May 13, 2015

Like spilled wine on a shirt

An analogy on how small comments are like wine spills on shirts

We all want to be praised and be acknowledged for our hard work. I am slowly learning that perhaps love and respect for ourselves comes purely within. However it is easier said than done – of course we want to feel validated by others with positive comments.

I have a tendency to let a small comment made by others stick inside my head for days, months and years – like spilled wine on a shirt. I like to think that there are three approaches to situations like this.

Option 1: Wash it away as soon as you detect it.

As soon as I realise that I am being affected by the negative comment, I need to learn to accept it or recognise that it is simply not true. I then need brush it off and move on with life.

Option 2: Ignore it. Then when you try to wash it off, it's too late.

Clearly, this is the worst approach to a negative comment. Sometimes, I think that a negative comment didn’t affect me at all. However once I realise that I am actually constantly thinking about it, it’s too late. It’s engrained in my mind and it’s harder to talk myself out of it.

Option 3: The wine is now forever part of your shirt.

Perhaps that comment was correct after all. I might be hurt by it for a while. But maybe I have to learn to accept it the way it hurts me. But instead of it being a burden on my shoulder, I need to let it be a crucial mark and a reminder to be better.

Or alternatively, let the wine turn your white shirt into red and let that be your new shirt colour.

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