Nobody can hurt me without my permission.
“Hurt. A very small word to describe how I was feeling. I don’t even know if it is a description enough for the amount of pain I was feeling. Friends are supposed to stand by us, to support us, to give up on a few things for us, I don’t mean they are supposed to be selfless but they are not supposed to be selfish at least not with friends.
My friend probably didn’t know that or maybe I didn’t know we weren’t friends, that it was a one sided friendship. We were both planning to enroll for a new course and I got the opportunity to go for the course while my friend didn’t. She was so sad that it didn’t take me one second to reject the opportunity in order to support my friend and be with her. But when I dropped out she was asked and she enrolled in the course.
I know as a friend I should support her, I should stand by her but why am I the only one who should do that, why not her.? I told her my dream and she made it her reality, minus me, a dream that could have been my reality if not for my care for her.
I felt alone, I felt used, I felt betrayed, I felt angry at her; at myself; at everyone, I felt jealous, I felt pain like there was a vacuum inside my chest, I felt physical pain and discomfort every time I breathed, I felt like I had something I really wanted and I let it go… For what? A friend who used me, I felt disappointed, helpless. All of this described in these three words- She hurt me.
No I hurt me, I trusted her, it was my fault. She didn’t ask me to leave the course, I did, this was all my fault. I was stupid to trust her, to trust that she would do the same for me, to trust that she cares for me as much as I care for her; truth is she didn’t care, truth is she was never a friend, truth is I regret everything I ever did for her, all the good times we spent together, truth is I’ll never have a good friend, I’ll never have a friend for whom I am important, truth is I am not important, I can’t be, I will never be…”
It’s natural to think and want to always be happy and fulfilled, but unfortunately, no matter how hard we try things won’t entirely turn out as we expected them to and we will get hurt along the way. Usually, most of the reasons we feel hurt are actually based on our perspective of the situation (thinking a certain way about the situation).
The key is, of course, to transform how we think about the situation, to consciously choose to change our perspective of the situation.
Some Reasons why we feel hurt
1. Someone close to us did something or behaved a certain way that goes against what we believe or expected of them.
2. Everything that happens seems like a direct personal attack.
3. We maybe very sensitive to people’s opinions and criticism due to our own reasons.
4. We may feel betrayed, disrespected, rejected, deceived, let down, or unfairly accused or criticized.
5. There’s a misunderstanding resulting from miscommunication.
Our feelings of being hurt result from a combination of how we perceive a situation and how we’re interpreting how others have responded to us.
While we can control our perceptions and can consciously work towards changing them. However, what we don’t have control over are other people’s opinions, behaviors, and words. Which means focusing on how others think, feel and behave will only bring us negativity, helplessness, disappointment, sadness, anger etc. because no matter how hard we try we can not change the other person, it’s like trying to push a wall.
Everything another person does is interpreted as a direct attack on us, on our values, beliefs, and on our personality. We may feel as though other people (everyone in the world) are out to get us. However, our perceptions are simply clouding our judgment and thus, triggering our hurt feelings.
Learning why we end up hurting the ones we love without meaning to is a good way to overcome hurt feelings. It’s important to remember that the people close to us don’t often set out to deliberately hurt us.
In the event that another person did seem to hurt us on purpose. We may think that they might have hurt us to relieve their own feelings of hurt or inferiority, or that they didn’t respect nor understand the importance of what we did for them and that’s okay. Because it doesn’t reflect poorly on us as a person it reflects poorly on them for not understanding and caring, respecting what they had. And we will not let them stop us, we will keep being kind to help those who need and respect what we have to offer.
Hurt feelings can pile up over time, which can ultimately lead to resentment, then anger, then sadness, and finally a deep state of depression. It can also lead to us holding onto grudges, seeking revenge, losing all faith and trust in people, and wallowing in cynicism and self-pity.
How to overcome our feelings of Hurt
Step 1: Acknowledging and accepting what hurt us.
It can be hard to accept things when something happened that we didn’t expect or something fell short of our expectations. It may be so painful, we can barely stand it. Understanding and acknowledging that what we are feeling is hurt, and what is hurting us is this situation and how we are perceiving what happened or what someone has said or done.
The best way to do this is to remove ourself from the situation and take time to calm our emotions and settle our mind.
This period of separation will prevent us from jumping to irrational conclusions about the situation. Just maybe, things aren’t as they seem.
Defining the hurt feelings also allows us to separate the negative feelings from us as a whole person. It is OK to feel however we feel, but this does not make us a bad person, a failure or any less of a person. It’s important that we avoid numbing any emotions or distracting ourself since it will only make us think about it longer.
Step 2: Get Very Clear About What Exactly Happened
Try to understand what exactly happened, what the person said or did, and how events transpired.
- Reflecting on our own behavior, reactions, and the emotions we’re feeling at the moment. Think about:
“What happened? How did I initially feel about this situation? What was my initial response to this situation? Why did I respond this way? How am I feeling at this very moment? Why am I feeling this way?”
- Reflecting if our feelings of hurt have nothing to do with this moment but rather stem back to a culmination of events that have taken place over a period of time. What is really causing my feelings of hurt? Do these feelings of hurt go beyond these events? What could be the underlying cause of my feelings?
- Consider the other person’s perspective of the situation.
What was the other person trying to do? Why did they do or say these things? What are they trying to gain from this situation? Did they just hurt me, or did they also hurt other people as well? What could’ve triggered their words and/or behavior? Was it stress? Was it something else?
- Consider the possible misunderstandings that might’ve taken place. Consider also the other person’s intentions in this situation.
Did they hurt me intentionally? What could their real intentions be in this situation? Do they have my best interests at heart? What if there is a misunderstanding here? What information will I need from the other person to clarify this situation? Could they be hurting in some way? What could be the source of their pain? How could I best get them to open up and talk about their feelings?
- Finally, it’s important that we re-evaluate our expectations of the circumstances and the people involved. What did I expect should’ve happened in this situation? What did I expect the other person should’ve done? Are my expectations realistic? Are they helpful? What if I had different expectations? How would that help?
We feel hurt because in one way or another things didn’t happen the way we expected them to. There’s, of course, nothing wrong with that. However, it is important to analyze if our set of expectations are realistic or not (unrealistic ones can rarely if ever be satisfied and can at one point or another lead to feelings of hurt).
Do I find my feelings get hurt by the same people who do the same things? If yes, we need to try to analyze the patterns we may be following or to analyze the underlying factor that may be hurting us- for example the feeling that I am only important for someone when that person is willing to give up their dreams and aspirations for me, that is the only person who cares for me
Step 3: Resolving our Feelings of Hurt
Emotions are an important part of being a human- they allow us to feel for ourselves and others. Still, they can also take over our lives. It can be natural to cry or mourn. But set a time limit for how long we will allow our self to grieve according to the situation. Taking action towards fixing the issue is a great way to get a grip on our emotional response.
Just as every relationship or event has a start, they usually have either a natural end or we create an end through closure. We may get closure by confronting the wrongdoer or even clarify possible misunderstandings and trying to forgive. Simply expressing how we feel and explaining how we want to move forward. Saying something like “I was really hurt by what you did. I need space to decide if I want to continue the relationship or not. I will contact you if I decide to.”
It can be better to have a general idea of what we will say in advance. It’s, important to not become argumentative or aggressive; to not blame, judge or accuse the other person of doing or not doing something. Instead, being assertive and focused on gaining clarity about the circumstances.
Finally, it is important to remember not to force the other person to make an apology as anything that is forced may not be genuine. If they end up apologizing, then accept their apology. We don’t have to forgive them, but accept that they are at the very least trying to do the right thing.
Step 4: Time to Make a Decision
The decision to either move past these circumstances and forgive the other person or to simply let go of the relationship and distancing from the person. No matter what we choose to do, it’s necessary that we accept what has happened and allow our feelings of hurt subside.
Step 5: Let go of the past
Not letting this situation become “who I am”, it merely was something that “happened to me”. Rumination can be a trap in which we beat ourselves up regularly for letting it happen or for not seeing what would happen ahead of time. This type of thinking can lead to depression.
We can overcome rumination by understanding that we can’t change the past so rather than focusing on what happened in the past and how we could have done things differently, we did what we thought was best for us and had no way of knowing our decision would lead to consequences that we don’t expect
Instead, thinking about what we can do now, analyzing different ways we can improve our current situation or write down a list of lessons we learned from going through it. When we take action after a negative event, we empower our self to move forward.
Step 6: Focusing on our Good Things
When we’re feeling hurt, it’s easy to make certain of aspects of our life larger and more important then they should be. We end up generalizing the event that is making us feel hurt to who we are as a person.
When feeling hurt, we can focus on the things we are most grateful for.
Step 7: Let go of the negative.
It can be natural to time and again end up thinking negatively, catching ourself in the moment and attacking the negative thoughts and switch it into a more positive or realistic statement. For example, challenge a negative thought like “I will never know good wholesome people who aren’t trying to manipulate me” by thinking of any person who has shown kindness and trustworthiness. Once we identify at least one person who fits this positive category we have attacked and invalidated the negative claim. Not looking for validation in these negative thoughts, instead questioning unhelpful thoughts and beliefs we might have.
Step 8: Not Taking Things So Personally
We will always end up feeling hurt if we continue to take things personally. Sometimes people say and do things because they are trying to work through their own personal insecurities and problems. In fact, what they say and do might have very little — if anything — to do with us, and all to do with the issues they’re struggling with.
People Make Mistakes. Sooner or later someone will hurt us. There’s no avoiding this. It will happen. However, more often than not, people won’t hurt us intentionally. People make blunders and errors, and end up regretting some of the things they do and say.
Sometimes what they need is a little compassion and understanding, and maybe even a little bit patience on our part. Understanding that we have been or might be in their shoes at some point in the future. However, if we are hurting too much while forgiving and understanding it’s okay to focus on our own mental peace first.
Every hurt we experience gives us an opportunity to learn more about our self. It gives us a chance to learn more about our values, rules and personal expectations. It gives us an opportunity to learn more about others and about how we relate to other people socially and intimately. It gives us insight into people’s motives, feelings, and intentions. It even helps us get to know our self and our emotional tendencies at a far more profound level. And as we learn, we grow, and as we grow, we will make educated choices and decisions in the future, which will help us to manage and minimize our feelings of hurt far more effectively.