March 25, 2024

What to Do When Someone We Love Hurts Us.

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It hurts to be hurt.

It cuts deeply when someone we love or genuinely care about treats us in an unexpected way.

We do the best we can to avoid disturbing situations and hurtful behavior. We love, we give, we sacrifice, we overcompensate…we would do anything to show those we love that we deserve nothing but kindness and respect.

However, things don’t always go as planned—or desired. No matter how much we try to strengthen our relationships, we can’t determine how or when the temporary collapse will strike. And sadly, we can’t predict the intensity of our pain or the waves of sadness that might wash over us.

So when others hurt us, we hurt. We wallow in self-pity and wish things were different. We find a lifelong companion in our unbearable pain. Although we want to reach the surface, we end up sinking even more.

Because that’s what we’ve grown accustomed to doing when someone hurts us. We think that the more we sink, the faster we might reach the bottom where our desired answers are. There might be fights and arguments and resentment, but we might also figure out why the other person did what they did. We might know why they hurt us and maybe, just maybe, we might persuade them into promising us to never cut us that deep ever again.

Together we get to the surface, hoping we’d never have to sink another time. And so we swim in a sea of uncertainty—happy and reassured.

The truth is we can never control someone else’s behavior. We can never truly know someone because how we see them is based on what they show us. Since we can’t access their real feelings, hidden and silent traumas, and unspoken thoughts, it’s quite possible that we can’t also access when or how or where they might cause us pain. So, what to do?

I contemplated this question many times last week. Because when we are repeatedly hurt, we might have to find new solutions. Responding in the same way over and over again sometimes stops working. We need to dig out a wiser approach.

I have found that when someone hurts me, the best thing to do is to not let it consume me.

I can’t control someone else’s behavior, but I can control how much it impacts me. I acknowledge the harm and talk to the person who has hurt me. But when I’m alone and my mind wants to hold onto destructive thoughts, I remind myself that being hurt doesn’t mean I should bury myself in sadness. I don’t avoid my unwanted, negative feelings either.

The point is when you’re hurt, don’t be defeated. Allow your pain to come and go without holding on to it. That’s the best thing you can do.

So the next time you’re feeling angry, or hurt, or overwhelmed, remember this five-word phrase:

Don’t let it consume you.


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