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Helping a Hurt World Without Getting Hurt

Helping a Hurt World Without Getting Hurt

What do you do when someone yells at you for no fault of your own? How do you respond when someone hurts you?

People out there have been hurt in some way or the other at some point of their lives, and much of the rude and harsh behavior people display may be due to a kind of displacement behavior to their own hurt feelings. The driver who yelled at you, the friend who spoke behind your back, the boss who bellowed at you—all may have been hurting, which made them act the way they did. The hurt ones often brood hatred in their hearts and they spread it along, perpetuating the hurt-hate-hurt cycle.

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Fortunately we have people who go out of their way to try and comfort and heal such hurt souls. They are, however, often seen as “advice givers”, “moral policemen” and “the over-righteous” and are simply hurt back. This article is about how to take courage to stop the hurt-hate-hurt cycle, and how to avoid getting hurt in the process.

1. Let go of your ego.

It may not be your fault. It may be injustice against you, but before you respond to the situation, it is wise to think a little about how to handle the situation, putting aside your ego and hurt. You can always hurt back and perpetuate the hurt-hate-hurt cycle, or you may think proactively and maturely and heal the other person and come to a peaceful solution instead. To fight back doesn’t require much strength, but to put aside your hurt ego and to restore peace with your fellow humans, and to stop the hurt-hate-hurt cycle requires great patience and a noble heart. This doesn’t mean you should let yourself be abused or taken advantage of; you will always know the limit of how much you can bear. The more the strength you have, the more you’ll be able to turn the situation for the better for the peace of all. If you’ve hurt back at any point of time, be prompt to apologize.

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2. Listen to understand. not to judge.

The greatest help you can give a hurt soul is a pair of listening ears & an understanding heart. Listen to people intently as they verbalize their feelings and do not try to judge them, for you’ll never have the advantage of walking in their shoes. Just listen carefully and make sure your body language expresses your interest in the conversation and the genuine concern your heart holds.

After listening to them, you may come to understand yet another dimension of the problem which you might have never conceived of! You will now be in a better position to show care and compassion, and it will also be easier to empathize with the hurt person.

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“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

3. Choose the right words.

Words are a great source of power. Words can connect, words can enlighten, and can even demolish a nation. Choose words that are gentle and soft, consoling and caring in nature. Make sure that people understand that they are loved and accepted as they are. Communicate to them that in a world full of flaws and frustrations, there is always hope for the better.

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For some people, you may have to point out their faults to them and give them stern advice to change their ways. Do so gently while you leave an impression that you are acting out of compassion and not out of hatred, and help physically whenever possible—merely listening and offering compassionate words may not suffice. Offer physical help whenever it is required, and when it is within your capacity to do so.

4. Be a messenger of peace.

These are just a few things that have worked for me to annihilate hatred and spread peace. You can undoubtedly find even more ways to do so when you commit yourself to spread peace instead of hatred. It may require a deal deal of patience and sacrifice from your side, but the transforming influence that it will have on you and your surroundings will be your motivation. Go ahead and break the hurt-hate-hurt cycle.

All the best, peace warrior. The world needs you.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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