Our culture has gotten really sensitive about making sure no one has any hurt feelings or that everyone “feels good” about themselves all the time. Where did this ever come from?? When did we get so wussy?
Truth is, hearing the truth about yourself is going to hurt sometimes. And it’s ok. Granted the deliverer of the message should hopefully, be delivering the truth in grace and love, but regardless, it could still sting. I’d rather hear the stinging truth, and then deal with it or make a decision based on truth rather than to continue building up an illusion. Likewise for people around me, I would rather tell the truth (hopefully tactfully) rather than try so make them feel better and see them reap the consequences of finding out the truth later.
Or guilt…guilt also feels horrible. But we treat it as if we should avoid feeling guilty at all costs. In actuality, guilt CAN be good. I’m not talking about the guilt-trip type guilt that might get laid on you to manipulate some kind of preferred response….but true guilt from your conscience saying “This isn’t right.” It’s the warning bell that you’re going to do something that could hurt someone and/or yourself. It’s the pain of touching a hot stove telling you that leaving your hand on it any longer will cause some serious hurt. Why wouldn’t you want to listen to that? Why would you want to dull or avoid that painful warning when it’s there to protect you?
Criticism, rejection and failure is part of life…we need to be able to constructively deal with it. If we keep insulating ourselves (and our kids) from anything that could hurt our feelings then when Life deals a particularly hard hand, we/they’ll find our/themselves on our/their faces, in the mud, feeling like a victim, for a really long time. The person who can take the blow, do something good about it, will succeed. I want to be that person….and I want my future kids to be that as well.
Not every kid will share toys…I’m not going to swoop in, take the toy from the other kid to give to mine. There will parties they’re not invited to…I’m not going to phone the parents demanding an invite. They’re not going to make every team they try out for…I won’t tell the coaches off. They may or not pass their Learners exam on the first try…I’m not going to argue the instructor for a pass. And there’ll be at least one D grade in their academic years (there better not be more than two!)…I’m not going to tell the teacher off at PTI’s. (I’ve seen or heard of these scenarios happening in real life!)
Someone please quote me to my face if I become that parent that tries to protect her kid from every/anything that might cause discomfort. Thanks!
Back to dealing with stinging truth or burning guilt…take it like an adult. With a grain of salt. Be honest with yourself in evaluating whether or not that truth or guilt is valid. Then take a deep breath and do something about it…turn it into something constructive and come out as a stronger and better person.