Encounters with verbally abusive people – how do you deal with them?

Lets say you’re sitting in a public space minding your own business, or – even better – concentrating on some creative activity (writing, drawing, sketching, songwriting, reading, whatever it is that you do…) and then: BANG! Someone attacks you verbally, out of the blue and with no apparent reason. The attack goes on and on, even after it is evident that it is based on a simple misunderstanding. You know how it goes, one person says something, someone hears what he/she wants to hear, and then reacts verbally abusive to someone else (you)… My question is: what do you do? What do you feel? And, how do you deal with it later on?

I have doubted very much whether I should write about such a topic here or not. At first it did not seem relevant here, it is not what I want this blog to be about… But the thought kept insisting in my mind and I finally realized why it does fit in here: it is an example of one of the things that abruptly disrupt my creative flow. The results of this disruption fall under the word “frustrations” in the subtitle of my weblog.

For the last five weeks I have been experiencing a very inspiring creative flow. I feel grateful, blessed and humble in this process. In the past, I have been stuck in my work for short or longer periods of time. I always managed to get myself going till I would get out of it and back in the flow… But this time the flow feels very different: it is overwhelming and more uplifting than ever… At least, it was so until an encounter with a verbally abusive person disrupted it. While my rational self was thinking: “I don’t have time for this crap. If you want to say something to me, say it normally”, my emotional-too-sensitive-creative self was getting all worked up… And sometimes it still gets all worked up, even now, days later. This interferes with my work and I resent it, but it still is part of my creative self.

Today, working in my atelier, struggling with a painting that doesn’t get just right yet, trying to get back into that flow again, I was thinking of this incident. I realized I was angry… Angry at myself for letting this event disturb me like this. And what I thought about the person who caused all this? I thought of how sad it must be for her if this is the way she reacts to a stranger, I felt sorry for her…

just a picture to go with the words: not a painting, but part of my palette...

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2 thoughts on “Encounters with verbally abusive people – how do you deal with them?

  1. hey, just to cheer you and maybe help you back in the groove: i was very happy chatting to you today and i’m even more heppie that your palette doesn’t show angry colours. they form a soft contrast to your words.

    • hey Aafke! How nice to find you here!!!! Yes, I also enjoyed our chat a lot. Guess what? I’m back in the groove, so you did cheer me up!
      Good luck with your exhibition, is there a website of the space/gallery so that I can see your work hanging?
      Funny and intriguing what you wrote about the soft contrast between my words and my colors. I like this thought.

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