Do you ever feel bad about what you say? That “off-handed” comment that possibly hurt someone’s feelings? That, “I’m going to be honest” way of speaking that discounts someone else’s heart, in the process?
I’m just wondering. Do you…. Later on…. Feel it? Do you feel what the other person might have felt while they sat or stood across from you, bearing the weight of your words?
It’s good to be honest. I value it highly. But it’s also good to be gentle and kind. Sometimes, in our quest to say what we think – we trample over someone else’s heart in the process.
Sometimes, we don’t realize how our words affected someone else until later. Maybe we were in a bad mood, tired, or something was bothering us. We said something “off the cuff” that spoke of the emotions going on deep inside of us. But with those words, we cut someone else’s heart. We hurt them.
Does it matter?
Do we care?
And even if it WAS unintentional, what can we do about it after-the-fact?
APOLOGIZE. Yes, I said it. APOLOGIZE. There might be a slight chance that your words weren’t digested by the other individual at all. They might have understood you were grumpy. They might have waved it off with their hands. But if there’s a chance… any chance at all, that they MIGHT have felt a sting from what you said…. we need to offer an apology so that our words don’t continue to burrow and do more damage over time. Because people tend to ponder, think, and stew over what has been said about them. And the effect, maybe small or non-existent at first, can worsen over time, the more that thought is given to it.
So we need to make things right. We owe it to the relationship, and the person we care about.
I know I would never intentionally hurt someone else. I would never want something that I said or did to live on and become a wound that affected their life. And if someone has said or done something to me that hurt me? I would want them to acknowledge it and take away the sting instead of leaving it there to fester for whoever-knows-how-long.
Hopefully, we replay what we say to others in our heads and hearts. HOPEFULLY, we have a conscience that understands when we may have stepped out of line. And hopefully, we have enough love, concern, and care in our hearts to make it right.
It’s the least we can do.