A year or so ago, someone said in response to one of my writings:
yes i may have been hurt by a comment by someone but was that the intent of that person? I can ask and find out; they have been mortified that an offhand comment hurt me and apologised profusely. How i react then is my choice.
My reply was, “I’d like to point out that if someone was trying to hurt, then it is doubly less important that you take it to heart.”
If someone I care about is trying to hurt me with their words, then why should I be hurt?
That makes me immediately pull back and think over the situation.
Why should I take to heart the utterances of someone who is not trying to help me, but to wound me? Who is that person that I must need give over control of my feelings and reactions to them?
Why is this person, who I trust, suddenly acting in such an unusual way? How hurt must they be to do this to me. Where is their head at, and how do I deescalate the situation?
But when someone hurts me without thinking of me at all… That’s often a deep wound. Because it’s part of who they are, their default, if you will.
It’s the casual sexist remark.
It’s the denigration of something I find important, and I’m excited about.
It’s responding to my open an honest communication with…
Or a shrug.
They don’t MEAN to hurt me.
Maybe they just don’t care.
So, I’m even more watchful then. Sure, it might be an honest mistake, easily rectified by communication, and forgotten by the time the next dinner comes.
But it may be more. A beginning of a pattern, and better understanding, a showing me who they are.
And a clue that I needed care, either, which hurts when I do.
It’s like the debate over which is worse: hate or apathy.
Hateful speech shows you still care, in some ways. Apathy shows a total lack of care one way or another.
Passion can be turned.
Apathy, there’s not much to work with, there.