We hear it all the time. Many of us DO it all the time.
You have a little argument and the next thing you know, everything you have ever done wrong in your life is thrown in your face. You are called everything but a child of God.
Maybe YOU are the one who did/does it. Regrettably, I have been guilty of this myself.
Anyway, after the dust settles, you’re licking your wounds and all the hurtful things that were said really begin to settle in. For both of you.
Now, either you or the other person (or both), look to discuss what took place. Apologies may or may not happen. Eventually, that person and/or you attempt to justify your hurtful words by saying, “I only said that out of anger.”
Here is the truth that we all, including I, need to hear: It was NOT said “out of anger.”
It was said because it was ON YOUR MIND.
It is the same as folks expecting leniency because of things that were said while they were drunk. The thought(s) would still have to exist or be in the forefront in order for them to come out.
This is not a “finger wag” thing from me. I am not sitting on a mountaintop somewhere and looking down on everyone else who does this. This is actually something I am trying to teach myself and would like to share. I hope to help someone who struggles with this as well.
This is NOT okay. At all. Ever.
If you have to attach a reason to it, then you know it was not okay. That is what we need to keep in mind. Of course, there are always those who do not see any issues with what they said. That needs a different kind of attention. But if any part of you feels uncomfortable with what you said, or if it was not something you would say under “happier” circumstances, then you know it was wrong.
We find all kinds of ways to justify what we know is not right. Especially when it comes to arguments and being nasty to others. In some cases, all it takes is for someone to do and say something we don’t like and we throw our own character and morals out the window. Then after we’ve had time to calm ourselves down, the magnitude of what was said really sets in. So does the guilt.
You may have heard of the analogy that involves someone dropping a plate the floor and it breaking. You pick up the plate and apologize to it. The plate figuratively understands that you are sorry, but it is still broken. From that, we are all supposed to understand that our words hurt and can still break people, as apologies are often not good enough to “fix” things after the hurtful words have been said.
Now as kind and neat and true as that is…life happens. In a perfect world, people who never want to say bad and hurtful things would simply never say them. But that just isn’t how life works with imperfect individuals. That is one issue I have with this analogy, as accurate as it is. It implies that we can never make mistakes. Even upon making mistakes, then remorse does not matter. The truth is that we are all learning. Sometimes that learning does not happen until the mistakes are made. I do not like that that’s the way it is sometimes, but I am sure you know someone who is better off now than they were before, and the only way they were able to get there is after making a mistake of some kind. Even something like this.
With that being said…this is NOT to justify being hurtful with our words. Not at all. The point is that sometimes the event has to happen for some people to really understand it. Not to excuse it.
Many of us do not want to say hurtful things to others, even during fights. So the best way to work on that after it has already happened is to tell ourselves as many times as we need to that doing so was NOT okay. It does not matter what the other person said or did. That does not excuse his or her behavior, but as long as you justify doing it in some way, what you are essentially doing is giving yourself permission to continue whenever things do not go your way.
If you reminded someone about a horrible part of his or her past because they said something nasty to you, trying to justify it means that you are giving yourself permission to do that every single time nasty words are said to you. But remember…this is something you don’t want to do, right? What you should say in that case is that you will not do that, no matter what.
But what about the nasty words they said to you?
Again…no excuse for that, either; whether they tell you so or not. There is never a reason to be nasty to someone and the same goes for them; if they don’t want to do it, then they should not. Period.
However, there needs to be a better way that you deal with it. Resorting to doing something that you’ve agreed that you would not do is going against your own morals, while potentially deeply hurting someone in the process. While the back and forth might make you feel better while the arguing is going on, it will catch up to you after the smoke clears.
This is not about allowing someone else to walk all over you. It is about how you deal with it. It is okay to be hurt; you have that right, and no one is allowed to say you cannot be or that you deserved it for any reason. But this is about not losing yourself in the process. That is a big problem today; that people consider themselves as “nice” and “kind” people, but they throw it completely out when someone is less than kind back to them, or does something they don’t agree with. Just keep in mind that kindness is about more than how you treat those you get along with. True character remains intact even when you are not getting your way or people are nasty toward you.
You chose to say what you did. Whatever the reason, it was a decision you made. If it is not something you would otherwise say, then it was wrong. End of story. No excuses. The sooner you can tell yourself that, the more easily you will be able to move forward and work on ensuring that it never happens again.
Along with that, if whatever you said was so much to the forefront of your mind that it came out as quickly as it did during an argument, wouldn’t you say that is a problem, too? Why are you hanging on to what someone did in their past to use against them when you find it convenient? It’s like you always have it in your back pocket and ready to cut them to bone if you feel you “need” to.
There are aspects of many of our pasts that while we learned from them, we are doing our best to forget about. Chances are, you know this already about the other person. So it speaks to extremely poor character that you want to keep it “on deck” in case you need to use it. It would be much better to take those instances and do your best to lock them away just as they are trying to do. If they are nasty to you for any reason, you can let them know that without rehashing a part of their lives that hurts them deeply and they cannot change.
Things happen. You cannot go back and change them. And no, remorse does not make them go away. But you can do your best to learn from them and to not give yourself permission to do it again if it is something you truly do not want to do. That is what this is about. Do not let someone else turn you into something that you have already promised yourself you would not become.
Thanks for reading.