There’s really no way to deny someone’s feelings about an issue they have with you, but yet we do this all the time. It’s very dangerous and will always hurt the offended party. A person’s perception of what’s going on is always accurate to them.
All of this would just be handled and resolved so much easier if we would just stop, listen, and ask a few questions. Because it’s probably not about you. If someone is willing to open up and share their feelings and express to you how something makes them feel, what they’re asking is for you to care.
Just lend an ear and try to understand where this reaction came from.
When someone shares with you how they feel, DON’T:
- Get defensive
- Argue your position
- Picture their finger pointing at you
- Try and fix it
- Protect someone from their feelings
- Dismiss their feelings
- Make it about you
- Make it about them
- Imagine what it feels like to be in their shoes
That last one there… it’s called empathy.
And empathy is the kindest thing you can give to someone. Because sometimes the only thing that needs to be said is, “I’m so sorry.”
Saying you’re sorry doesn’t mean that you’re agreeing with their perception of reality. It doesn’t mean that you’re right or wrong. There are just simply times when people need to hear:
- “I’m so sorry.”
- “Sorry I hurt you.”
- “I love you and it hurts me to know you’re hurting and I’m sorry.”
These are difficult things to say, at times, especially when we feel on guard because we know we played some role in their pain – whether we meant to or not.
Hello, ego? Please leave the building.
Come on, do you really want to hurt anyone you love?
It’s important we all have the type of relationships that allow us to open up and explain how we feel. And, then, figure out how things could be better. At that moment, it’s really crucial we all just… listen.