Thursday, September 22, 2011

Loss of a Pet: How to Handle the Stupid Things People Say

On a good day people say stupid things. But when you have lost at pet, it’s tougher to swallow all that stupidity. One of my favorite stupid statements? “You can just get another pet.” Ugh. But you know what? If I had a dollar for every stupid thing that ever came out of my mouth, I’d be loaded. People can have a hard time expressing themselves, especially with difficult issues. Loss is difficult and losing a pet even more difficult for some because they either just don’t understand or just don’t know how to respond. It’s part of being human. But it doesn’t mean you have to take all that stupidity lying down.

Here are some simple strategies to prepare you for when the stupid comments come. And believe me, they will.

Everyman stupidity

Every one of us has a stupid moment now and then. And you just might end up on the receiving end of one of those. For instance, someone might say, "I'm more of a cat person than a dog person." What?! How to handle it? A simple line will do. “I'm sorry. I can’t talk about that now.” It works like magic, reminds people to back off and maybe, just maybe, you won’t get stuck with another stupid comment after that.

Repeat Offender

Someone you know always seems to say the wrong thing? Try any of these simple tools to ease your pain and reduce conflict.

Give yourself license to avoid.

Censor your calls, return their calls when you know they aren’t home and be prepared to dodge them if you see them at the water cooler. It’s okay.

Rest First

Only talk to them when you are restored. Don’t return their phone calls after a long day or when you are emotional. Wait for a moment when you are a little less vulnerable.

Safe Communication

Use safer methods of communication. Emails give you time to recover and respond. Face to face is the toughest.

Consider saying it straight

Consider asserting yourself and telling the person they are hurting your feelings. For easy assertiveness tips click here.


Sometimes people are just mean. It happens. When you are stuck dealing with a meanie, try this.

Stay calm.

If someone is trying to push your buttons, the best thing you can do is NOT give them the satisfaction. So, do some deep breathing and stay calm.

Assert yourself.

Here are some simple lines you can use to STOP mean comments. “Don’t talk to me that way.” “Please stop asking me that question.”

Stay focused.

Don’t defend your statement, just stick with it. Use the broken record technique if you have to. That means, simply repeat the same line over and over.

Any of these tips and tools can help you navigate the waters of stupid comments. We all make them, but at times like this you need all the tools you can get to get through.

Do you have a story or a tip that worked for you? Please share in the comments section. Thank you and wishing you healing and peace.

Helpful reading:

Pet Loss: 3 Tips to Ease your Pain

Pet Loss: 5 Things you Need to Know

Pet Loss: 4 Things You Can Do To Help Yourself Survive

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