Saturday, September 29, 2012

How to Deal with Hurt Feelings

Why is it that when I think my skin is finally thick, or that I'm too old and "sophisticated" to get my feelings hurt - WHAM!  Sometimes I think I'm too sensitive.  Is it because I'm a woman?  Am I being hormonal?

There probably is something to the fact that women tend to be more sensitive than men.  Little girls are taught in many cultures to be mindful of others and to put others before themselves.  There is probably some hereditary trait that is passed on from one generation, regardless of gender, to the next.  Being sensitive, however, is not a weakness.  In fact, it's usually the more sensitive ones who are the successful negotiators and they are certainly the ones we run to with a problem.

"You're so sensitive!"  Even that statement, albeit true, can be hurtful.  There are times that a flip comment would roll off our backs and yet that same statement given other circumstances can bring us to our knees.

If we are going to take mean words or careless words or thoughtless actions to heart then why do we dismiss compliments?  Shouldn't they go hand-in-hand?  Why are we selective and how do we move forward?

While we are searching within, there are a few things we can do to minimize the hurtful comments.


What is your Current Situation
Are you in a stressful situation?  Are you tired?  Are you in the middle of learning or trying something new? 

Consider the Source
Is this someone you trust, a stranger, or someone who is known for their rudeness? 

Remind Yourself of Your Strengths
Rather than getting upset over a hurtful comment or discussing the situation with someone else, think of all your strengths.  "You're a good person, responsible, always on time, keep a clean and tidy home." Then watch how quickly your mood increases for the better. 

Have the Person Repeat the Comment
Having the person repeat a comment is a nice way of having them look at their thoughtlessness.  It might also clarify your misunderstanding.  Who knows, maybe your mind was elsewhere and you didn't hear the statement correctly.

Count to 10 and then Physically Remove Yourself from the Situation



Hurt feelings are inevitable in this imperfect world.  Though we may be educated, we are not always the best communicators.

Sometimes we are mean like when trying to impress our friends.  Sometimes we lash out when we are in pain.  Picture yourself running late.  You're in the car and the lady in front of you stalls or doesn't know where she is going because she's in a new town.  You don't know that she's having a terrible day or that she doesn't know where she is going.  Instead, you think about how she is making you even later than you already are.  You find yourself lashing out at her incompetence to drive.

We are human.

We make mistakes and sometimes lash out at others.  If we were able to remove ourselves from the situation momentarily, we would certainly handle everything differently.  We would remain calm, put ourselves in the other person's shoes or calmly realize that an off-handed remark was nothing more than a momentary lapse in judgment.


The next time you get your feelings hurt, keep these things in mind.
  • It's okay to have hurt feelings.  They are a part of life.
  • Your hurt feelings are telling you something.  You might be tired.
  • You have a choice to hold onto your hurt feelings or let them go.  We are responsible for our own well being.  We can choose to be a victim and allow others to have control over our feelings or we can take charge.
  • Forgive yourself for allowing your feelings to get hurt.  This acknowledges the truth and allows you to move to a state of empowerment.


The most important thing to understand and realize is that you are more powerful than your hurt feelings.  They belong to you for as long as you want.  Own them, feel them, but don't allow them to pull you under.  Listen to the part of you that is hurting.  Allow its voice to be heard, love it, and then let it go.


How do you deal with your hurt feelings?  How did you feel the last time you inadvertently hurt someone's feelings?


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