Has someone hurt your feelings and now you’re in the tight spot of having to pluck up the courage to tell them?
If so, this post is for you as I go through why you’re finding it so difficult and what practical steps you can take to alleviate those challenges.
You’re seething with anger because someone has hurt your feelings and the thought of telling them worries you.
If it’s a family member you might immediately lash out at them without a second thought.
If it’s someone you don’t have a close relationship with, however, you might instead decide to keep your feelings of anger to yourself or vent to someone else about it because you know lashing out at them directly (like you would a family member) wouldn’t be appropriate.
But what if in both scenarios you didn’t need to lash out or vent your frustration out.
What if you were capable of expressing your hurt in a way that was sensitive to the thoughts and feelings of both family members, and those with who you weren’t so close with.
What if there was a middle ground you’ve not explored before? Sure you might not always succeed in achieving this middle ground, but what if there was a way you could achieve this middle ground more often than not?
Not an easy feat I know, but that’s exactly what I’m talking about in today’s post.
How to talk to someone who has hurt your feelings by finding the middle ground, instead of getting angry at them so you can express your hurt in a way that the other person actually listens to what you’re saying (rather than getting defensive) and fosters connection rather than disconnection, therefore, improving your relationships remarkably.
So, let’s dive in.
What’s stopping you from talking to someone who has hurt your feelings
Before we can move any further, you first need to understand what’s stopping you from talking to someone who has hurt your feelings.
Why? Because when you understand what’s stopping you and why it’s stopping you, you will be more capable of seeing them for what they are so you can overcome them.
1) Hidden beliefs
To start, therefore, let’s start with this one, your hidden beliefs and what you might be secretly thinking and feeling.
And I say “secretly” because often these beliefs are layered within your subconscious mind (a.k.a your body).
Therefore, requiring you to do quite a bit of excavation work to uncover them, dissolve them and replace them with more productive beliefs.
What your hidden beliefs might be?
Belief #1: They aren’t going to listen to you
One belief you might have around telling someone they’ve hurt you is there’s no point because they’re not going to listen to you anyway.
As a result, at the same time believing, you’re unworthy of being listened to.
Therefore, speaking up and saying how they’ve hurt your feelings might seem pointless.
As a result, it’s important to reaffirm to yourself you are worthy of being listened to and your thoughts and feelings are worthy of being listened to before going into a discussion with them.
Belief #2: There’s something wrong with how you’re feeling and expressing it
If you’re really worried about talking to someone who has hurt your feelings, it’s likely your default mode is one where you have been believing, having and expressing difficult feelings, such as anger and upset, is wrong.
As a result, believing being vulnerable with others is wrong too and something, which actually might push others away.
Therefore, also believing talking to someone when they’ve hurt your feelings isn’t necessary or particularly important for you to do.
Overriding your hidden belief there’s something wrong with having and expressing hurt feelings
To give you some reassurance here, however, let me first tell you choosing to speak up when someone has hurt you, even when you don’t necessarily know how to, in the beginning, is always the best way forward because no one else will be able to speak up for you.
Or say it in the way you will.
And it will be difficult at first but the more you do it, the easier this new way of being (talking to someone who has hurt your feelings) will become.
In addition, (and you’ve probably already learnt this the hard way), not saying anything, takes a huge toll on your mental and emotional health, since you work so hard to keep your thoughts and feelings to yourself, whilst going over and over again what was said and done in your head.
So in other words, instead of moving forward and into solution mode you move into emotional stuck mode.
Therefore, a further reason to go ahead with telling someone they’ve hurt your feelings no matter how difficult it might feel because the difficulty isn’t a sign you shouldn’t say anything.
In fact, it’s the exact opposite.
Belief #3: This is about me
When we feel we’ve been slighted our natural tendency is often to take things personally.
To believe that this person sought to intentionally hurt us. However, this is rarely (if ever) the case.
Therefore, it’s again up to us to communicate our feelings have been hurt with the awareness and understanding that this isn’t about us and it’s in fact about the other person.
However, to be able to not take things personally too, you also have to be able to see yourself, your life, thoughts and feelings objectively, which is a further benefit of obtaining a change in perspective on them.
2) Setting Boundaries
All the above-hidden beliefs, therefore, essentially come down to difficulties in setting boundaries with others.
What are setting boundaries?
Setting boundaries with others is really your way of telling others what words, behaviours and actions aren’t okay with you and what you want from them instead.
Therefore, by telling someone they’ve hurt your feelings, you’re choosing to tell them how their words, behaviours and actions have impacted you.
And, because they affected you in this way, you’re not okay with them continuing to act and behave in this particular way with you.
So going forward it’s something you want them to take into consideration and stop doing.
As a result, something, which is further important for you to recognise as to why you’re finding it a challenge telling someone they’ve hurt your feelings.
But not as something, which has to stop you from telling them.
What happens when you start setting boundaries?
This is important because your goal is to become comfortable with setting boundaries rather than letting your fear and discomfort of them stop you.
And so, the only way to do that is to constantly set boundaries with others.
As this will allow you to create the kind of relationships you do want in your life, whilst removing those you don’t want.
Therefore, increasing your confidence and your ability to handle any relationship challenge life throws at you.
How to tell someone they’ve hurt your feelings without getting angry: Steps
Now you know what’s holding you back underneath the surface from telling someone they’ve hurt your feelings, below are 7 steps and tools you can use to help you calm your feelings of anger down before initiating a discussion with them.
And so will make you feel more confident in expressing your thoughts and feelings.
Step 1) Acknowledge what you’re thinking and feeling and act early
It’s easy to let your anger fester and fester before then exploding.
However, if you acknowledge what you are feeling as soon as you recognise someone has hurt your feelings you’ll be more capable of dealing with your difficult thoughts and feelings early on.
To help you with this checkout and implement the tools in my post 3 TOOLS TO GROW OUTSIDE THERAPY SESSIONS.
Step 2) Acknowledge how their words and actions made you feel
It’s not always immediately clear what exactly it was about a person words and actions that hurt us.
Often we’re simply left with a bad after taste.
As a result, it’s important to reflect on what it was about what they said and did, which hurt you.
So you can go back to them with the specifics of how their words and actions made you feel.
Step 3) Scripting exercise
I talk about a scripting and rescripting exercise in more detail in my post on 4 MIND-BLOWING TOOLS THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR WORLD AND HELP YOU TO OVERCOME PAST REGRETS.
However, this exercise will also help you to know what to say and how to tell to someone they’ve hurt your feelings.
As it will allow you to practice what to say before then speaking to the person in question about what you’re thinking and feeling.
Therefore, enabling you to approach them in a calm and collected way.
In addition, it will allow you to see more easily where you’re blaming the other person for how you’re feeling instead of taking responsibility.
As a result, making it easier for you to turn your blaming statements into ‘I’ statements to ensure your discussion doesn’t turn confrontational.
Step 4) Words of positive affirmation
If you’re feeling angry so much so you’re unable to undertake the above tools, a good way to calm yourself down is to feed yourself positive thoughts.
To tell yourself that it’s going to be okay, that you can do this and breathe in deeply, as this will help you to calm your nervous system down to be able to practice the above steps.
Step 5) Give it a day
Before telling someone they’ve hurt your feelings, give yourself a day or more if needed before you go and tell this person how they made you feel.
As this will further give you time to gather your thoughts and feelings, whilst ensuring that all of what you have to say is relevant.
Step 6) Morning pages
As I talk more about in my post 3 TOOLS TO GROW OUTSIDE THERAPY SESSIONS I love morning pages because I can get all my anger and frustration out on their first.
And they help me to get a change in perspective on what I’m thinking and feeling, which I’d never be able to do if I kept all my anger and frustrations in my head alone
Step 7) Work with a Counselling Psychotherapist
Implementing new tools and practices into our lives to be able to get different results requires a lot of effort, patience, time, perseverance, practice and determination.
Therefore, why working with a Counselling Psychotherapist is beneficial as they will help to keep you accountable when you struggle to put them into practice and will give you a way forward for you to be able to continue implementing them into your life.
As a result, keeping you motivated to keep going.
In addition, it’s unlikely this is the only time you will need to pluck up the courage to talk to someone who has hurt your feelings and never again will anybody ever hurt your feelings again.
Nor is it likely you will never respond in either of the two ways I mentioned earlier lashing/venting out or keeping what you’re feeling to yourself.
In fact, it’s likely to be a reoccurring pattern in your life.
Therefore, by working with a Counselling Psychotherapist not only will you learn how to tell someone they’ve hurt your feelings with this one person and one situation, but you actually become equipped with telling someone how they’ve hurt your feelings each time.
And the sooner you’re prepared the better.
Summary: How to talk to someone who has hurt your feelings (without getting angry)
So, there you have it how to talk to someone who has hurt your feelings (without getting angry).
First, acknowledge and understand what’s getting in the way of you telling someone how they’ve hurt you before then putting into practice the steps I’ve discussed to help you with talking to someone who has hurt your feelings.
Now over to you…
I would love to know how you have previously told someone they’ve hurt your feelings. So please leave a comment in the comments section below.
And don’t forget to subscribe to my email newsletter to ensure you stay in the know about how working with a Counselling Psychotherapist will support you to develop personally and professionally, as well as, follow me on Twitter and Pinterest.
- WHY A CHANGE IN PERSPECTIVE IS YOUR KEY TO FREEDOM (AND HOW TO GET IT)
- 3 TOOLS TO GROW OUTSIDE THERAPY SESSIONS
- 4 MIND-BLOWING TOOLS THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR WORLD AND HELP YOU TO OVERCOME PAST REGRETS