Feelings of hurt are one of the most common feelings in human relationships whether it be personal or professional.
Firstly, it is very important to understand that all negative/uncomfortable emotions have some higher purpose. They are there to serve us in some form, not to harm us. I like to call them Indicators.
The purpose of these emotional indicators is to direct our attention towards something that requires some action or some change.
Even though it might apparently be painful and discomforting, the core intent behind negative emotions is positive.
These indicators are there to drive us to make some beneficial changes either in our lives or our mindset and behavior.
To be able to take benefit from this and understand what this particular emotion of “hurt” is trying to tell us, it is important that we keep a curious and open-minded attitude, and avoid the stubborn, self-pity, blaming behavior in which people become determined to take the stance of a victim or defend their ego.
Such a state of mind is never productive and only causes more pain.
Take this as an example. When we get a cut on our finger. Our body produces pain signals to bring that cut into our conscious attention so that we do something about it.
If we were to take a stubborn approach and not pay attention to it, it will only get worse, won’t it?
Even after we pay attention, instead of doing something about it, we just sit and keep on crying over it and feel pity, that won’t help either, would it?
The most productive approach would be to first do something to heal it.
Maybe you might want to visit a doctor if needed. You might also want to take the “cause” into consideration so that you learn a lesson and avoid getting cut next time.
So What Does The Feeling Of Hurt Indicate?
To get over the hurt feelings, it’s important to dive a bit deeper and understand what causes us to feel hurt. What is this emotion of hurt trying to tell you?
Feelings of hurt come from some form of a sense of loss. A loss of something we might have expected from a person, consciously or unconsciously.
It can be a loss of trust, loss of closeness, loss of rapport and connection, loss of respect, etc. varying from situation to situation.
This feeling of hurt indicates that the expectations that we had from someone have not been fulfilled.
We trusted someone by unconsciously expecting them to be a certain way but what they did was against what we expected.
We respected someone and that person didn’t meet the standards we expected from them in our minds.
We expected to have a deep connection with someone but that person didn’t meet the criteria we had of having a deep sense of connection.
We felt close to someone but then they did something that didn’t match our mindset and now we feel distant from them.
All these kinds of feelings indicate some sense of loss. So identify what expectations you had of the other person that they were unable to meet. What sense of loss are you having?
This feeling of hurt might be an indication for you that you must change the way you are processing and perceiving that person’s actions or else you will keep on feeling hurt and disappointed.
Maybe it is indicating that you have to be more flexible in your expectations and be more open if things don’t go your way.
So What To Do When Someone Hurts Your Feelings? How To Stop Hurting Inside?
How do you usually react when someone hurts your feelings?
A common reaction to getting hurt is that we tend to feel sorry for ourselves and go into self-pity, which leads to blaming.
“How could he/she do that to me?“
“I did so much for this person and this is how they treat me?“
“I was trying to be helpful and kind, but he/she didn’t appreciate my kindness.“
“I’m always nice to everyone yet people are rude to me.“
“All I was trying to do was to make things better, but he/she doesn’t understand or cooperate.“
Sounds familiar? All such self-pitiful thoughts only increase the pain of getting hurt.
Acknowledge The Hurt & Pain
Acknowledging emotional pain and hurt feelings is different than going into self-pity and blame. It helps you rationalize what is going on inside of you rather than getting blinded by the roller coaster of emotions.
Acknowledging your emotions prevents you from getting hypnotized by your emotions and instead, enables you to observe them consciously.
Here’s how to deal with hurt feelings and emotional pain more consciously:
1) Get a hold of the reality
Notice that the sense of loss you might be having, (as we looked into earlier) it is just that, a “Sense”. In reality, you might not be losing anything, and the person might not even be aware that their actions caused you to feel hurt.
Let’s do a small exercise:
Dissociate from yourself for a moment. Imagine stepping outside of your body and then gradually stepping into the body of the other person and view the situation from their perspective.
See from their eyes, hear from their ears, feel from that person’s body and think with their brain.
Notice that maybe that person does not really intend to hurt you but gets caught up in his/her circumstances or thoughts and that is why they act and behave that way.
It will be more beneficial if you do this with your eyes closed and take your time to imagine this clearly.
You might notice that what you were assuming is not the actual matter at all.
Maybe the reality is totally different than what you have been perceiving. It’s totally okay to accept that.
We as humans, often get stuck in our own world of thoughts. Stepping outside of ourselves and dissociating helps us see things from other perspectives and realize other possible realities.
This in-turn adds on to our wisdom and understanding of things.
2) Communicate & Express Your
Settle down, Relax, and pick a good time to talk to that person. A time when he/she too is relaxed and free to talk.
Tell that person what you feel in a soft, wise, and elegant way. Have the patience to listen to their response and be open to respecting their perspective.
Don’t expect an apology or you’ll get hurt again. Instead, set an intention to understand the other person’s perspective, resolve the conflict, and clear the air between you two.
Remember, you’re doing this to let go of the feeling of hurt and move on, NOT to fight over who’s right and who’s wrong.
Also, keep in mind that you expressing your hurt feelings might take the other person by surprise (in case they are not even aware that their actions were hurtful).
They might deny or go into defensive mode at first. If that happens, just relax and allow them to digest what is going on. Sometimes it’s hard for people to accept their shortcomings in front of someone, but when they are by themselves, they might reflect over it and realize the consequences of their actions.
Allow them that space to think and learn.
(BONUS) Focus On The The People Who Appreciate You
Often when we encounter a few negative experiences, we tend to forget the countless blessings in our lives including the people who really appreciate and care for us.
Those blessings and people deserve more of our mind-space and emotional energy, don’t they? Cherish them, spend time with them, and be grateful for their existence in your life.
Life is not perfect, it will never be. It has it’s up and downs. The only way to have a great time on this journey of life is to focus on what good is happenings in our lives.
The “not so positive” experiences must not be ignored either, instead, it’s crucial to acknowledge and deal with them at the right time. However, much of our focus and attention much be consumed by the positives of our life, and we are the ones to take charge and direct our focus towards what empowers us.
Processing our thoughts and emotions in a positive and effective way empowers us to make better choices and move on with our lives.
It’s important to realize and remember that most of it is just in our head. When we realize this, it becomes easier for us to see things more clearly, analyze the situation, and come to harmony with our emotions (indicators).
When we operate from a heightened sense of consciousness and self-awareness, we find solutions and happiness in the midst of all the challenges.
That is why it’s so important to approach our problems and challenges with Curiosity!
You can learn in-depth about How To Develop A Healthy Curiosity here.
Talk to you soon!