Your Words or Actions May Hurt Others

By: Sep 4th, 2012
Category: Your Story Matters

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Sunset-over-a-calm-Lake-Diefenbaker-July-7-2012Have you ever been hurt by someones words or actions? Have you felt betrayed, dismissed or offended? I have. It hurts. Depending on who the person is in my life, a close relationship, romantic or otherwise affects how deep the hurt feels. There are also those times that someone not so close to me has hurt me by their words or actions, but the hurt is not nearly as deep or long-lasting.

I believe most people are good at their core. I believe that life circumstances and being treated badly by others can cause a good person to behave in ways that are not so good and not becoming of who they are. Anger, bitterness, resentment and hurt feelings can cause many of us to put up walls in receiving love from others and being kind to others. I was like that in my past. I had been through so many painful situations and relationships that I didn’t know how to love myself or others. I am not making excuses for myself or others. Sometimes people do not have the tools necessary to heal and be better people.

We each have a choice to be bitter and cynical and to withhold love from those around us. We also have a choice to heal from our past, including all the pain from relationships (even back to our childhood) and become a person who forgives, lets go of negativity and doesn’t hold grudges. I think if we do not heal from our past, we will act out in ways towards others that are not being our best self.

Sometimes people are in such pain over their past, whether things that were said and done to them or things they said and did that they feel guilt and shame over, that they stay stuck in a place of anger, fear and bitterness. The anger and bitterness are over the loss of what they wanted and didn’t get or wished they had done or been (being a better person) and didn’t do. The fear is usually about fearing rejection from others because they faced that before and it hurt. Everyone feels rejected when someone stops loving you and is no longer interested in you being in their life. But rejection does not mean you are worthless! Fear prevents people from accepting love and experiencing good things and perhaps even of loving their own self because they have not accepted the goodness within.

I have experienced, more than once, people who have become hostile and created barriers to something good (a good relationship, happiness, accepting and sharing love) because of their fear, anger and bitterness. That is a shame for them to have lost out on something good but it also affects others. Just because there may be underlying reasons why you hurt someone, betray them or simply cut them out of your life doesn’t mean the way you go about it and hurting others is okay.

Don’t get me wrong. I think people have a right to change their mind about someone or something. I think whatever people’s feelings are is acceptable because they are what they are (though I think people who need healing have no idea what their ‘real’ feelings are). It still goes back to the way you handle dealing with your feelings. I think if we make the choice to be in someones life OR we are in someones life by default (family) we have some level or responsibility to think about how they may feel and how our actions and words affect them.

Perhaps people lie, dismiss or betray others and consciously or unconsciously hurt others because they have not thought through how their actions and words affect others. I do not believe most people ‘want’ to hurt others. Rather, I believe that most often people are lost and hurting souls that have never figured out how to deal with their emotions and effectively communicate what they need and want. Or how to handle conflict.

The most important thing I have learned through the many times I have been betrayed and hurt is that I have the choice to not let other people’s hurtful words or actions make me bitter. I also believe that love begets love. Even if the person that has hurt me never apologizes and/or comes back into my life, I have the option to love them, pray for them and wish them good in their lives (including healing they may need).

“Treat those who are good with goodness, and also treat those who are not good with goodness. Thus goodness is attained. Be honest to those who are honest, and be also honest to those who are not honest. Thus honesty is attained.” ~ Lao Tzu

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About the author

Angela Schaefers

Angela Schaefers is producer & host of Your Story Matters radio show, a freelance writer and an inspirational speaker. Angela interviews those around the globe who have encouraging and inspiring stories to share. She writes various articles on professional networking, inspiration and why our stories matter. She speaks and shares her story of personal healing, facing stage IV cancer and more to discovering her life purpose. Angela positively impacts the world, one story at a time!


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6 Comments to “Your Words or Actions May Hurt Others”

  • mary says:

    This is so timely. As I am experiencing this from a “good friend”. I think it may be a bit to forgive her, but I question if I really want her friendship back in my life? I do not feel bitter, I feel betrayed. Where is the line drawn for acceptance? I grieved, and now am at the point of letting her go. She will be a friend, but not in my inner circle. Friendship is so fragile, especially when it’s been years in the making. Thoughtless words and or actions can destroy in an instant. Always think before you speak or act.

    • TwitterID: whats_yourstory
      Mary- thank you for reading and commenting. I agree we must reflect on who and when to let go of someone… that is not easy, especially after years of a relationship. Sometimes we change and sometimes others change and things cannot be the same. They could get better, but it depends on how one has changed. Blessings to you!

  • Radu says:

    TwitterID: Solarbenefits
    Hello Angela,
    As a matter of fact some people deserve to be cynical with them. They don’t know that their actions may offend you, so they need a little “correction”.

    • TwitterID: whats_yourstory
      Thank you for reading and commenting Radu. I think we should set boundaries with others and are free to express ourselves and our feelings, the point is to do so in a respectful, kind and loving way. That is simply my opinion and what I feel is best, especially in challenging situations.

  • Maggie says:

    Hi,
    I have hurt someone I work with, by words about her work. This was in front of her and a manager. If I could take those words back, I would. I need to find out why I have done this. There is a pattern in my life where I judge others and feel superior to them. Smug? Better than they are? Why? How do I repair this? I have verbally apoligized. I have been stuggling with myself on this. I need to change. You know they say usually when someone hits bottom, then they will do the work to change or not. I have hit bottom. I know what I have done. It cannot be undone. It is a huge wakeup call to me, to change myself. I don’t like this part of myself.
    Thanks,
    Maggie

    • TwitterID: whats_yourstory
      Hi Maggie- I think we all are human and say and do things at times that is not being our best self. The best thing is that you have recognized hurting someone else and the need for change. I too have found myself to be judgmental of others AND myself, and have been on a journey to stop and to find a place of acceptance about a great deal of things. Part of acceptance of our own self and others is knowing that everyone is flawed and will make mistakes. But I have learned that a great deal of our behaviors and attitudes (the ones we need to work on most) have more to them… and that is the process of healing, learning from your past to understand why you react, say or do certain things. Best to you in this journey!

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