How do I explain to someone when they hurt me?

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    Jazz Harding

    I have a hard time telling people when I am upset or hurt. I tend to keep quiet about my feelings. It is something I came to find useful when I dealt with my depression, now it controls me. I cannot take a big and important problem and openly ask someone about it, nor can I take my co workers or family memebers aside and tell them when they have upset me, and made me feel useless. This is wrong, and I know it is. What I don’t know is how to free my emotions and let people in and tell them how I feel. When you think about it, depression is an ongoing emotion that can control your mood and life if you let it. Which is what I let happen, obviously. I wish I never, this would not be an ongoing difficulty for me and I would not feel like I had no one to talk to. I keep waiting and waiting for an realization, but my mind knows that I am fine with it and it will never come.



    It is odd, because you say you cannot do things you are doing! Your post says you can’t open, but the post is open! How strange!

    I think you need to confront your fear so it stops controlling your decisions. It isn’t “I can’t take a big problem and ask for help” it is “I am afraid to ask for help.” We are all afraid of asking for help, and those of us who genuinely heal are the ones who ask anyway. You already did, so no more excuses why you can’t! 🙂

    Ticht Naht Hahn says that when we are suffering, it is difficult to say to our loved ones “I am suffering, please help.” It is difficult to be so vulnerable and open. However, it is within that vulnerability that we find the strength and community that helps us to heal. When we open, we find that we are not alone, and people have been through similar difficulties and are more than willing to share the innovations that help us.

    Part of the courage to open is accepting that not all people will open back. It has nothing to do with you, it is just them and where they are. If you put your self out there and are rejected, don’t give up, just move on. I have found so many people who open back, I know that if we keep jumping, trusting, learning, we will eventually fly.

    With warmth,

    Mark B Hoover

    First thing is to realize that *they* aren’t hurting you. Things they say or do hurt or upset you, but it is *you* who personalizes it. Once you realize that their words and actions take on an entirely different light. Your “suffering” can be dissipated by freeing your attachment to the outcomes of their behavior toward you. “How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”

    Yes, it is important what others think of you. It’s how you engage in commerce and social functioning. It is not, however, what you are. As long as you maintain integrity of body, mind and soul and live authentically, what others think of you is none of your business. Don Miguel Ruiz’s Agreement 2: Don’t take anything personally – Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

    Don’t pin your “uselessness” on others. It makes you dependent upon their approval, and subject to their taking it away. I was codependent for a long time. I found my joy in doing for others. I was also depressed…for a very long time. It’s like giving the controls of your own vehicle to a madman driver listening to static on the radio during rush hour. Once I took responsibility for my own temperament, depression no longer ruled me. I may still have it, but it no longer has me. I speak to others. I tell them that *what* they said or did upset me, but I DON’T tell them that they, personally, upset or hurt me. Because they don’t. I am the only one who can determine how I feel. There’s a saying, “Pain is inevitable, suffering is an option.”

    If you can acknowledge that “I keep waiting and waiting for a realization…” then you’ve already made that very realization. You just haven’t accepted it. Work it into your life. Make it a part of you.First thing to realize is that they aren’t hurting you. Things they say or do may hurt or upset you, but it is you who personalizes it. Once you realize that their words and actions take on an entirely different light.

    ~ Mark


    Because we are all humans and individuals, we are just as much alike as we are different. Our emotional wheels do not turn in the same direction or at the same rate of speed and because of that ‘hurt’ arrows effect us quite differently. So it is most imperative that when someone does hurt you enough that it goes beneath the surface of your emotional skin barrier that you do tell them so immediately.

    I have often had to rethink about my own actions or words that I may have use that have the potential of hurting someone without my knowledge of doing so.
    Making the other person aware will two things, you are releasing that negative energy that came to you and you are opening a window for forgiveness to pass through as well. It is always how you ‘react’ to a situation that will determine how you may ‘act’ to its final outcome. So take a breath before you do something that you will regret, erase all reasons you might want to retaliate or seek revenge.

    I do wish you well and always walk in peace.


    Hey there, I feel you with this situation because something as simple as being honest can be challenging. I’ve experienced depression and I know that sometimes you feel like it’s best to just shut yourself from even trying because you’ll look “stupid” or “desperate” or “childish” and many other critical thoughts that come to your mind. But in the bigger picture, this is just isolation which causes suffering. You have to learn to face your own inner critic and confront it so that when you do tell someone that you feel that they’ve hurt you, you do it with peace rather than anger.
    “Peace comes from within, do not seek it without”- Buddha. Whatever your intention is will return back to you. Of course, you don’t mean to do this to yourself and I understand that, so this is why you have to learn how to challenge your inner critic because otherwise it will act like a parent which will try to own you. In terms of you saying that you are useless, you’re not; you are here for a reason because this Universe has blessed you with a life to live to create a purpose which is meaningful to you and brings you happiness. Have you tried counselling by any chance? I know that sometimes the sound of it can seem scary but it’s something worth trying out because then you can develop skills to conquer those thoughts that are stopping you to feel freedom. It isn’t an easy journey but it’s worth it because then you will be taking steps that will lead you to happiness with good relationships. You can start small, just by saying something as simple as “Do you mind if I have a word with you about something?” then opening up with something like ” about before, when you did what you did I felt a little bit upset, and I just want to clear the air” that way, it’s more peaceful than approaching with a panic and a thought that they don’t like you etc. I hope this helps you because as I said I know how difficult it can be, but you need to remember that depression is an illusion in a bigger perspective. Namaste.


    Who says you have to just come out and open up with this person? That may actually harm your relationship. Most people that I know of won’t like criticism even if it’s said in the nicest ways possible. Instead you can gain cooperation in gentler, kinder indirect ways which inspire better behavior rather then punishing bad behavior. If you want people to do something differently, try figuring out what they desire and or what they fear and then you can use it as leverage.

    Peoples words, actions, and behaviors will help you learn they want or need. Observe it. If they shout a lot, and make demands then what they are really saying is, “I feel small and inferior and need to feel important.” Now you have leverage. Do things like offer them choices instead of requests, but offer your choices in a such a way that gets you what you want. Subtly emphasize the cleverness of option A while downplay the importance of option B. Chances are you know ahead of time which choice they will make. You can also do things like play into their ego but you have to be subtle about it. The more important you make them feel the less they will act out. Also dole out your approval of them in such a way that they have to work for it otherwise they will get spoiled.

    There are a few other things you can do like consciously changing your tones and expressions to change the mood of the person around you. You would be amazed at how people will mirror you. For instance when I am around angry people I soften and lower my voice and smile gently to create a sense of serenity. Within a few minutes they begin to calm down all the while building trust. Eventually they will start making better choices.

    Also you can do things that will inspire people to act towards you differently. Become less available but not completely out of reach. That will make you seem more valuable. Be mysterious. That will make you seem more unique and therefor more valuable. And when you start becoming predictable change it up. Also don’t make many requests but when you do wait until the timing is right to make your big requests. Figure out when such person is most receptive to listening.

    There are so many ways you can go about it. Get creative make a game out of it 🙂

    Here is a quick summary…

    1. Observe the persons behaviors, words, actions
    2. Figure out through that what they want (usually it’s to feel important, powerful,loved, smart etc…)
    3. Create incentive
    4. Take the initiative
    4. Ration accordingly
    5. Get creative as needed

    You don’t have to do it the way I recommend but you don’t have to be direct all the time either.

    • This reply was modified 10 years, 11 months ago by Tera.
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