Do you know what a paper cut is? If you don’t it would be great if you can take a few minutes to read my earlier post. Click here to get there. After reading that, you can go back to this post because this is all about what you could and (I think) should do when you get a paper cut.
1. Acknowledge the pain.
Pain can be good. It’s a good indicator of what can potentially be dangerous for you. In the same way that putting your hand in fire hurts and causes you to move your hand away, the pain that a paper cut can give you is a good sign that there’s something you should do.
Feeling hurt is not the end result. It’s merely the beginning of improvement. If a comment about your body type hit a nerve, then maybe it’s time to make healthier choices. If you notice that your pride causes you to be overly sensitive to other people’s comments, then work on it with God and with your discipler. Acting on that pain right away can save you from potentially worse things farther down the road.
2. Keep it clean.
You have to keep your cut away from germs. The most dangerous thing to a wound is exposure. Now, I’m not saying that you should fake strength and hide your vulnerabilities away. By exposure, I meant two things. The first one is getting other people (who can’t help) involved. Don’t badmouth the person who hurt you. For all you know, he/she may not mean what he/she said. If you let other people in on the issue, that can complicate things even more.
Don’t pile all your issues onto the existing wound. That would only make matters worse. Let nature take its course. Even older wounds feel painful or itchy once in a while, but you try not to claw at them, right? That’s because you know that it won’t help. That’s the same thing with paper cuts. If and when you address the hurtful comment, make sure that that’s the only thing you are dealing with. Don’t bring the past into it.
3. Deal with the cause.
I don’t know about you, but when I get a paper cut, I deal with that paper/book properly. I don’t just keep it in the same place if I know it can hurt me again. I fold the sharp edges or cover them with tape. I do my part and trust that it won’t hurt me again. It works most of the time, but not all the time. That’s the same with the cause for your paper cuts. You have to know how to deal with it.
The best way to deal with a paper cut is to tell the person who hurt you that they did, indeed, hurt you. Now, don’t confront them to lash out or pretend to be the bigger person only to Hulk out if they don’t ask for your forgiveness right away. The only things that you really have to tell them are that what they said/did hurt you and that you want to forgive them. If they acknowledge their mistake, that’s good. If they apologize, that’s even better. But if they did neither of those things, know that you’ve done your part. Then, walk away and forgive them. It can work. I’ve had a number of successful experiences doing this, but just like with sources for literal paper cuts, it doesn’t always work like a charm. I’m not saying this to keep you down. I’m saying this to set your expectations right.
We can’t control what another person says or does to us, but we can be more aware and more careful about what we say or do to them.
4. Give it time.
I always hear Christians use the phrase, “I forgive you” or, “That’s okay.” There’s nothing wrong with that IF you mean it, but if you don’t, then you’re going to lose the chance to deal with the situation properly. Forgive the person as soon as possible. After all, the Bible says that we shouldn’t let the sun go down on our wrath. Don’t worry. God can help you through it. But if you don’t feel 100% chipper, that’s okay. It’s normal to go through an emotional process when you get hurt. Feel it. Learn from it. Allow yourself to go through the entire thing. Just as the skin takes time to heal, your heart may need a bit of time, too.
5. Appreciate the scars.
I have a special respect for people who can make fun of themselves. Rebel Wilson is a great example of that. She makes jokes about her weight and her appearance. She owns them and even managed to build a career out of it.
I wish I could be more like her in that aspect. I tend to take myself too seriously at times and it keeps me from enjoying life in its fullest. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I was able to break out of the cycle of getting hurt, brooding, forgiving, and getting hurt again.
Scars are great reminders-not of your painful past, but of how much God helped you through it. And, they don’t just serve as personal reminders of God’s faithfulness. If you show your scars, that can help those who are struggling with the same type of hurt keep the faith. It’ll let them know that even though things hurt (a lot) right now, things are going to get better. Be proud of where you’ve been, but be even prouder of the one who helped you out.
6. Avoid hurting others.
In one of my college classes, we discussed John Maxwell’s book, “Winning with People.” One of the principles in the book, the Pain Principle, was very interesting. It says,
“Hurting people hurt people and are easily hurt by them.”
If you’re the type of person who goes on a rampage when you get a paper cut, this part is especially for you. We know it hurts. It’s easy to start hurting the person who hurt you. I’ve seen this. I’ve done this. I’m not proud of it, but when I was in grade school, I nearly choked a classmate to death after he poked fun at my father. That’s why it’s best to walk away if you feel that you’ve been hurt.
When you get a physical papercut, do you rip that sheet of paper up and throw it away? Do you burn your book? If we can extend a bit of grace to an inanimate object, let’s try to do that for our fellow man.
Do you have a paper cut right now? I do. I got really upset at something my sister did. Writing this helped me keep those feelings in check. I hope they help you, too. So, if you have a paper cut…
Acknowledge the pain.
Keep it clean.
Deal with the cause.
Give it time.
Appreciate the scars.
Avoid hurting others.
And that’s my two cents on that.