make these types of comments. Those folks I’ve simply let go of…especially if I’ve addressed a comment as hurtful with them already. My husband I have found keeping away from people who are negative or bring about negative feelings helpful.

12 Posts

@Vox for me it depends if the comment is impacting the quality of the relationship, and I want (plus have the energy) to address. If I do, then I would try to do it with compassion; how would I want to hear the feedback.

You could use the “Sandwich technique“ for the feedback/conversation (good-hard-good).

“You mean so much to me and I so appreciate your support and friendship, I thought you would want to know - (Then briefly touch on the thoughtless comment they made, explaining briefly how it impacted you) - Because I know this other great thing to be true about you (I.e. kind, compassionate, caring, never intentionally hurt someone, etc…”

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