I Mean What I Say

‘Then you should say what you mean,’ the March Hare went on.

‘I do,’ Alice hastily replied; ‘at least — at least I mean what I say — that’s the same thing, you know.’

‘Not the same thing a bit!’ said the Hatter. ‘You might just as well say that “I see what I eat” is the same thing as “I eat what I see”!’

‘You might just as well say,’ added the March Hare, ‘that “I like what I get” is the same thing as “I get what I like”!’

I had a moment yesterday where I felt hurt by something that had happened. It upset me, and I knew it was irrational. I knew it was silly. I knew that what happened wasn’t a personal attack on me, that whoever did it hadn’t meant any harm, didn’t know that it hurt my feelings, and didn’t give it a second thought. And yet it still hurt.

And I think this happens a lot. I think things get to us even though we think they shouldn’t. And I think many of us say these things to ourselves: “stop being silly,” “that’s just childish,” “you’re overreacting,” etc. I could be wrong, but I know it’s happened to me, and at least a few others friends of mine.

So I told my roommate about the situation, and I told her I knew I was being ridiculous, and she agreed (delicately, of course, she’s sweet). I more or less wrote it off, but was still slightly bothered, and then I read some replies to a post I made about it on the internet, and these three people that I’ve never met in person, and had only a handful of interactions with online, reminded me that it’s okay to feel like that. They said my feelings were valid and I was correct, it was an unkind thing to do, though they didn’t know the situation.

To be honest, I knew the situation and I don’t blame anyone, or consider them unkind, but it is nice to remember that it was a situation and a reaction, and that is okay. That we are human and we react to things in our personal worlds, and as long as we react in a compassionate and understanding way, I don’t think there is any wrong in that.

I remember describing a situation to my counselor years ago, a situation I had written off as my overreacting and being stupid, and she told me she didn’t think it was stupid at all. She listened, and she understood my point of view. 

I think that’s the key. We need to respect each other’s points of view, because, as I may have mentioned before, all points of view are valid and important. All feelings are valid and important. Our reactions are not to be written off.

I think it’s hard to remember but very important to do so.

 ‘I don’t quite understand you,’ she said, as politely as she could.


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