It is a fact of life that you will get hurt. Your feelings will get hurt. Your ego will get hurt. But, what you do when people hurt you is what matters.
We all get hurt. We get a bruised ego from a mean comment online or when our partner forgets our anniversary. And when people hurt you, there are a lot of ways to react to that.
You can scream and cry. You can vent or shut down. But, how you react to pain when people hurt you is what shows your true character.
What do you do when people hurt you?
Before getting into how to react when people hurt you, think about what you currently do. Last time you felt hurt, how did you respond?
Did you drink heavily or give them the cold shoulder? Did you take some time to cool down before reacting?
If your current emotional state after someone hurts you is calm and controlled, you are probably just fine as you are. Of course, being upset and uncontrolled is normal. We all get hurt and have a right to be upset. But how we show that pain is what defines us and what leads us into the future.
Let’s say your partner lies to you about buying something you didn’t agree on. You would feel betrayed or disrespected. You would be upset, and you should be.
But, if you lash out at them or try to get revenge by doing the same to them, that doesn’t really do any good. That just extends the pain for both of you. Instead, take some time to cool off from the initial pain and talk about how your partner can earn your trust back, you can move forward on a positive note.
It is very tempting to give in to your emotions, especially when they are fresh off of someone hurting you. But, that can often lead to regret and make things worse rather than better.
I know it sounds cheesy, but taking the pain and turning it into something good is so much better than taking the pain and turning it into more pain. [Read: How to be a better person and grow into a kind human]
What to do when people hurt you
When people hurt you, it sucks. You want to lash out. You may want to hurt them back. I get it. We are human and far from perfect.
But, knowing what to do when people hurt you so that the situation improves can help you in every aspect of your life. Whether a friend betrays you, a partner forgets something important, or a coworker steals your idea, knowing what to do when people hurt you will take you far.
#1 Breathe. The first thing you should do when someone hurts you is breathe. Try to let go of the initial anger you feel. If you react immediately, not only could you potentially say something you’ll regret, but you won’t know how things could have worked out if you were calmer.
Step back from what happened. In the midst of being hurt by someone, your emotions are heightened. Once you cool down, focus on how you really feel and make more rational decisions. Go for a walk, exercise, or even have a snack and then come back to it. [Read: How to forgive someone and unburden your mind]
#2 Think about it. Once you have taken time away from the initial shock of being hurt, think about the situation at hand. Were you overreacting? Did someone hurt you directly or indirectly? Was this intentional?
Consider all sides of what happened. Are you only looking at this situation through eyes of pain and rage or are you seeing it clearly?
#3 Talk about it. Naturally, when people hurt you, you want to talk about it with them, but sometimes it is best to get another opinion from someone removed from the situation. Talk to a trusted friend or family member about how you feel and what happened.
They may be able to offer advice or even another perspective on the situation. It can be annoying when friends don’t take our sides, but playing the devil’s advocate can actually be a lot more helpful in the long run.
#4 Talk to them. Once you cool down and think about your feelings and the situation, talk to the person that hurt you. Let them know how what they did made you feel.
Are you angry, sad, disappointed? Let them know what they can do to make it up to you. Do you need space and time or just an apology? [Read: How to stop being a doormat and feel in control of your life again]
#5 Ask yourself if it is worth it. It is always important to discuss when people hurt you. That is how you keep the lines of communication open and prevent bitterness and resentment in relationships. But, also pick your battles.
This person may have hurt you, but was it an honest mistake? Was it something worth fighting over?
#6 Is your trust broken? When people hurt you, it can be in all sorts of ways. But, when people hurt you enough to break your trust, getting over it can be a lot more difficult. And in that case, let them know that your trust is broken or else they will never know they need to regain it.
Is there anything they can do to gain your trust back or do you just need time? Can you get over it at all? Is the trust gone for good?
#7 Can you forgive them? Trust and forgiveness are two different things. Trust is vital in relationships and can be rebuilt over time. But forgiveness is something else. Even if the person that hurt you gains your trust back, if you can’t forgive them that puts a constant strain on the relationship.
A lack of forgiveness leaves room for inequality and contempt. Forgiveness is not always easy to give, but if you can’t give it, moving on from this hurt will never happen.
#8 Move forward. If you found a way to forgive this person, move forward. When people hurt you it is normal for lingering pain, but once you forgive them it becomes dull and eventually disappears.
Letting go of when people hurt you shows you are a bigger person. It shows you don’t hold grudges and let people work harder in the future to make sure they don’t hurt you again. Offering a second chance to those who hurt you and moving forward illustrates your maturity. [Read: The 7 biggest clues of an emotionally immature person]
#9 Learn from this experience. Take each and every one of these experiences with you into the future. Every time a person hurts you, there is something to be learned. Whether you become more tolerant or more insightful, each time you are hurt by someone it doesn’t create scar tissue, but strength.
Now that you know what to do when people hurt you, take it into every one of your relationships and make them stronger.