How to Handle Unsolicited Comments When They Could Be Harmful

I was in the protein bar section of the grocery store. In my hand, I had a bag of sour cream and onion Goldfish. Already, I was proud of myself for picking these up. This was the first time I’d ever seen them. Rather than waiting until next time, I got them! And I was excited to have them. The last thing on my mind was getting unsolicited comments from others.

Lost in my own world

Now, here I was looking at the protein bars. Some of my absolute favorite snacks. There were so many great options that I was getting a bit overwhelmed. The next thing I knew, there was a girl next to me. Just as I was about to move aside for her, she spoke to me. 

“I just have to say, your outfit is so cute! I love it!” she smiled. 

When Unsolicited Comments Make You Smile

It had completely thrown me off guard to receive this comment. Especially from a girl as cute as her. She had bright pink hair and round glasses. I then complimented her outfit. She thanked me with the biggest smile. 

We parted ways after a short conversation. As I walked to the register, my smile continued. Up ahead was an older woman in the center of the aisle with her cart. As I squeezed past her, I apologized, “Excuse me.” She then did a double-take at the sight of me. 

When Unsolicited Comments are Hurtful

The woman then commented, “You’re so thin! What do you weigh, like x pounds?” The nice comment from the pink-haired girl was now completely wiped from my mind. I kept my head down and continued toward the register. I felt her eyes on me still. She made another comment

However, I didn’t hear this one. And I’m glad I hadn’t. Her words were echoing in my mind. I couldn’t get the number out of my head.

As I drove home, I could still hear the woman’s comment. I started criticizing myself based upon this comment. Falling into the negative headspace, it felt like there was no way out. Then, I remembered something. 

I Have a Choice

There were two unsolicited comments I got in the grocery store. So why am I focusing on the negative one?

I thought back to the pink-haired girl’s kind words. This was the comment to focus on. Not the older woman’s. 

To that pink-haired girl in the grocery store, thank you.

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