• Jana Field

How to be a winner even when you are hurting.


A client of mine asked me the other day how she could learn to handle hurtful, verbal attacks by other people. She had been asked to arrange a farewell party for a popular work colleague and being the person she is, she went all out to make sure that everything went absolutely perfectly and that the colleague was given a party that he would not forget! Unfortunately, during the party, another girl came up to my client and said, “You really should know your place. You don’t own this party you know!” My poor client was left standing flabbergasted and stunned by these words. Ever since, she has been trying to work out exactly what she did wrong that should cause someone to be so upset with her trying to arrange the perfect farewell party.

This incident is a perfect example of when we find ourselves at the other end of someone else's insecurity. They attack us with barbed comments meant to hurt us while they are trying to hide behind their own vulnerability. We try to understand these verbal attacks. We may even try and show love and compassion for the person who made the comments but it doesn’t stop us from feeling hurt and betrayed by the harsh words. Even if we know that we were not in the wrong, we still feel hurt. It is always good to reflect on such a situation and the following tips may help you to become a winner even when you are hurting!

  1. A missed signal.

Look for clues that caused the “outburst/remark/hurtful comment” in the first place. Look back and identify when that moment was.

Winner: Remember what was going on with you and that person at the time.

Winner: Ask yourself: “With hindsight would I have done anything differently?”

Winner: Commit to mastering the skill of being more in tune with the people you associate with.

2. Spend more time with those who appreciate you.

Winner: By investing your time with those who value you, you will feel appreciated.

3. Bring closure.

Spend some time analysing the situation and then bring in closure.

Winner: You will learn to be less harsh on yourself.

4. Raise your standards.

Experiences like these will ask you to invest some time in reviewing and upgrading your “ideal circle of people” with whom you want to associate with.

Winner: By letting go of those you don’t want, you will be making space for those you do want.

5. Ask for feedback.

If it is important to you, and you are able to approach the person objectively, ask the person who made the “outburst/comment/hurtful remark” to give you their reason for doing so. Listen and learn.

Winner: Even if they are mistaken, there is some element of truth in what they have to say and that is worth discovering.

6. Feel your feelings.

Be hurt – if you are hurt. Be sad – if you are sad. Feel what is there.

Winner: Know that it is alright to react with emotion.

7. Three Key Reasons.

List 3 key reasons why the incident happened. Even if you don’t agree with the reason, there was a good reason! Learn from it.

Winner: Consider this a learning experience.

8. Be proud of yourself.

List 10 things that you did around that incident that you can be proud of. Focus on them.

Winner: Know that what you did, you can be proud of.


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