What To Do When Someone Hurts Your Feelings

Throughout my life I had my share of people hurting me, and I can say with absolute certainty that I’m not...

What to do when someone hurts your feelings?

Throughout my life I had my share of people hurting me, and I can say with absolute certainty that I’m not alone in that. We all get hurt. At certain times though it felt as if being hurt was the natural state of my life, never understanding what I was doing wrong to deserve it, feeling pretty sorry for myself, with no clue at all about what to do when someone hurt my feelings.

Then a few months ago, someone that was pretty close to me lashed out at me, out of nowhere, quite literally in the middle of the night. The incredible thing was that I didn’t feel all that hurt about it, and the hurt that I did feel went away quickly… In the past few years i’ve become much more self-aware. Of my feelings, what I’m made of, what I stand for, and what I believe in. I also started to love myself – finally, and through this process what hurts me, and how I react to other people’s not-so-fun behavior towards me has drastically changed.

This post is an attempt to share what I’ve learned along the way about what to do when someone hurts your feelings, and how a shift in perspective, and true love for yourself makes all the difference.

#1 Who’s hurt you

No two hurts are the same. Depending on the person who hurts you, you’re reaction will be different. Whether you’re full of self-love or not, some people just get to you faster, and deeper than others. My husband for instance doesn’t have to use that many words to hurt my feelings, while some distant relative or acquaintance will have a much harder time shaking my world.

At least that’s the case today.

As a recovering people-pleaser things were pretty different before. When all I wanted was for everyone to like me (never gonna happen lady!), anyone could hurt my feelings – easily. All it took was a few words. It’s only when I learned that I couldn’t possibly be liked by everyone that the hurt started to go down. But that’s not where the biggest transformation happened.

Things really started to shift when I understood it was OK for me not to like everyone either!

When I realized this a lot of the hurt went away on it’s own, and ever since before letting feelings of hurt get to me, I ask myself if I really care about the person who’s doing the hurting. If not, I drop the hurt feelings, and sometimes the person too.

#2 How have they hurt you

There are many ways someone can hurt you. That’s why this is such an important question to ask yourself when you think someone has.

Very often feelings of hurt are a result of our own wounds, and weaknesses. So again, not all hurts are equal. Did someone say something that triggered you? Or was she actually mean to you?

It’s important to be aware of this two main reasons. First, you don’t want to blame someone for something they didn’t do. Then, especially when there’s an internal trigger, you want to use the opportunity to grow. Nobody wants to keep nasty triggers for life, right? So getting clear on what sets you off by analyzing your feelings can help you to grow as a person. And, like knowing who’s hurt you, will help alleviate the hurt itself as well.

#3 You’re in control of your reaction

I believe that in life there are two kinds of events: the ones that you have control over, and the ones that you don’t. How people treat you is part of the latter, but how you react to it isn’t. You have control over that. In fact, when it comes to ourselves, and our feelings, there are many choices we can make because we’re almost always in control.

We can choose not to believe our thoughts, we can choose to feel good even when things don’t go our way, we can even choose to forgive someone who hurt us (more on that below). What we can definitely choose is how we react when someone’s hurt our feelings.

This may sound difficult, maybe even impossible to you. Believe me, it sounded like that to me for a long time as well. Until I realized nobody was actually making my choices for me, hence nobody – whatever they had done to me – could make me feel anything. Only I could do that. Of course having someone hurt your feelings always stings a little. But I’ve learned not to let it get to me or giving it a lot of thought, by asking myself one simple question, something that an anxious mind like mine welcomes with open arms, believe me. How do I want to feel?

#4 Is it worth working things out

Let’s say it’s not an inner trigger that is causing you to feel hurt, but a not-so-fun thing someone said or did to you. Let’s also say this is not a random person, but someone you know or that you can’t simply forget about.

The question to ask yourself now is whether it’s worth working things out with them or not. Is this person worth your time, and do you want to keep them in your life?

This may sound like a very selfish question, but I believe it isn’t. It’s a self-love question. We’re not meant to be for everyone. This implies that not everyone is meant for us either. Just like you have control over how you react to things, so you do about who you allow, or don’t allow into your life. Someone hurting your feelings, especially if it’s deeply or more than once, asks you to consider the relationship, and what it’s worth to you. Is this a reciprocal relationship? Are you happy with it? Would you rather not have this person in your life? Are you the sole giver, or are you also getting in return? These are important questions to determine whether or not it’s worth working things out. If it doesn’t feel right, you have the right to move on.

#5 Forgiveness is an inside job

Finally, when all is said and done, you can choose to forgive the person that hurt you. Not working things out, and moving on are not the same thing as forgiveness. The big thing to understand about forgiveness is that it’s an inside job.

Forgiveness is about you, not the other person. The reason is that all the feelings you walk around with are your own. In most cases, the people hurting us are unaware of our inner life. And when they aren’t what they know of it is usually the tip of the iceberg…

Yet we think we’re punishing them when we’re angry, sad, frustrated. We don’t tell them anything, but we walk around with all those feelings, expecting them to magically know about it, and suffer as we do. Or we’ve put an end to the relationship but still we carry those feelings with us, they linger on, weigh us down. That’s why forgiveness is important. Not for the salvation of someone else’s soul, but to free your own. And that’s why I try to practice it as much as I can, whatever anyone has done to me. Not to heal them, but to heal myself.

In the end what it comes down to for me is, when someone hurts my feelings I’m the one in control. This means I don’t have to “take” anything from that person, not her behavior (obviously) but also not the feelings of hurt she’s given me, not the frustrations or sadness, not even the relationship if I don’t feel it serves me anymore.

When someone hurts my feelings what I do is take control, do everything I can to heal myself, to learn, and move on.

How about you? What do you do when someone hurts your feelings? Do let me know below, I really want to know.

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