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Blanca Cobb: Responding Nicely When Someone Says Hurtful Words

Tomorrow is National Say Something Nice Day

GREENSBORO, N.C. — When someone says something hurtful, a natural reaction is to snap back. You might feel better at the moment, but it can cause more tension later on. What’s harder is to find ways to be nice to someone who’s acting unpleasant towards you. Since June 2 is National Say Something Nice Day, it’s fitting.

It can be difficult not to react when someone isn’t nice to you. When you’re not expecting hurtful words or actions, you tend to have a surprise, angry, or confused response. Your head can pull back. Your eyes can widen. The skin (glabella) between your eyebrows can pinch together. Physiological responses – your eyelids might flutter, your face flushes because you’re embarrassed.

Here are a few tips to consider before responding. If your initial response is to snap back, then bite your tongue. Get control of your emotions. It helps if you think to yourself that the person must be hurting to hurt you. Something is going on with them. This helps tap into your empathy. You can call them out for their behavior tactfully and politely. This means with compassion and kindness. You can ask if something is bothering them? Or whether something is on their mind? When you do, it leaves the door open for conversation.

Your body language is important when responding with kindness. More frequently, it’s easier to monitor your words, but if you’re not careful, your facial expressions, tone of voice, and gestures can reveal your feelings. Taking a breath to reground yourself, your voice, as well as relax your facial muscles.

Share your thoughts on my Facebook page: Blanca Cobb – Body Language Expert. Write a message on my timeline, and I’ll get back to you. While you’re on my page, I’d appreciate it if you give my page a “like.”