I’m going to go on a little rant this morning and hopefully convince you to be more mindful about the issue at hand. So let me share a scenario with you:
I am talking to my friend, telling her about how I sprained my ankle and how it hurts badly. Then my friend responds by telling me how I’m even ‘lucky’ that I ‘only’ sprained my ankle. She goes on to tell me how she dislocated her knee and how the pain i’m feeling is ‘small’.
Now, I am sure you have been in situations like this and if not, I am happy for you because it is simply wrong. Guys, pain is not something to be measured. Please and please! Let me climb up this table and shout it louder for those at the back: PAIN IS NOT TO BE MEASURED. My friend in the scenario above should have respected the fact that I am allowed to feel the way I feel. She was meant to hear me out and comfort me at the very least!
I want us all to bear in mind that we are all unique individuals. Yes, we have similar experiences but we all feel things differently. We have different perspectives. What may be a big thing to me may feel small to you and honestly, that’s okay. You are entitled to your opinion but what is not okay is you infringing on someone else’s opinion to the point of making them feel insignificant. That is not okay. Please don’t do it.
I have heard people ask, ‘Why would someone even contemplate suicide? Are they saying there is no one they can talk to?’ I am here to tell you that for some people the answer is ‘yes’, they have no one to talk to. This act of measuring or quantifying pain has become so common and why would I want to talk to you when I know you will only shut me down? Do you get what I am saying? We need to do a lot more of listening than talking. For emphasis, I will repeat what we were told as kids: God gave us two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.
I know for some people, it has become natural to just respond like that and today, I want to encourage you to bite your tongue – even literally – if it will stop you from talking. Just stay quiet instead. For the record, most of the time when people tell us stuff, they simply want someone to listen. That’s all. If they need your input they will ask for it. If it is so bad that you really need to comment, start off by asking, ‘can I please offer some feedback?’. Let them permit you because most times we cause more hurt instead of helping to heal those around us. What more can I say? He who has an ear let him hear.