What to Do When Someone Hurts Your Feelings

Day 6: Emotional Adulthood


From the time we were small children, most of us have heard “don’t do that, you’ll hurt their feelings.” “That’s not nice, say you’re sorry, you hurt their feelings.”

Even as a developmentally appropriate preschool teacher, committed to implementing the most current practices into my programs, I remember teaching the kids to “use their words”, which often sounded like “I don’t like that. That makes me sad.”

We buy into the belief that what we do or say can cause another person to feel a certain way.

Here’s the thing, it’s just not true. Other people don’t have the power to hurt our feelings. We do that all on our own.

Let me share a few examples.

A friend asks two mutual friends to go out to lunch but she doesn’t invite you. You feel sad, ignored, unimportant. Why? Many of us would say it’s because your friend didn’t invite you. I’d like to offer that it’s your thoughts about it that hurt.

Here’s the thing, if they went to lunch and you didn’t know about it, you wouldn’t feel bad.

The act of “not being invited” is not painful. It’s only when you give meaning to it by thinking thoughts like “They must be mad at me. One of them doesn’t like me. They didn’t want me to go. Something’s wrong with me” that you feel bad.

Let’s take a look at another example. In your relationship your spouse gets a little snarky and snaps at you. You huff off feeling hurt and disrespected. Why do you feel that way? Raise your hand if you think it’s because your spouse was snarky. The pain comes from thinking that your spouse “shouldn’t be snarky.” Anything that you think shouldn’t be happening that is happening will feel bad. There’s no way around it. You’re arguing with what is.

Emotional adulthood is when we take 100% responsibility for how we feel at all times. Regardless of what those around us are doing or saying. By owning our emotions and claiming our thoughts, we take back all of the power in regards to how we feel.

We can control and decide how we want to feel in any situation. We don’t have to be a victim of our circumstances.

Such good news!

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree?

I’d love to know.

If you feel like you are at the mercy of those around you, constantly feeling bad because of what’s happening to you and in your life, let’s talk.