Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

~ Proverb

Someone Called me a “Weirdo”

I put a video on Facebook last week during which I wore my giraffe ears and used the puppets.  I  received the following comment from someone I don’t know:

“Am I supposed to believe anything this weirdo says? Maybe he should put a clown nose on too.”

I have a number of choices how to take these words.  The first two are the ones that I learned from our culture:

  • Judge the speaker: “He’s thoughtless and inconsiderate.” or “Geez. Lighten up, man. I’m just trying to have a little fun!” or “Get a life, buddy.” In each instance I’m choosing NOT to see his humanity. This isn’t how I like to live.

    Judgment keeps us stuck!

  • Judge myself: “I should stop putting videos online. I’m making a fool of myself.” or “The puppets don’t work. Why do I use them anyway.” This response triggers feelings of sadness and disappointment. I’m not too high on this way of living, either.

These response sap my energy so I want to explore other options…

Taking a Quantum leap into Giraffe-land

If I’m willing to take a giant leap into Compassionate Communication, I have the following NEW options:

  • Guess at the other’s needs through Empathy: [Here I’m guessing since I have no way of knowing what’s going on in this person and I’m not confident that I can figure that out via Facebook]: I’m imagining he’s feeling uncomfortable when he sees the giraffe ears and puppets. Perhaps he’s wanting a sense of order or beauty around what he observes. Or maybe it’s a desire for familiarity or predictability. It could be that the ears and puppets are far out of the range of things he’s okay with. Now I begin to see his HUMANITY. This opens a path to connection.
  • Connect with my needs through Self-empathy (my needs): Hmmmm. I feel a little surprised and a little disappointed. This is the first comment I’ve received that wasn’t “positive” so I wasn’t expecting it. And I want to connect with folks through my

    Needs move us to Connection!

    work and it appears that the connection I desired didn’t happen with this commenter. I also realize that not everyone will enjoy what I offer and I want to be considerate of where they are coming from. And, I know that his reaction was based on HIS unmet needs so I want to explore those needs rather than taking it personally.

These responses leave me feeling energized and full!

Reflecting on this process, I feel excited because I want each of you to learn how Compassionate Communication works! Also, I am uncertain whether or how to respond to the comment. As I don’t have a relationship with the commenter and I find it very difficult to connect with anyone on Fb, I’m going to let go of my desire to respond and see what happens.

Words have as much power as we choose to give them.  Looking at the beauty underneath the words we hear in the form of needs helps us move to a world where everyone Communicates with Heart