Nobody can hurt me without my permission. – Mohandas Gandhi
Are You Feeling Hurt?
Life is often a roller-coaster ride of emotions. It’s full of ups and downs and filled with an array of unexpected surprises. It’s nice to think that we will always be happy and fulfilled, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
The odds are stacked against us. In fact, sooner or later things won’t entirely turn out as you had expected and you will get hurt along the way.
However, feeling hurt isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it’s kind of a “wake-up call” that encourages you to travel down a different path that could ultimately bring you a greater sense of fulfillment, joy, and happiness.
Here Are the Reasons Why You’re Feeling Hurt…
Have you ever considered the reasons why you’re feeling hurt?
If you reflect on this for a moment, what you will typically find is that the vast majority of these reasons are actually based on your perspective of the situation. In other words, you are actually aggravating your feelings by thinking a certain way about the situation.
The key is, of course, to transform how you think about the situation. And the moment you consciously choose to shift your perspective of the situation you will begin seeing things anew — in more empowering ways.
Given this, feeling hurt is often nothing more than a state-of-mind — an interpretation you have made about your experience.
Let’s now quickly take a look at some reasons why you might be feeling hurt in the first place. You’re feeling hurt because…
- Someone did something or behaved a certain way that goes against what you believe of expected of them, and this has subsequently hurt your feelings.
- Of the impatience shown by another person in a specific situation. You perceive their impatience as a personal attack on you, and this has caused you to feel miserable.
- You have a victim mentality. You feel sorry for yourself and sorry for your life. Everything that happens to you seems like a direct personal attack.
- You have an unmet need for self-love. This “need” is craving for love and attention from others. This makes you very susceptible to people’s opinions and criticism.
- You feel as though you’ve been betrayed, disrespected, rejected, deceived, let down, or unfairly accused or criticized.
- You lack attention to detail. Something has happened. However, things aren’t clear — there’s a misunderstanding resulting from miscommunication.
Going down this list, it’s quite clear to see how your feelings of being hurt result from a combination of how you perceive a situation and how you’re interpreting how others have responded to you throughout the day.
You, of course, have complete control over your perceptions and can, therefore, change them at will. However, what you don’t have control over are other people’s opinions, behaviors, and words.
People will at times say and do things that will hurt you. However, often these things have nothing to do with you but are rather based on people’s own insecurities and personal problems.
Given this, it’s imperative that you don’t take things personally, and instead practice detaching yourself from these emotional experiences.
The Consequences of Feeling Hurt
Being overly sensitive to other people’s feelings, actions, and opinions can often put a significant strain on your relationships. In fact, your hurt feelings can pile up over time, which can ultimately lead to resentment, then anger, then sadness, and finally a deep state of depression.
Moreover, it will seduce you to hold onto grudges, to seek revenge, to lose all faith and trust in people, and to wallow in cynicism and self-pity.
All this, of course, stems from the fact that you’re taking things too seriously and personally.
Everything another person does is interpreted as a direct attack on you, on your values, beliefs, and on your personality. You kind of feel as though other people are out to get you — as though the world is after you. However, this is rarely ever the case. Your perceptions are simply clouding your judgment and subsequently triggering your hurt feelings.
In the event that another person did actually hurt you on purpose — in such scenarios, it’s important to remember that frequently people hurt us because they too are in pain or hurting in some way.
The moment you recognize this is the moment you can act with compassion rather than in anger or any other way that could aggravate the situation further.
A 4-Step Process for Overcoming Hurt
Overcoming hurt feelings isn’t easy. It takes patience and time to work through these emotional wounds. However, it’s certainly possible and can be done.
Here is a four-step process you can use to work through your hurt feelings in common sense and practical ways.
Step 1: Settle Down Your Emotions
The moment you recognize you’re feeling hurt, it’s imperative to immediately settle yourself down to prevent your emotions from getting the better of you.
The best way to do this is to remove yourself from the situation and take time to calm your emotions and settle your mind.
This period of separation will prevent you from jumping to irrational conclusions about the situation. Just maybe, things aren’t as they seem.
At the very least, this separation will help you avoid further conflict that could potentially aggravate your emotions and/or your relationship with the other person.
Step 2: Get Very Clear About What Exactly Happened
Now that you’re alone, it’s imperative that you take time to reflect on the events that just transpired.
Try to understand what exactly happened, what the person said or did, and how events transpired. Moreover, reflect on your own behavior, reactions, and the emotions you’re feeling at the moment. Ask yourself:
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?
These questions will help you pinpoint what exactly is happening on the surface.
Your hurt feelings though might actually go a little deeper than surface level experiences.
For instance, just maybe, your 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. Ask yourself:
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?
What important insights do I gain from this assessment?
If you recognize that your feelings of hurt do not necessarily stem from this particular situation, then you have some work to do on a personal level to resolve the past feelings that are actually causing you pain.
Given this, it’s important that you take into consideration your past hurts throughout this period of self-reflection.
Let’s now take the time to consider the other person’s perspective of the situation. Let’s explore why they did what they did. Ask yourself:
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?
Now, take time to consider possible misunderstandings that might’ve taken place. Consider also the other person’s real intentions in this situation. Could it be possible that your assumptions about the other person’s intentions might be wrong? Ask yourself:
Did they hurt me intentionally?
Am I potentially misreading this person’s intentions?
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?
It’s possible that the other person got caught up in the heat of the moment and said or did things they didn’t truly mean.
Likewise, it’s also possible that they are going through pain themselves. They are hurting, and unfortunately misdirecting their energy onto you. This should, therefore, indicate that their words and actions have absolutely nothing to do with you, but rather all to do with their own personal insecurities. Ask yourself:
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 you re-evaluate your expectations of the circumstances and the people involved. Ask yourself:
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?
You’re feeling hurt because in one way or another your expectations weren’t entirely actualized.
There’s, of course, nothing wrong with that. However, it certainly doesn’t help if you have a set of unrealistic expectations that will rarely if ever be satisfied.
In such instances, you need to work through your expectations and bring them back to reality. Otherwise, it’s possible you’re always going to end up getting hurt.
Step 3: Resolve Your Feelings of Hurt
Having spent some time reflecting on the situation, it’s now an opportune time to approach the other person to resolve your feelings of hurt and maybe even clarify possible misunderstandings.
Just maybe, you’re seeing things all wrong and completely misinterpreting the person and/or the situation. The key is to be open to the possibilities, and willing to fully understand the other person’s point of view and true intentions.
When approaching the other person about this situation, it’s imperative to always think before you speak. Don’t say things that you will regret.
The key is to have a general idea of what you will say in advance. Once you have this in mind, talk about these things openly and graciously by acknowledging your feelings, acknowledging the other person’s feelings, all the while discussing the events that transpired.
It’s, of course, paramount that you do not become argumentative or aggressive. Likewise, it’s critical that you do not blame, judge or accuse the other person of doing or not doing something. Instead, be assertive, yet humble and focused on gaining clarity about the circumstances. The more information you have, the better insights you will gather.
Finally, don’t force the other person to make an apology. This will rarely work, but when it does, it won’t be genuine and is likely to create more friction than harmony.
Instead, talk things through and help the other person see the situation through your eyes.
If they end up apologizing, then accept their apology. You 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
You should now have all the information you need to make a decision to either move past these circumstances and forgive the other person or to simply let go of your relationship and distance yourself from this person.
The decision you make will depend entirely on how much insight you gain from step-3 of this process. However, no matter what you choose to do, it’s vital that you accept what has happened and allow your feelings of hurt subside.
Suggestions for Overcoming Hurt
Feelings of hurt are never easy or straightforward to deal with. They are very personal and make us feel miserable and worthless. However, there are certain things you can do that will help you to minimize these feelings.
The suggestions that follow will hopefully lay down the groundwork to help you work through your hurt feelings far more effectively.
Focus on Your Blessings
When you’re feeling hurt, it’s easy to blow things out of proportion and make certain of aspects of your life larger and more important then they should be.
You get so caught up in your feelings of hurt that nothing else seems to matter. However, things do matter. And in fact, if you take time to truly think about it, there are probably a lot of things that matter, and a lot of things that you can actually be grateful for.
When feeling hurt, focus on your blessings, and on the things you are most grateful for. This will hopefully put your feelings into proper context. It may even help you re-prioritize and shift your focus onto more important and meaningful things that will bring you a greater array of happiness and fulfillment in the long-run.
Focus on Your Strengths
To find direction during moments of hurt, it’s important that you remind yourself of your strengths and of all the things that have brought you to this point in your life.
Your strengths might come in the form of optimism, faith, patience, forgiveness, honesty, compassion, self-belief, etc. These are the things that will get you through this challenging period of your life. In fact, these qualities can help you regain the self-confidence you need to move beyond this painful experience.
It’s therefore, important to re-direct your energies away from what’s hurting you, and instead refocus on your strongest qualities. These are the qualities that can help you get through this challenging situation in optimal ways.
Let Go of Past Hurts
Are you holding onto things that hurt you years ago? Maybe, you’re holding onto these hurts because you feel as though you were unjustly wronged in some way. However, what’s the point? Can you do anything about these hurts right here, right now? If you can’t, then what’s the point of holding onto them?
Whatever happened in the past, occurred in the past. Let go of these things and move on with your life.
This, of course, doesn’t mean that you should forget about everything that happened. In fact, don’t you dare forget these critical moments of your life. Learn from these experiences, and use them to make better decisions in the present. However, don’t allow your past hurts to haunt and aggravate the life you’re living today.
Make an Effort to Smile More Often
Being hurt is a state-of-mind. You are feeling hurt because you perceive events, circumstances, and people’s intentions in a certain way that makes you feel absolutely miserable.
Is it possible that another person might see things a little differently? What hurts you might not even phase them. It’s all a state-of-mind.
To transform your state-of-mind, try smiling a little more and see how that changes how you feel about the situation. Maybe your feelings of hurt will turn into curiosity. And when this happens, a whole new world of possibilities will open up for you.
Always Accept Responsibility
Your pain feels at its worst when you feel as though you had very little control over the situation.
In such a scenario, you feel as though someone else is to blame and you become the victim of circumstance. This makes you feel somewhat powerless and makes it very difficult to move past your feelings of hurt.
One way to instantly feel better about yourself is to accept responsibility for what happened and for how events transpired.
In fact, you probably in some way — directly or indirectly — played a part in creating this situation. Recognize this. You are at least partly responsible for what happened, and this is a good thing, because with responsibility comes the willingness to instigate positive change.
Once you feel at least partly responsible, this gives you the strength you need to potentially make things better — to right the wrongs.
You now have the power to mend your relationships and lay down a path for a more positive future.
Surround Yourself with Inspiring People
One of the best ways to make yourself feel better almost instantly is to talk about your feelings with other people.
Have a chat with a close family member or friend and explain what happened. Get their perspective and opinion about the situation, and maybe even work with them to try and resolve your feelings.
There is no telling how much better you will feel once you get things off your chest. And who knows, maybe the other person can convince you that there’s actually nothing really here that justifies the need to feel hurt. And just perhaps that’s all you need to help you move forward in optimal ways through this period of your life.
Don’t Take Things So Personally
You will always end up feeling hurt if you 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 you, and all to do with the issues they’re struggling with.
For this reason, it’s crucial that you step “outside yourself” during moments of hurt and look at the full picture from their perspective as well as from an outsider’s viewpoint.
Doing so will help you recognize that there’s nothing really here to feel hurt about. Instead, show a little compassion for the other person and try to help them work through their own personal insecurities.
People Make Mistakes
Sooner or later someone will hurt you. There’s no avoiding this. It will happen. However, more often then not, people won’t hurt you intentionally. People just make mistakes.
People make blunders and errors, and end up regretting some of the things they do and say.
Of course, they might not always own up to these mistakes. To do so would wound their pride.
What they need is a little compassion and understanding, and maybe even a little bit patience on your part. Eventually, they will come around and admit their mistakes, but it might take some time.
Be there for them and accept them wholeheartedly, because you might very well be in their shoes at some point in the future.
It gives you an opportunity to learn more about others and about how you relate to other people socially and intimately.
It gives you insight into people’s motives, feelings, and intentions. It even helps you get to know yourself and your emotional tendencies at a far more profound level.
And as you learn, you grow, and as you grow, you will make better choices and decisions in the future, which will help you to manage and minimize your feelings of hurt far more effectively.
Time to Assimilate these Concepts
Did you gain value from this article? Is it important that you know and understand this topic? Would you like to optimize how you think about this topic? Would you like a method for applying these ideas to your life?
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Gain More Knowledge…
Here are some additional links and resources that will help you learn more about this topic:
- 6 Ways to Overcome Your Painful Past @ Psych Central
- 7 Practical Strategies to Overcome Emotional Pain @ Psychology Today
- 10 Happiness Tips for People Who Have Been Hurt @ Tiny Buddha
- 15 Unavoidable Stages You Go Through After You Get Hurt @ Bustle
- How to Deal with Hurt, Heart-Ache, and Loss @ Upgrade Reality
- How to Let Go of the Fear of Being Hurt Again @ Tiny Buddha
- Learning to Let Go of Past Hurts: 5 Ways to Move On @ Psych Central
- Overcoming the Pain of Emotional Hurt @ Calm Down Mind
- Why Emotional Pain Hurts So Much @ HubPages
- Why You Should Never Go Back to Someone Who’s Hurt You @ Elite Daily