Friday, October 9, 2015

Good Intentions

There will always be a person who you know means well but when he/she opens his/her mouth it would have just been better for it to have stayed closed.  The person who always has a story to compare and "one up" whatever struggle, difficulty, experience, and/or event you are sharing.  This same person will no doubtedly give you advice on how you can improve your current situation, because of course the fix is so simple you wonder to yourself "why didn't I think of that?"  We have all encountered this person, and we always hope we aren't him/her, because even though we tell ourselves they mean well, it doesn't change the hurt that their words bring.

The thing about "good intention" encounters is that they seem benign at first, but then time passes and they remain on your conscience like Jiminy Cricket.  The words are at the fore front of your mind, front and center.  Initially you replay the conversation as it occured.  Then somewhere after the fourth or fifth rewind, you start to make changes to your initial response.  After twenty mental exchanges you are more upset then when the initial dialogue occured.  There is nothing you can do about it because the thoughts have already rooted themselves deep within your brain.

You have probably now shared this encounter with up to five or so close members of your inner circle.  The majority of them gasp in disbelief that such an encounter occured.  Some of them will tell you "well you know he/she meant well".  Some of them will tell you it should be expected from "so and so".  No matter that the majority (if not all) of your pose agree, you still have a sense of despondence.  You may now find yourself doubting youring previous action(s).  You may wonder if you aren't doing all you can do.  You may simply just feel like crap.

This makes me think back to the popular grade school mantra that I am sure we all chanted at some point in our childhood; "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me".  I feel whomever came up with this was either too proud to admit they were hurt, or in some way, words spoken to them made no negative impact (<-good for them in that case).  I personally do not feel I fall into either  category because I can admit that words hurt me, and to me words can leave negative marks.  We can tell ourselves that the words came out wrong, or that the person meant well, but if we are truly honest, we can all agree that sometimes there needs to me more than just a "good intention".

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