Some of the comments that come out of the mouths of people around us are quite irritating. Fact is, they really piss us off. How or why someone has to say something without being considerate of others is the sort of thing that causes physical and verbal fights, the ruin of relationships, and of course a spiral of negative thinking because our emotions are immediately involved. It rarely ends well.
Most of the stupid comments are based on pure ignorance. And I do not say ignorance to insult anyone, it is used to address words that are empty in knowledge and/or compassion. Ignorance to speak without consideration for others. Ignorance because you do not know what you are talking about or have any experience in what you profess. Ignorance because you do not understand the power of your words. Ignorance because as an adult, you have not yet learned the importance of using your filter. This reference to ignorance is not to say that anyone is literally stupid, it is saying that their words lack thoughtfulness, intelligence, or common sense.
How many times are we confronted with these stupid comments? And how often are we the stupid commentators? Yes, let’s be honest with ourselves here, we are not perfect with the use of words and comments toward others either. Sometimes we are the ignorance provider, and then we have to eat our words as we are quickly “checked” and brought back down to planet Earth. Ouch!
Stupid comments are unavoidable, and we will find them everywhere, as nobody is immune to either using or receiving them. The way we respond to them is essential to our personal growth and character development. Snapping off at someone because of their words doesn’t appear to right the wrong. Completely ignoring the comment also doesn’t seem to be the appropriate response for every stupid comment either. Feeling like you need to hide inside your home for a week because you were the one who made the stupid comment also isn’t the way to go.
How to we deal with these stupid comments, even if they come out of our own mouths?
- Locate where the comment is coming from. Is it out of anger? Stress? Confusion? Is the person experiencing a challenging season in their life? Sometimes taking a moment to determine the why of the comment can help us use patient with ourselves, or the commentator.
- Is responding even worth the effort? Will your words help diffuse the conflict or heighten it? Do you have something positive to offer or will you just contribute to the negativity of the comment? Silence is a form of expression too. There are many times in our lives where the use of silence is the best option, but we tend to ignore it because we have been programmed to believe that a verbal response is always required. This is so far from the truth.
- Do we need to step back a bit and humble ourselves? Are we living in a bubble where we expect everyone to say and do all the right things? Have we forgotten that we have been guilty of spewing out some stupid comments too, and will very likely do it again in the future? We can find ourselves so offended by someone’s comment that we forget that we live in an imperfect world with equally imperfect human beings. What makes us so special that we will not be offended by something or someone in this lifetime? My advice in this situation is to Get. Over. It. Quickly.
- Or is the comment so outrageous that you need some space away from the commentator? Was the comment disrespectful to the core? Has damage been done that is irreparable at this time, or ever? Take some deep breaths and step away from the situation. Try not to respond right away, instead gather yourself first and choose to respond, or not, when you have centered your emotions. There will be times when people have simply outdone themselves. They have elevated their stupid comment from ignorance, to outright foul and possibly devious. There is no excuse for this and you have every right to guard your heart, mind, and emotions, and take necessary space away from them. You can always circle back around the comment later…or not.
- Are you the offender? Did you make a comment that you shouldn’t have? Are you dealing with the backlash of your words? First, don’t be too hard on yourself, but do what you need to do to make it right. Apologies cannot take back the words or feelings felt when they were unleashed, but they are a sign of regret and desire to make things better again. Let the offended person take their time in forgiving you, and don’t rush this process. Depending upon the type of stupid comment you made, it may take a while to restore the relationship. Most importantly though, be transparent and address the situation as soon as possible. Acting tough like you have no idea that you have hurt someone’s feelings will not score you any bonus points.
The way that we perceive these interactions with others is directly linked to developing more positive experiences in our lives. While there are times that stupid comments need to be managed in one way or another, there are other times when we just have to keep it moving and let it go. We have to choose our sanity and positive thinking over the negativity that is found in the all-consuming stupid comment. And, while words can be hurtful, they are just words, and they only have as much power as we assign to them.
What is your response to stupid comments?
In what ways are you aware of your own conversations with others?
I would love to hear from you!