When people in your life ‘do wrong’ by you, it is easy to feel like you need to ‘do wrong’ back.
I think this is the most ‘natural’ reaction a human being has to being hurt by another human. Yet, as you know, sometimes our natural or instinctual reactions may not serve us in the best way.
One thing I have learned is that if you lash out at people who hurt you, you only end up hurting yourself in a worse way.
Instead of being quick to react, it is better to try to seek understanding first. This means you are responding from a place of power and wisdom, rather than emotion.
When someone does or says something that hurts you, it is usually coming from a place of hurt inside them. Remember the famous phrase from Rick Warren: ‘hurt people, hurt people.’
My suggestion is a simple one: rather than respond, just listen for the hurt.
Ask the person why they did what they did, how they saw the situation, and what they feel happened from their perspective.
This is sometimes easier said than done, as you might feel very emotional in the moment. Sometimes you need some space to cool off and come back to the situation a little while after.
If you can truly understand why or what might be driving them to act in the way that they are, you will discover the hurt that is causing them to hurt you.
Once you know this, you can then make a decision from a place of love and compassion.
Keep in mind that very often people don’t know that they have hurt you. We are all very self absorbed in our own life and emotions, so it is easy to miss when we have hurt someone.
If someone has done or said something to hurt you, it is your responsibility to speak up and tell them it is not okay. You can still seek to understand their perspective, but its important to set a boundary and let them know how you feel.
You are a human being just the same as them, and you have a right to tell them when they hurt you.
If the person who is hurting you doesn’t see that they are hurting you, or refuses to change their future behavior, then perhaps it’s time to start to move on from the relationship.
If the person is willing to amend their behavior, then the relationship has a chance to grow to a deeper level.
The next time you feel someone has hurt you, remember that something painful inside of them is driving their behavior too. More than likely it is hurt.
Listen for the hurt. It is the key to healing the heart.