Tiny Wisdom: When We Hurt People Because We’re Hurting

“There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally.” ~Don Miguel Ruiz 

The other day I received a comment on an old blog post that started with, “You’re full of crap,” and ended with, “I don’t know, and idiots like you don’t help us figure it out.”

Shortly after, I received an email from a new blogger who recently contributed to the site. She mentioned she’d received her first harsh comment, and she wanted to know if this is normal, and how she should deal with it.

I told her she will likely engage in far more constructive, uplifting conversations than negative, hurtful ones.

But this kind of thing is to be expected when you write about emotionally charged topics, especially since we often search for self-help articles when we’re looking for answers—or we’re looking to forget the answer we already know: that pain is unavoidable, and sometimes we simply need to go through it.

With this in mind, I responded privately to my reader, “I get the impression you’re really hurting right now. Is there some way I can help?”

Right then I thought about all the times I lashed out at people when I was suffering in the past. And I thought about how justified I felt in hurting others, especially when they’d hurt me first, or failed to really help.

These are not things I am proud to admit, and they’re not things I’d recommend or condone. We all have a responsibility to learn healthy ways to cope.

But I suspect if we're honest with ourselves, most of us can identify moments when we acted thoughtlessly, from a place of sorrow or anger.

Most of us have felt pain burning like a hot coal in our hands and felt desperate to unload it, somehow, somewhere.

I don’t appreciate being called an idiot, and I know I don’t deserve it, just like none of us deserve misdirected rage from a family member, coworker, or stranger.

We have a right to set boundaries and communicate when something is not okay. But the world is a better place when we choose to do that from a place of love and compassion instead of righteousness and judgment.

We all act thoughtlessly at times. Most often we don’t mean to hurt each other. We just don’t recognize or remember how to stop hurting ourselves.

Photo by Yim Hafiz

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Her latest bookTiny Buddha's Gratitude Journal, which includes 15 coloring pages, is now available for purchase. For daily wisdom, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram..

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  • Nat06001

    I love this blog, I have done this in my life and I have had it done to me often as well. Some of the most hurtful of arguments are with those that are deeply hurting inside. Its up to us to realize when this is happening and help with what we can.Thanks for writing this Lori!

  • It’s always amazing when one is able to “remove themself” from the situation and see it with compassion.  When someone lashes out, it’s most often not even about the person on the receiving end so it benefits everyone when they don’t take it personally.  Offering help to someone who has hurt you is one of the kindest, most unselfish gifts you can give.

    Well said, Lori – thanks for this beautifully written piece!  It was a great reminder for me today.

  • Deborah

    fits right in with yesterday’s blog (by your guest) about Perceptual Language
    My favorite part: “We have a right to set boundaries and communicate when something is not okay.
    But the world is a better place when we choose to do that from a place of love
    and compassion, instead of righteousness and judgment.”

    All I can say is keep doing what your doing and know that your work changes lives…even the grumpy ones! 😀

  • Vp

    I have done this recently..lashed out at someone i love and i behaved so badly but the other person just took it without saying a word. I felt embarrassed at myself for losing control like that and with her not saying a word and still talking to me the same way she used to before made me realize how insensitive i was. I had no right to talk like that but at the end of it..still being part of her life made me feel honored

  • anon

    I’ve been meaning to write for a long time, to thank you, but have never seemed to find the right time – largely due to my wanting to say something eloquent and insightful. But, after reading this post I decided this is the right time and that it doesn’t really matter how i say it, just that I do … I am so very grateful for what you do. I have found tiny buddha to be so incredibly helpful and inspiring to my journey. it makes me laugh, cry, nod knowingly, breath deeply, smile. I appreciate the honesty, love, time, thought, passion that you put into this blog. In short – you rock! thank you for being you and for doing this for us – you make a huge difference in peoples lives!

  • Karen

    This post is absolutely perfectly timed, because it is an issue I am having to deal with at the moment – only I’m the one who is lashing out.  Over the last couple of days I have found myself in a place where I have hurt someone I love very much and I realise that it is because I am hurting.  The situation triggers something in me that makes me feel unimportant or not good enough and I want to hit out and make someone else feel as bad as I do.  And so I now recognise this and hopefully will be able to be aware of and moderate my responses in the future! 

  • Andrea

    I learned this lesson in life just over a year ago through attending a week long retreat and since then has been so life changing and freeing for me. Now admittedly I do still take things personally on occasion but as soon as I find myself in that place I am able to get myself out of it so much faster and think to myself how arrogant it is of me to make it all about me.  

  • Sarah

    Both your blog and your guest’s blog, James McWhinney, were very timely and quite helpful to me today … Though I am finding that all of your blogs (and guest’s blogs) are timely and helpful … I love the synchronicity that your posts have in my life!  I have been working very hard on my connection to “what is”.  Working on aligning myself with the universe and my higher power.  I have done this all of my life and find that being human means that we can never stop working on staying “centered” staying aligned with all that is.  I am 65 years old and laugh inside at finding myself at another crossroads in my life.  Which way to go?  Working on manifesting my dreams … Life is wonderful and I am so thankful to have found you to help keep my spirits high.  Your little reminders of the importance of facing life, head on …with a smile on my face, joy in my heart and love in my soul.  I could go on … just, thank you, Lori, for the work that you do and for sharing your life in such a public forum.  Love, light, joy, peace, well-being and great abundance to you 😀 ♥

  • Kerry Goodrich

    “Most of us have felt pain burning like a hot coal in our hands, and felt desperate to unload it, somehow, somewhere.” This was palapable to me…

  • Sometimes the truth hurts

  • Africanqueen_18

    Thank you so much! I can really relate to this article!

  • This is so true, so beautifully written, and so timely – as always!  This is fresh for me because I recently made a little youtube movie for my blog about this very thing ( and I noticed that when people didn’t respond to it, my own pain started to rise-up about “not being seen or understood”, and I saw this very cycle begin to take shape in me, how we separate or even lash out (wether it is only in our minds, or outwardly) towards others to protect ourselves, when the truth is, it is only our own thoughts and pain that we are suffering from, not theirs.  

    As soon as I saw this starting to take shape in me, I laughed at the beauty of how everything I try to do “to try and help others” (including this little video), is really only for me – to continue my OWN understanding and evolution. Helping others is just a nice side-effect of that. As they say, it is all within!

  • thank you for sharing your HONEST experience, it takes a great amount of courage to recognize this in yourself – and to put it out there for others to learn from! Bravo for you. 🙂  We hurt others because we hurt, and the cycle continues! but it stops when we’re willing to face it in ourselves – it all begins with us!

  • v

    This is so true. I take things much more neutrally ever since I’ve discovered that when someone else is mean towards you, it’s not your problem most of the time, but the way in which their hurt makes them perceive you.


  • Hi Lori,

    This really hit home for me. I recently had to stop speaking with an ex boyfriend who really hurt me. And in the moment I was so hurt, I wanted to lash out and respond with any horrible phrase I could muster. And I have to admit, initially I did. But then I sat down, thought passed the hurt and realized that I should thank him. And I did! I sent him a thank you note for the joys and the pain because I learned a lot about myself. I’m not saying it still doesn’t hurt because it doesn’t magically go away. I’m just choosing to find the lessons to grow instead. I hope this makes sense.

    Thanks for validating my choice!

  • Thank you

    Thank you for this post. Ah, the countless times in my life where I’ve taken things far too personally–the grief, stress, and needless worry about things beyond my control.  Finally, I understand; thank you.

  • Deborah

    Reading your response, I had a “light-bulb” moment….a way to think about what’s going on when people lash out at me….
    Thanks! 😀

  • Thanks so much for taking the time to write. I appreciate your kind words! When I think about the impact I’d like to make, I hope to do exactly what you described. Thank you for being part of the community here. =)

  • Thanks so much for taking the time to write Sarah! I’m glad the posts have been helpful to you. I enjoyed James’ post as well. His questions really got me thinking about what matters to me and what I want to do with my time. Sending love, light, peace, and joy right back to you!

  • You’re most welcome. I’ve done the same, and it’s something I’ve really been working at over these past few years. It’s such a sense of freedom to let go in this way!

  • That’s wonderful Taryn! I imagine it feels great to focus on the lessons and not the pain. I think every struggle we have in life can seem not only bearable but also useful if we recognize how it can help us grow and thrive.

  • Thank *you* for reading and sharing your thoughts!

  • Thanks Allanah! I know I appreciate it when people offer me compassion. I hope my email to her (and the rest of our email exchange) helped.

  • Thanks so much Deborah! I really appreciated the post on perceptual language. It’s such a great way to take responsibility for our own experience and create change from the inside out!

  • Sounds like you have a wonderful friend. =)

  • I second what Sunni wrote. I really admire that you shared this story! I actually had something silly happen recently that triggered similar feelings (that I am not good enough) so I know how uncomfortable that can be. I really believe that self-awareness is everything. We’re all works in progress!

  • That’s a good point Andrea. It reminds me of the quote, “You wouldn’t worry so much of what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” This one really made me think!

  • Wow, this is really insightful. That’s great advice to approach an angry person with love and compassion. When I’m feeling angry or scared or helpless, I tend to lash out at people. But that’s when I need love the most! It’s important to recognize this in others instead of dismissing their anger.

    That’s too bad that you got a hurtful comment. I learn a lot from your blog, and I appreciate how you try to get us to see things from a different angle. Thanks!

  • Dshort2010

    It takes a long time to realize that people who say hurtful things like this are really hurting themselves. They long for help, but can’t break through their own pain and lash out instead.
    I told my mom one time (well probably more than once) that I was not angry at her, and that I had forgiven her a long time ago.  She called me a liar.  It hurt. After some time passed, I realized that she thought I was lying…because forgiveness is not something she understands or has been able to do.  She asked me once what it was that I wanted, I said I just wanted her to respect me…she said I didn’t deserve it.  Well, again, it hurt.  Again, I realized that her comment had more to do with herself than with me.

    People can’t hurt you unless you let them.  It’s hard to grasp, I know that.  However, reading A New Earth sort of helped me with that in regards to my mom.

    xoxo to you…and I hope you know, that person and their comment is just a lashing out, and it’s not personal.

  • Emma

    This is so true. I work in mental health and I see this time and again with my clients, as their relationships suffer because they cannot seem to stop self destructing. On a different (probably less obvious) level, I see this in my own life also. This is a real reminder to stop and step back when we want to lash out, and to recognise that moment as an opportunity to respond in a different, more healing way. Thank you.

  • Well done for your response! I find it hard not to take things personally, I guess it’s just part of the journey to learn to be more rational 🙂 

  • Anon

    Lori, I love reading your wisdom “hurt people hurt people”…I want to ask you; I am always working to non-reactively respond lovingly or positively when attacked however recently a tragic betrayal happened where a good girlfriend and the gent I was dating for years had an affair behind my back…I let them have it in a conversation and then cut off communication with both – I am not proud that I got angry with them but my traditionally balanced yoga self couldn’t handle this one; when a betrayal that is so hurtful happens, how does one take the high road?

  • I can really relate to your experiences with your mother. What a great insight about her capacity for forgiveness. It’s helped me a lot to adopt this mindset, that most of the harsh words and deeds that have come my way haven’t really been about me. 

    Thank you for sharing your experiences here!

  • Thanks so much Sage! That’s such a good point, about when we need love the most. There have been times when I’ve gone from extreme anger to tears and realized that pain was bubbling right under the surface. It helps me to remember that other people are a lot like me!

  • Hi there,

    I’m so sorry to learn about this betrayal. It’s tough for me to speak to this, as I’ve never been in your shoes, and everything is so much different when it’s theoretical. However, I have been deeply hurt in the past, by someone I trusted. 

    What helped me was to communicate my feelings clearly, so that I acknowledged it was not okay to treat my thoughtlessly or abusively, and then set clear boundaries so they could no longer hurt me. I try to honor the person I want to be by resisting the urge to rehash these incidents with the other person. So for me, it’s about respecting myself through my choices, and then consciously choosing to let go of what happened in the past. Admittedly, this is something I’ve had to do over and over again, as there are things and events that sometimes trigger me and bring up old wounds. 

    I’m not sure if this speaks to your experience at all, but perhaps it will provide some food for thought.


  • Thanks Andy! There are times when I take things personally still. It’s something I’m always working at!

  • You’re most welcome!

  • You’re most welcome Emma. It must be so rewarding to work with people as you do, knowing you make such a profound difference for their emotional well-being. Having spent a lot of time in the mental health system as a teen and in my early 20s, I know it’s a challenging job. Though I know I’ve never worked with you, I’d like to say thank you for what you do!

  • Connie

    I know I’ve been the ultimate “Crustella” and wish there were times I could go back and erase my less than savoury behaviour. The good thing is it is all a learning experience, there have been times I was able to apologize on the spot or when I ran into the individual months later. I’ve learned that I don’t like who that person is and try my best to just let some things go or just remove myself from indivdiuals that are just not good in my life, which ends that cycle.

    We are not perfect, but are all works in progress on our own journeys towards enlightment.

  • Beautifully written Connie! I think that’s smart about ending the cycle in those negative relationships. Sometimes it’s just best to walk away…it’s been the case in my life, as well!

  • Therapyneeded

    let me tweet about this.

  • That’s very true though, and the trickiest part is we seldom recognize that we’re doing it at the exact moment. I can count on my fingers the instances where my anger and frustration has seeped out and affected my dealings with people.

  • Peurifoy Chris


    This fits perfectly in my life fight now. I have been hurting for a long time and it has not been until recently that I have discovered effective ways to deal with it. Unfortunately I have inflicted great pain and suffering on those I hold closest to my heart for quite a long time. I realize that I am impatient and want the pain to stop which causes me to digress in my efforts. This is quite a simple concept yet it is incredibly difficult as I have 30 years of making others feel what I feel. I have hope that if I continue practicing loving kindness and compassion, I will get better in time.

  • Yetti

    So, one of my roommates and his girlfriend fight a lot. They are both cool people, but it just seems to happen and I can tell that my roommate is getting tired of it. I’ve talked with both of them, not specifically about fighting and I can’t see his girlfriend starting these fights. My roommate on the other hand seems to think that she always starts them. I think it goes something like this;
    The girlfriend says something stupid, or is worried about her own problems and tries to seek comfort.
    The boyfriend takes the comment personally and lashes out at her, or says something even stupider in return.
    I think he starts it because after one of their fights I asked if he wanted to talk about it, he said, “I can never respond in a way that is remotely negative, she will just explode at me if I do.”
    I wanted to tell him then that responding with more negativity doesn’t help the situation, like it just doesn’t help and only creates more conflict. In math multiplying 2 negatives makes a positive, in real life this does not happen. I didn’t actually respond this way because I had the feeling that he would take it personally, and feel that I’m attacking him, then lash out. So instead I changed the subject to bring about positive emotions.

    Is there any way that I can help him, with out putting him on the defensive?

  • I understand. Change isn’t easy, especially when we’re working to overcome decades of conditioning and learned behavior. It sounds like you’re wonderfully self-aware. When I’ve felt frustrated with myself in the past, it helped me to remember I was being honest with myself, and that’s huge. If we know what we want to change and we work at it, there’s no reason we can’t grow over time. I’m sending lots of lots of love and good thoughts your way!

  • Perhaps you could say something like this, “I know this might be tough on you, and I’d love to help if I can. Would you be open to hearing my thoughts as an unbiased outsider?” In this way, you’re asking his permission to share what you perceive, which might decrease the odds of him becoming defensive. 

    In sharing your perceptions (if he consents to listen), it might help to phrase things along the lines of, “You might not intend to ____ but perhaps she thinks you’re ____.” In other words, don’t make direct accusations; just present different ways to look at things.

    I hope this helps!

  • Yetti

     Thank you very much Lori, that’s a good idea. The next time it comes up, I’ll ask if he wants my opinion, and phrase those opinions in a way that sheds light with out pointing fingers; that will defiantly help to avoid escalating his mood.

    Have a good day,

  • Patriciabe

    I just found your blog and I am very impressed.  I had taken some courses on line and began opening up my world to the blogging community.
    I am trying to let go of my past; release negative energy and move on with my life by finding my truth.  I had an ANGEL reading done a year or so ago and she said some interesting things – one being that I have taken on many burdens that are not mine to carry in this life time and this is blocking me from living my truth and my dreams.  I have been putting being me aside for the sake of my child and grandchild.  I did this from my heart as I felt sorry for my little grandchild that he had to endure my daughter’s anger and her dumping him off with a stranger for days at a time.  My grandson’s dad paid me to watch him but that task was a 24/7 responsibility and my daughter did not grant me any time off – so for 10 months my grandson was with me day and night (he slept well with me – hardly at all in his own bed – I needed sleep, so he slept in my bed)
    I recently decided that I could no longer take my daughter’s abusive tone toward me and found a job and told her she could keep her money and I left.  I worry about my grandson but for the first time in 10 months I have had some time (freedom) for myself. Precious!
    I did find some peace with what you wrote:
    I don’t appreciate being called an idiot, and I know I don’t deserve it. Just like none of us deserve misdirected rage from a family member, coworker, or stranger.
    We have a right to set boundaries and communicate when something is not okay. But the world is a better place when we choose to do that from a place of love and compassion, instead of righteousness and judgment.
    We all act thoughtlessly at times. Most often we don’t mean to hurt each other. We just don’t recognize or remember how to stop hurting ourselves.

    Thank you.
    I know I have a long way to go but I have just taken one big step.  Now I just need to find how to stop worrying about my grandson – he can’t protect himself.

  • Tinarose29

    You have been a great help with my journey….idiot??? Very far from it….you are an ANGEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xxx

  • True Collar Worker

    We’re all full of crap! And full of love and beauty and pain and mistakes and everything else. I always think of this when I hear the song “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve…”I’m a million different people from one day to the next.” It’s amazing how powerful and influential our negativity can be, but also the capacity to love and inspire as well, and there is nothing more courageous than being alive and vulnerable. That’s what I appreciate most about Tiny Buddha, Lori. Your willingness to express vulnerability and pain, thereby alleviating the shame of feeling like we’re not perfect or have it all figured out. Beware the righteousness of certainty!

  • It sounds like you have such a good heart, and your family is fortunate for your support. I’m sure it must have been difficult to make that choice, but how wonderful you’re taking care of your own needs too. I’m glad my post was helpful to you, and I’m sending good thoughts your way!

  • Thank you so much! =)

  • I love what you wrote about everything we’re full of, and the reference to “Bittersweet Symphony.” I love that song! Thank you for the kind words about my writing. I really appreciate the opportunity to share the things I’ve struggled with, because I spent a long time feeling ashamed and alone. I feel much more empowered in my uncertainty and imperfections when I’m honest, and I focus on growing a little every day. It really means the world to me that I can do that *and* help other people in the process!

  • Dana

    I once saw it put as “we’re often hurt by people who hurt more than us. We’re never cut by unbroken glass”. Re-orients the old perspective glands, that…

  • Carol

    What a great post!  You’ve probably heard the saying that We Learn what we live and the accompanying saying about if a child learns to live with criticism they become critics… (and end up lashing out). When you grow up with lots of criticism, it becomes a habit to take it all in – so much more so than when we are praised.  (Especially when we are criticized by perfectionist parents who seek to perfect their children by pointing out weaknesses rather than praising strengths…)

    Life is full of those who lash out, who project to satisfy their own inadequacies, who love to criticize just because they need the world to know that they are … right (argh!)

    It is simply unfortunate that people feel compelled to complain loudly and often, and do not feel the same compulsion to praise! (Statistics show that customers complain to 2-8 people on average but will brag about good service to maybe one other – what inequality!)

    Keep on moving forward – no one kicks a dead dog so you know if you hit a nerve and someone reacts, well, you’re joining the ranks of what it takes to be a great journalist!

  • Dee

    Hello Lori,
    I really find comfort in reading  your posts at hard times. Thank you for sharing your feelings and spreading your positive vibes to everyone. My partner outlashes at times due to me having had hurt his feelings in the past. I try to understand and acknowledge my mistakes. I am also changing for him and for a better me, but I cannot deny, trying to understand and be better for him and at the same time, trying to toughen up against his harsh words can be frustrating and it brings me down sometimes. However, your posts here and other posts has help me stay strong, and if you have a little bit more advise on coping with hurt people better, do share !
    Hope you have a good weekend ahead, please continue writing and inspiring all of us. ♥

  • You’re most welcome Dee. I’m sure that can’t be easy, having your partner lash out at you like that. I know you mentioned it’s related to things that happened in the past, but you don’t deserve to be mistreated! There’s actually a post on the site that may be interesting to you (or your partner):

    I hope this helps! You have a good weekend as well. =)

  • ineluctable

    I was expecting this article to be more of a broad observation of how people who have been hurt in the past hurt others, the dynamics between online and face-to-face conversations are different. I do agree that we have the right to communicate when something’s not okay. Currently I am experiencing adult bullying in which my right to communicate is being silenced, which makes it more difficult to actually set boundaries and speak up. For example this person will demand for me to stop talking and if I keep talking the confrontation escalates quickly. It gets to the point where all I can do is try to defend my freedom of speech but I have to practically risk my life to do that and I get nowhere in terms of proper communication, the other person gets in my face and drowns out my voice by talking louder than me. Besides not being in the same room as this person and avoiding them completely I have no clue how to improve communication, if the other person won’t let me talk what should I do? This person was bullied when they were younger and now is much older and thought I should point out I’m in my mid 20’s.

  • I am so sorry to hear about what you’ve been going through with the adult bullying. Is avoiding this person an option? When someone isn’t open to communication, in my experience, sometimes it’s best not to communicate at all.

  • Alex

    Hey, thank you. I’m going through some things now and although what you note doesn’t stop the entirety of the suffering that’s been sent my way, it places it in a better perspective.

  • You’re most welcome. I’m glad this helped!

  • Crystal

    Beautiful! I needed this! I am a constant worrier…started my sophomore year of college where I became an adult in a month I feel! It’s really hard to believe it’s okay to make mistakes when no one tells you that…but I took a step back, and really got help and talked to people about how I felt and they all said I was beating myself up! I realized this…and I’m even now still accepting that it’s okay to make mistakes, as long as you are trying! Yesterday I had been feeling good, but then lashed out at my dad who lashed out at me because he was in a bad mood. I called him a jack ass, and I think it hurt me more than him, cause I had been trying for so long to control my temper around him. I went up to my room and cried called my boyfriend and called my self an idiot, depressed, crazy, a freak, a fuck up, a mistake ridden mess. I said mistakes wern’t okay in my world cause they just make things worse…but the truth is…mistakes are great! As long as you know how to control them! I could have kept beating myself up…but instead I apologized to my dad and wrote this post! I lashed out, but it happens, I can just try and not do that…or I can worry about…

  • Crystal


  • Very inspiring, Crystal! I make my fair share of mistakes, and I sometimes lash out when I am hurting. I think we all do. But if we can own up to our mistakes, learn, and move forward, everyone benefits.

  • fehb

    my sister always hurt me wth a simple arguments.. y she keep angry nd hates me even ive done nothing wrong wth her?? pls give me some advice

  • Hi Fehb,

    I’m so sorry to hear about what you’re dealing with. Have you talked to your sister about this?


  • searching4innerpeace

    I hate nobody, but when they are in my heart, I have to hurt them and I have to be hurt by them.

    Eventough/dispite my bad behaviour i believe it’s not always my fault. My fault and weakness is my stuberness and sadness deep inside my heart. I hate losing people but I rather lose them, then try to keep them. To be honest I don’t care what people think about me but I do need someone who cares about me.
    maybe I’m to selfish for this world and sometimes I don’t really want to be here

  • I’m so sorry to hear about the sadness you’ve been feeling. It doesn’t sound like selfishness to me; it sounds like deep pain. How are you feeling today?

  • Carrie

    Thank you for this post although I am reading it a few years later. I am going through this right now and the desire to lash out is intense (I’m afraid and filled with anxiety over people’s words and thoughts about me which I know are not true). Thank you for the reminder on how one should handle it and respond. Truly appreciate it!

  • Emani2014

    How do you get an inmate to feel remorse for his victim

  • Livinglifewithluv

    Too many trolls and immature people on the internet. It gives the false power over others by being mean. I don’t know why they insult or whatever and give their biased opinion

  • Tiffany

    I appreciate this post a lot because all I’ve known my whole life is hurt feelings. This was truly inspiring to read. Thank you.

  • You’re most welcome, Tiffany. I’m so sorry you’ve had to know so much pain.

    Sending good thoughts your way,

  • d jones

    The h

  • Kirk Anderson

    That’s a special alchemy, that allows one to feel the hurt underneath someone’s anger, especially when the anger is aimed at us in a very personal way. Just imagine what the world would be like if everyone had a moment or two of compassionate insight like that every day. Sometimes I think it’s only me who reacts that way (and not nearly often enough!). Do you think one’s ego must be somehow fundamentally altered – from extensive suffering, maybe – before experiencing that kind of insight? Thanks for adding another point of light to the planetarium ceiling. 🙂

  • It would be a much more peaceful, loving world, that’s for sure! I think perhaps you’re right – we need to be able to see beyond our ego to move beyond our instinctive defensiveness. But a little awareness can go a long way. Just knowing that pain often underlies anger can help us step back, take a deep breath, and choose a different response.

  • Jigglypuff

    Reading this helped me understand my boyfriend even more, as well as myself. Thank you.

  • You’re most welcome!

  • Kim Rose Adams

    Man, what an awesome response with deep insight! I’d like to paraphrase this in my Instagram today.