29 February, 2016

Time, perspective, and laughter

I’ve spent the last hour or so searching for something to write about this #Microblog Monday, but with little luck until I read Bent Not Broken’s post* about her sister’s comments as a very new mother, and BNB’s newfound abililty to brush off these comments off, and even laugh about them.

I’ve also been reflecting – all day - about a relationship that caused two people a lot of pain for years, with one in particular completely misreading the other’s behaviour, always taking the negative view.

When we’re sad and vulnerable, insensitive or misguided comments hurt, they’re personal, and too often they dig deep into our hearts, taking residence, and potentially marring relationships, perhaps even permanently.

But sometimes sooner, sometimes later, but usually with time, we become able to step back and look at what the person said more objectively. With perspective, we either figure out that they didn’t mean their comments in the way we initially received them, or we choose to no longer take offence.

After all, how we react, what we think, is so often more about us and our vulnerabilities than it is about what others say. And what they say is always more about them and their issues, than it ever is about us.

In due course, like BNB, we find we can in fact, laugh - and that is a very liberating feeling.

*   Go read BNB’s post, and celebrate with her.


  1. So true. I think I noticed this first with the fact that I could be in the room, hearing something being said to someone else, and when we processed it later, we both heard it in two completely different ways.

  2. Thanks for the shout out, Mali! Time really does bring perspective, healing, and laughter. I wouldn't have been able to handle her comments a year ago. Maybe not even six months ago.

    Relationships are such fickle things. Before this I had always operated under the assumption that words weren't usually meant to hurt. But through infertility and right after words really did hurt, even if the intent wasn't to hurt. I hope I can continue to shrug things off and maybe even laugh about them.

  3. yes, I love BnB's latest post. And I love her humour.

  4. It's always eye-opening how people read the same article/listen to the same lecture or conversation/view the same thing and come away with different outlooks. I completely agree with you that BNB handled/is handling this situation with her sister amazingly. It's so impressive as some of the commentary is enough to throw anyone over the edge. So if she's reading, a very belated kudos for rocking that situation.

    I absolutely agree with your outlook and yet I can tell you that I also struggle. I've witnessed the relationships where one always takes the negative view, seeing no good in the relationship. But I've also seen others take advantage to the point that they are harming the other person. It's hard to be the one who is always smoothing things over, ignoring the spiteful comments, dealing with lashing outs or navigating a relationship that is solely for the benefit of the other person. I've been in each of these cases and there's still a lot of anger.

    I guess my question, given all the focus on toxic relationships combined with preaching forgiveness is where is the line? And what happens if that line changes (either for or against)?

    Regardless, thanks for the thought-provoking post.

    1. Being able to understand or laugh at comments or actions has freed me from angst and hurt. I've been able to laugh or shrug, knowing that comments or actions or reactions weren't meant unkindly, or perhaps were just said out of ignorance. But sometimes the cumulative effect has meant I've either had to speak out, or I've had to distance myself from people.

      I absolutely think that if one party in a relationship is manipulative, or deliberately malicious, or simply very selfish, and won't change, then drawing a line and separating ourselves, either completely or just at a distance, is an important act of self-protection.

      So often though, the little hurts that we experience can be better understood with perspective, and then can be dismissed with laughter. And that helps a lot.

  5. I love BNB's post! And this, oh my god this over and over and over again: "After all, how we react, what we think, is so often more about us and our vulnerabilities than it is about what others say. And what they say is always more about them and their issues, than it ever is about us." I am trying really hard to put this into practice myself, but remembering that how I react to a hurtful statement (meant that way or otherwise) is completely up to me. Often reacting (or not reacting) in a peaceful, roll-off-my-back way robs the person of the hurt intended if it was, and defuses a tense situation of misunderstanding if it wasn't intended. Thank you for this reminder!

  6. Your penultimate paragraph really rings true for me.

  7. Wise words and so very true. Thank you for writing it all so well!

  8. Excellent point, Mali - perspective is an amazing thing.