Have you ever been told by your closest friend or even family, that you have a big chip on your shoulder? Maybe it was worded this way “stop taking everything personal!”
If you haven’t experienced this, you have done well. Most of us have had the stabbing pain in the heart due to the insensitivity of others. Thing is this stabbing doesn’t kill you, nor does it make you stronger, it just makes you feel like absolute poo!
Human beings will always have an opinion. You may not always hear it, but it’s there. Instead of seeking out the culprits and trying to get them to understand, practice strategies within your control.
So there you are with your Bestie, kids, maybe it’s your whole group of friends chatting away when it’s served. “Are you sure he has Autism? Could it be he is just naughty?” What? Are they kidding? Are they thinking you have made up a diagnosis? Sure yep I made up his/her autism because I couldn’t be bothered with discipline, instead, I want to cope with meltdowns, getting my hair ripped out and having pieces of my leg bitten off. Yep, because that would be a whole lot easier.
When you have a child with special needs, learning to drown out the noise of others becomes second nature but when the noise comes from your family and friends, a little more thought and patience is required.
First things first, you need to stop and take a breath before you unleash a reaction.
Whether your bestie has just given their opinion on what you should be doing with your child or a family member refusing to be flexible and change the Christmas day plans, stop, and breathe.
Have you taken the time to explain?
Our immediate reaction is to feel insulted, get defensive and assume this person just doesn’t “get you” anymore. It is a lonely place in “nobody gets me town” and most of the time it is our own judgement and assumptions that put us there rather than the truth. What if we didn’t assume they were judgemental arseholes or selfish people who don’t take the time to understand our lives? What if we asked ourselves “have I taken the time to explain?” If you think back to before you had a child with special needs, you will remember that you didn’t have had any idea or understanding either. Therefore take the time to explain things to the people you love and value.
Mostly, people will give you their opinion when it seems we need their opinion?
To put it simply, when a good friend gives you their opinion on what they believe you should be doing, mostly, it is because that person is trying to help. If you seem to be struggling, you can almost always expect an opinion or suggestion. However being confident in your decisions and choices, shows others you know what you are doing and you are happy. Opinions will be quickly replaced with admiration.
Accept that things change.
It’s a hard cold fact of life, people change. People grow and sometimes apart. We, human beings grow through an experience. It may be life changing, like having a special needs child. Don’t waste your time trying to have everyone in your life understand it. Sometimes, you just have to accept that a friendship or a relationship has changed and you have grown apart. Maybe this person will one day experience something to move them in the same direction, but for now, you are better off spending your time and energy building new friendships, maybe with other special needs parents.
Have you felt insulted because of the comments of friends and family? Please share your insights below in the comments. How did you handle it? Are you still friends with a person who you felt didn’t understand your life?
As always the best help and support comes from other carer’s, so thank you for sharing your insights.
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