|Have you ever overheard criticism of yourself? Where someone says exactly what they think about you to a third party, unaware that you are in earshot.|
It’s not nice and I experienced it recently. There is the initial feeling of shock, hurt and deflation, your happy bubble has been rudely punctured,followed by what did I do wrong? Am I really a bad person? Your heart rate rises a little and you start to reassess your behaviour in relation to the person.
You may then start to consider your behaviour in relation to others, have I done wrong by them, what are they saying about me?
There maybe a retaliation, ‘Well I didn’t like them anyway, they must be sad/mad/dangerous to know”. All this happens in seconds, but for some time after there is a pendulum swinging in your head, I’m good at this, not good at that, what did I do/not do?
You keep coming back to it, what was it they said exactly, like poking a sore spot. Yes it’s still sore and like a maggot in a windfall it can eat at your self confidence. Depending on the magnitude of the comment you may forget it in minutes, but it may take hours, days or even lifetimes. You will be aware that something isn’t right with the world, the comment may disappear in the hurly burly of life, only to reappear every now and then and give you pause, pull you up short. How can you deal with it? Depending on who it was you may want to talk to the person, it may be difficult with an acquaintance possibly slightly easier with family. Although arguably you are less emotionally involved with an acquaintance so the conversation could be easier, but is it necessary, will you see them again?
I think having an honest look at yourself and see if there was any truth in the remarks, do you have a trusted friend that you could talk to about it?
If your self confidence has been dented remember times where you have done well, think about the people who love you and the good things you have done. Keep reminding yourself of these things.
Remember that the person probably wouldn’t have said that to your face, they may have been angry or upset for many different reasons and you may have been the final straw, try not to hate or belittle them.
Finally be kind when you talk about people, think would I say that to their face? Remember the feedback sandwich, two slices of something good to surround something that could be better.
Every philosophy I have ever read always starts with being kind, firstly to yourself and then towards everyone else. After an event like this kindness will help to ease the hurt and gradually the pain will subside. Hopefully the incident will have helped your understanding of yourself and that is always a good thing.