Did you ever get hurt by the words people say
And the things that they do when they’re picking on you?
Did you ever get sad by the end of the day
When they’re making you feel like a rusty old wheel
It’s been left in the rain
Who cares what the idiots say
Who cares what the idiots do
Who cares about the pain in your heart?
Who cares about you?
In the song as McCartney sings it, he’s the one that cares. After all, so much of what he has written during his career are forms of love songs.
But when you think about it, who cares what they say? “I do,” as spoken by you is the truth. That’s why it hurts so much. You care. You want people to like you. You want people to love you.
Sometimes, they are being idiots. They aren’t idiots. They are being idiots.
Sometimes, they are right and you need to learn from them.
Sometimes, it hurts because it is presses a button from your past that reminds you of an earlier incident from when you were hurt badly, when you are young and someone cut you to the core because it got to hold and festering wound.
Some years ago, a man I care about a lot came to me with a request.
“I keep seeing you is someone who wants to stand out from others and I would rather see you as one among many,” was how I might paraphrase what he asked of me.
“I have a problem with what you’re asking me to do,” I replied. “I’ve spent years running workshops helping people to become magnificent and their best selves. Now you’re asking me to be inauthentic. This is who I am. It reminds me of the story of tall poppies in the field. The way farmers deal with tall poppies is they cut the field to one size. You’re asking me to be like others and I’m not. Am I being rude and obnoxious? I don’t believe so. Do you?”
“What is it about you that wants me to be like everyone else,” I asked. Then I left him to think about my question. We’re good friends to this day and I am who I am and he is who he is. That is perfect.
How do you deal with what people say?
Is it true? Change.
Is it false? Maybe they aren’t expressing it well enough. Asked him to clarify what they’re saying by asking, “I’m having trouble following your point here. Could you say it differently?”
Is it true? Change.
Is it false? Say, “Thank you. I need to think about this.”
Are they being malicious? Is there any truth to what they say and are you reacting to how they are saying it?
Change the things that are true. Ignore the other things. They just aren’t expressing them in a way that’s helpful.
Don’t let the emotional reaction get through.
Deal with the facts and the facts alone.
Thinking of these people as idiots isn’t helpful to you.
Continuing to learn is.
After all, you do care what these people think.
Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2020
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2000 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.
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