Have you ever had mundane conversations with people, in “real life” or on social media, that simply exploded, seemingly out of nowhere?
I’m not sure about you, but I’ve been there a time or two (maybe even three times). And when you replay those conversations in your mind, you aren’t quite sure how things ever got to the escalated levels of exchange that took place.
I have a working theory on this.
And maybe it’s because I’m dense and sometimes socially awkward that I didn’t learn it before the age of 37. But, I think a lot of well-intentioned comments made in innocent and good faith have a way of exploding on us because we live in a world where people filter things through hurt.
We all have pain points etched in the fabric of our souls because of things that have happened in our past. One-time events, or a compounded series of events, have a way of transforming us, and damaging the way we interact with others. Such impacts not only our ability to listen and understand what someone actually said, it also colors how we respond to others.
As a result of the hurt, we misunderstand and get misunderstood. Which of course, only further exasperates the problem, and creates a vicious cycle that is hard to escape.
The Answer To The Hurt
What’s the answer to all this? How do we prevent things from exploding and getting out of control? I’m not entirely sure. Like I said, it’s just a working theory I have. Maybe we could all use some more time in prayer, and working through some issues with a professional counselor?
But such answers seem almost too cute and cookie cutter to be helpful.
I think like so many things in this world, whatever the next step forward is, I believe the first step we need to take is that of awareness.
We need to be aware that we live in a world of people that hurt, and that we are also among those people. And as a result, we can hopefully learn to tread more carefully in our interactions with other people, with a mind to always treat others as we would like to be treated.
Ultimately I believe the answer to be somewhere in Christ, who, according to the Scriptures, came to “bind up the brokenhearted.” (Luke 4:18) I believe we are all in need of a healing that can only ultimately come from the Lord.