Is there any good way to do it.
The short answer is nope. No there isn’t. Not at all. There really isn’t.
But the long answer is, you can try your very best, but at the end of the day, sometimes there is just no way to get around hurting somebody else. I’m not talking about hurting somebody physically, or hurting somebody’s feelings—that can almost always be avoided if you make an effort to remain conscious, respectful, and sensitive to the needs of others as you approach your own life and behaviour.
What I’m talking about, is the kind of hurt that comes from wanting something different from somebody you care about. Those intangible, non-qualitative types of hurt. The ones that you can’t touch or see. The hurt that comes from not reciprocating feelings that somebody else may feel towards you, or vice versa. Hurt that comes from not being able to give somebody what they want, even though you desperately want to, because you would have to abandon a piece of yourself in the process.
It’s no cliché that we tend to hurt the ones we love most. And it makes sense, because those we love most are the only ones we care about deeply enough to be honest with, even when how we feel isn’t pretty or ideal.
Life sometimes comes down to a simple, devastating fact, that you can try your absolute best, and you may still hurt somebody terribly. I’ve been through some types of hurt I felt I had no control over, and have definitely also caused many moments of hurt in others. Both types tend to knock me to the ground and debilitate me for a long time in ways I am still learning to navigate and overcome all the time. But both types are part of life, and both grudgingly continue to help me and those around me grow, no matter how heart wrenching it all feels at the time.
There are three things that usually help me get through tough times of hurt and when I feel I’ve been betrayed, unappreciated, brushed aside, taken advantage of, and just as much when someone is hurt as a result of something I have done or how I feel.
1. First I try to remind myself of the cold truth that nobody actually makes you feel anything.
This is an important one, even though it sounds heartless at first. It’s a double edged sword, because as convenient as it may be when we’re the ones who have hurt somebody else, it’s a lot harder to understand when we feel we’re the ones who have been wronged. We are truly in control and responsible for only our own emotions and decision in life, as much as we sometimes want to blame others for making us feel the way we do. Once you abandon this notion that someone has “done” something to you, it frees you, and allows you to begin moving forward. That’s when you can focus on healing in the right way, thinking about your own health, rather than focussing on the issues another person clearly has with themselves. I try to accept ownership of my own thoughts and emotions, and I think about how I can move forward with them.
2. Everyone has a different subjective truth, and version of how they feel things are and happen.
Therefore, hurt is always valid and legitimate, but can’t often actually be objectively justified. As I’ve written before in my article I Thought I Met The One At 22 , feelings, and hurt, more specifically, are always legitimate, simply because they exist in somebody’s reality. But, as difficult as it is, and no matter how you try to empathize, it doesn’t always mean that there is something you can do about it to help, and it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re at fault for making them feel that way*. This also means that when someone has hurt you, being angry and lashing out at them isn’t constructive or fair. They are in a different place from you, and they are behaving in a way they believe to be the right choice for them, regardless of whether or not you feel it is misguided or wrong. Being honest with yourself and true to what you believe at the time, is always a better route to take in the end, even if it isn’t completely what someone else wished for you, or from you.
And this next one is the most important of all, above everything else, and I try to remind myself of this one all the time. Especially, when I am the one who has been hurt.
3. We’re all just trying to do the best we can.
Sometimes you’re going to hurt someone. And you’re going to get roughed up by lots of people in your own life as well. People who didn’t mean to, people who regretted it after they saw your pain; even some people who will completely change their lives as a result of experiencing how deeply their actions affected you. We’re all on our own path towards something that feels it makes sense for who we are and what we want from our lives, and we are all at different levels of growth. It is so so important to allow others their time to mature, evolve, and learn about themselves and how to navigate life in the truest and most positive way they can.
It’s okay to be lost, it’s okay to be confused, it’s ok not to know what you want. Try not to use people, try not to manipulate, try not to judge, and try to be patient—with yourself, and with others. Above everything else, try and be kind, and try to do the very very best you can.
If you do, you’ll know you did everything that you possibly could.
And you will stay in tact.
* I want to emphasize that I am in no way condoning acts of hatred or disrespect towards others. This article is purely about how feelings and decisions will naturally differ and change in people across all types of relationships and friendships, and that we can’t and shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves or others for those facts.