Ouch – that hurt!

27 Jun

I would bet my next paycheck that this has happened to you.

A friend, spouse or someone else close to you makes a remark out of the blue — and it hit’s like a bombshell. It’s the offhand comment that really hurts.

Q: What got me thinking about this?

A: A wonderful article in the New York Times entitled: The Remarkable Shelf Life of the Offhand Comment.

Henry Alford describes a trivial comment as lodging and festering in your brain and having the shelf life of granite.

Isn’t that the truth.

Many years ago, a colleague and I were driving back home from a work trip and it was getting late. We were thinking about food and I was ready to stop for a quick bite. I am not a fan of fast food as it usually just gives me an upset stomach. I was about to make a suggestion for where to stop and my colleague says, “Let’s just drive through and pick up something fast.”

Now I know I made a dissatisfied kind of noise to relay my displeasure at that idea. And then it came … The Remark. “Well, I know it’s not up to your standards.”

Ouch – that hurt.

Are you implying that I am a food snob? Or worse yet … that I think I am better than you are?

For me, that’s what this was about. I really liked and respected this person and in no way wanted her to think that I would look down my nose at her.

So, in the end, we enjoyed drive though dining and I was able to make a food choice that didn’t rot out the inside of my stomach.

Probably a moment that shouldn’t be remembered so many years later – except for the shelf life of granite!



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