08/11/2013 11:56 am ET Updated Oct 11, 2013

The Buzzing in Your Ears

This statement can have a profound impact on your life's happiness if you let it:

"Practice not letting negative statements from others stick around, buzzing in your ears and getting deep into your cells. What people say is usually a reflection of them, not you."

We tend to be like pieces of fly paper, letting words (whether they were intended to or not) stick on us like tiny, pesky flies -- buzzing in our ears, irritating our minds and soaking deeply into our cells.

And we start to believe them, letting them define our self-worth.

Those flying words make a landing pad on the terrain of our self-confidence and end up making us feel like we are not as wonderful as we were before we heard them touch down inside of us.

Are there exceptions? Of course.

Yes, sometimes honesty needs to be delivered to us from someone that wants improvement in our lives. And there are appropriate moments when we need to hear words of truth about our own hurtful behaviors.

When words are spoken out of the heart of trying to fix things that have been broken or trying to speak a voice of honesty about pain that has been inflicted, by all means, LISTEN. Then it IS about YOU. And if it IS, open your mind, let the words sink into the places they need to be heard, and be sensitive to the heart of the other person. Then do what you can to make things right.

What I am talking about here are words that are sent our way with the intention to hurt us... out of the blue... leaving us sitting there in their sticky puddle of negativity, feeling like this other person really doesn't know us at all. I am talking about those words that we otherwise would never use to define ourselves, but because someone else has sent them in our direction, we give them power and let them stick where they shouldn't.

Let's face it. We seem to have the tendency to hold onto the NEGATIVE things that we hear about ourselves instead of the POSITIVE. And we usually let those bad bugs stay with us the longest, stinging our hearts, poisoning our self-worth with biting, persistent stings long after we first heard them.

Am I right?

I encourage you to take the quote above and stick it right inside those same ears of yours, hearing it the next time someone's words really hurt you for reasons that you don't understand. You see, we all speak out of our own experiences.

People will speak out of the way that they are experiencing the world and how they are feeling in the moment -- perhaps out of something that has been eating away at their own self-worth all day/week/year.

And over time, words can build up a lot of power, waiting for release (you know how this feels yourself, right?).

Often, YOU happen to be the casualty of someone else's pent up feelings, and for circumstantial reasons, an emotional trigger in your presence means those words are sent flying directly at... bzzzz -- YOU.

It could have absolutely nothing to do with you but everything to do with them and the...

bitter fight they had with their spouse that morning...
or how insecure they feel about their own lack of productivity...
or the shocking phone call they just got from their doctor...
or the time they were bullied for being overweight and still are hurting...
or the lay-off that happened last week that they still have not told anyone about...
or how angry they are at their own lack of parenting...
or how lonely they feel because of their last break-up...
or how scared they are about their own child's learning disability...

Fact is, "hurt people hurt people."

Oftentimes someone will remark something to purposefully hurt you because they are feeling weak or they want to make you feel less powerful than they see you. Your vibrant light might make them uncomfortable, and subconsciously they may want to dim you a little.

I have compassion for people who do this because it is truly a reflection of the wounds that they are suffering in their own souls. Stinging words meant to knock down another person's spirit come from a fearful spirit that is feeling painfully vulnerable.

We should have compassion for that person and the pain that is stirring inside.

So next time someone tries to "bite you" with their words or create a "buzzing in your ears" that you are less than you are, adopt your new Teflon Ears. These are ears that do not have stickiness to them but are slick, slippery, and not about to hold onto the bugs that are thrown at them.

Nope, they just slide back off with a compassionate, unsticky confidence... and the knowledge that "that is about THEM, not about YOU."

Take a deep breath, stand back up, and picture those words sliding off your ears and onto the ground, leaving them behind... right where they should be. And if you are feeling like turning this dynamic into something positive... find a place of compassion in your heart for the pain that this other person must be feeling. Choose to do something healthy by speaking positive words back to the person without engaging in an argument. Surprise them with a blessing.

Walk away envisioning the words laying on the ground behind you, with an unblemished heart that is still as strong and clear as it was before this person tried to tarnish it. And leave behind you a basket of compassion for that person to place his or her pain inside since you are unwilling to carry it yourself. Ask the Universe to bless them, and ask the Divine for strength in your own spirit. Do not allow their words to define you today.

Because in the end, after all of those bugs have flown back to their hives, it is the unique, beautiful spirit inside that defines you, and that is something that no one's words can take away.

For more by Dr. Karin L. Smithson, click here.

For more on emotional wellness, click here.