Sometimes these barbs are real and intended. Quite often, though, they don’t have the intent you originally believed.
Words can have many different meanings depending on how they are used. A slight change in emphasis or a misplaced comma can radically alter the intent. Your reception of those words can also vary greatly depending on how you hear or read something.
Words elicit emotions. Our whole existence is a series of emotional responses to the world around us. How we process the thousands of stimuli each day into emotional reactions determines everything.
Take the time to carefully evaluate your initial emotional reaction to a perceived slight or offense.
When you slow down your reaction and process things carefully you can avoid overreacting or jumping to conclusions. Ask the person if it was their true intent for the statement to be so pointed. Perhaps they can restate it in a better way.
Even if the words used were intended as a pointed jab at you, how you react to it will determine the ultimate outcome of the situation. Will you let it escalate into a heated argument, or will you defuse it to find a better outcome? You decide.
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