How Do You Respond to Hurtful Comments?

Spill The Beans

Dear Jennifer,

I am legally blind with retinitis pigmentosa.  I have spent lots of time leaning how to do things like crochet, run my home, take part in church activities, etc.  It has been a challenge, as you well know, but God has helped me all the way.  Many times I am told, “You can’t be too blind or you couldn’t do that” from sighted people, and I have to admit it hurts some.  With all of your accomplishments, do you get that response and does it bother you, or am I just being too sensitive or proud?  How do you respond to it?


Jennifer’s Answer: 

To be honest, I don’t get many who say things like that to my face, but there may be some who say it behind my back!  Ha!  I know that kind of comment hurts you.  Unfortunately, blindness, like any handicap, causes more confusion than clarity for those who spectate.  I understand great levels of function can coexist with great limits because I live them!  But, some people can’t or won’t try to understand.

So, here’s what I would say to you, dear sister:

1. Tell the truth.  If it hurts you, tell them.

2. Educate…don’t just emote!  Help them understand how or why you are able to do certain things without seeing.  Maybe they’re just ignorant.  No need to get your feelings hurt over someone who is clueless.

3. Pray.  When you feel hurt or misunderstood, tell Jesus–He knows what that feels like, too.  He will show you if you’re being too sensitive or prideful.  And finally,

4. Don’t quit!  Stay encouraged.  Be a model of grace and perseverance.  Keep up the good work; I know it’s hard, but we are not of those who shrink back! (Hebrews 10:39)

Your friend, Jennifer

What words of encouragement could you give to someone in a similar situation? Leave a comment here.

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