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Hurt People Hurt People
June 26, 2010
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Hurt People, Hurt People
By John Alston
Dec 13, 2005, 10:36

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"Hurt people, hurt people." In other words, people who hurt others with their actions and words are people who are hurting inside themselves! When someone lashes out at another person, they are expressing their hurt in a destructive and irresponsible manner. Feelings of hurt and pain are normal parts of everyday life. Therefore, it is important to find solutions to our problems that are constructive and responsible in order to enjoy the pleasures that life has to offer, as well.

Feelings never tell us what to do. They only tell us that something requires our attention. So negative feelings can play a positive role in our lives. We must put ourselves in control of the painful emotions rather than be controlled by them. The first step in taking control is to ask the question, "What is causing these feelings?"

Sometimes the cause of the feelings is from recent events-job loss or health decline. Other times, the cause is a manifestation of negative emotion from long ago-unresolved issues of adolescence. Take the time to ask the question, think, and seek answers. This is important whether you are the one who is angry or the one who is on the receiving end of an angry person's wrath.

If you are angry and find yourself hurting others, here are some things that should help you deal with your feelings in a more constructive way:

1. Be mindful that you are entitled to the full range of feelings that life has to offer, one of which is pain. Make up your mind that you are not entitled to hurt others with those feelings. It is normal to feel pain. It is unacceptable to inflict it.

2. Take note of what makes you want to act ugly, sullen, and resentful. Is there a pattern? Do your assumptions about people and life need adjustments so that you're not so upset by (often unrelated or minor) irritants?

3. Remain current with your feelings and needs. Don't put off taking care of yourself. Feel pain, acknowledge it, and search for solutions. Reactions that are solution-oriented help you find good ways to deal with hurt.

4. Change you attitude about hurt. This allows you to avoid hurt in the first place. By this, I don't mean you should avoid things that make you feel bad. Adopt a personal policy not to let negative emotion control you. When you decide to take control, pain can't fester into an uncontrollable monster.

5. Don't choose the pain. I hate to say this, but some people hurt, because they choose to hurt. They decide that something is worth suffering over and believe that they need to "dwell here now." That's not to say that you should no longer discriminate between right and wrong. However, be more discriminating about that on which you're willing to expend mental energy.

6. Approach people and situations with patience and understanding. This causes you to slow down and act less impulsively. Imagine that a child spills milk at the table and an adult goes bonkers. The adult hasn't stopped to think about the fact that when children are growing up, the latter are clumsy at different developmental stages by nature, and that the spilt milk was not intentional or the result of laziness.

7. Look for non-destructive ways to express your anger. Being current, as previously mentioned, is one way. Others include, but are not limited to, taking slow deep breaths, biting your tongue, holding in your stomach, counting to ten, meditating, contemplating and praying. All of us do better when we control our impulses when expressing anger.

If you're someone who finds yourself in a hurt person's line of fire, you need some tools to manage their feelings as well as your own. Some options include:

1. Let them vent. Listen to their frustrations before you speak or act. Never interrupt, because until you hear their story, you know nothing. Find out as much as you can about the source of their pain and you'll know why they're angry.

2. Assess your level of responsibility in causing their pain. If you are directly involved, take responsibility and make things right. However, often you will find that you are not the target or cause of the pain. If you were just in the right place at the right time, don't take it personally.

3. Adopt an attitude of forgiveness. Try to understand that when people are hurt, they don't always think clearly and they say things that they don't really mean. It's easy to be consumed with reciprocal anger, so avoid the urge by forgiving them.

4. Be mindful of how you respond to them. The goal is to make things better, not worse. Sometimes they just want someone to acknowledge their pain. You can do so by saying something like, "I don't know just what to do to help you right now, but I want you to know how sorry I am about this."

5. Take control of your own feelings. Don't give up your power to them by allowing their words to control the way you respond. Their pain, even when directed at you, does not define you.

Hurt people can only hurt others if allowed to do so. With adults, know that you can judge the size of a person by the size of the things that they allow to make them angry. Yes, we've all had initial feelings of hurt as the result of others' actions and words. But, when we take a moment to really look at the situation, all of us have the power to draw the line and refuse to accept another's hurt.

Remember that people say and do boneheaded things from time to time without thinking. People forget, lose their tempers, underachieve by our standards, break promises, cheat, lie and do other things that disappoint us. Make allowances for people's differences. Human beings make errors. Values amongst us are varied. If you keep your standards very high, you are subject to be more sensitive around people with low standards. If you have low standards, you will feel offended and slighted by those who have high standards. That said, the bottom line is this: when someone is hurting someone else, they are acting from a place of pain and hurt. Diminish the hurt to make room for enrichment. Instead of hurt people hurting people, you then have enriched people enriching people.

* * *

John Alston, CSP, CPAE is an internationally known Performance Strategist whose programs have lifted the spirits of millions of people worldwide. He works with people who want to improve their lives, and with organizations who encourage personal achievement and character development. Even off the platform, John's insights captivate audiences through four books he's authored: Life is a Gift, Don't Trash It; Talking with Teens in Turbulent Times; Goodness Must Be Taught; and his latest, Stuff Happens (Then You Fix It!). For more information about John Alston, visit his website at http://www.JohnAlston.com

© Copyright by JohnAlston.com

Bitsy

June 26, 2010
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When wounds layer
25 CommentsWritten by Anthony BradleyJune 16, 10:57 AMA very wise man told me recently that at some point in life most people experience pain inflicted by others. Some experience being hurt deeply multiple times. My sage friend cautioned me against the idea that forgiving those who hurt me makes the pain disappear. It’s quite the opposite, he says. Past wounds hurt us. They affect us deeply. Over time we get better at handling pain, but it is rare that offenses that hurt us are simply forgotten. To make matters worse, new offenses at the hands of others stack on top of past hurts. The layering of wounds can lead to hypersensitivity or callousness. Time does not heal all wounds. Not even “the Gospel” makes the pain disappear. The presence of the Trinity, however, is actively at work to give a proper framework for living with pain caused by others.

The wounds we receive eventually develop scabs in most cases. These scabs, however, are so fragile that additional experiences of pain can set us off when they irritate past hurtful experiences. We can respond irrationally and often fail to connect the dots between our reactions and our past. Because this wound layering happens to all of us, if we’re honest, it gives us permission to see people who hurt us in a new light. Perhaps the person who hurt you acted out in sinful response to past pain. This is not an excuse but it may help render the offending person not to be as gutless as imagined.

“I’m not your mother so don’t direct your anger at me,” calmly says Sarah, Brent’s wife. Sarah and Brent were in the middle of an argument about something relatively minor. Brent, becoming increasingly angry and irrational, began to yell at his wife. Knowing that her husband was raised in a home with an emotionally abusive mother, she looked at him and reminded him that his overreaction was tied to his unresolved anger toward a mother who hurt him repeatedly. He was yelling at his mother by yelling at Sarah. Sarah did not get angry. This is an amazing woman. She saw her husband in light of his layered wounds. In submission to his wife he confessed to her accuracy, apologized, and repented.

This wise friend helped me see that the severity of my reactions to new hurts inflicted by others are related to old ones, just like Brent’s initial reaction to his wife. My problem is that I often pursue a sinful response rather than a response that drives me to God. David, for example, was a man wounded and betrayed many times over. In Psalm 69:29, David simply prays, “I am in pain and distress; may your salvation, O God, protect.” David’s words encourage us to place our wounds in His hands. God’s sovereignty over life’s issues brings freedom.

Bitsy

June 26, 2010
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Quite frankly I cannot stand the innuendo of "when certain people". Don't fuel the fire that way. If someone has offended you say:

When Bitsy said..... It hurt my feelings and I felt like she was really picking on me and being mean. She knows how I react to (insert situation here) and she did it anyway. I really feel like she owes me and apology.

Don't say stuff like there is an "amen corner" when we all know you must be talking about Ma Strong. Or at least that is how I read it. I may be wrong on that one and willing to admit it.

If I have hurt your feelings tell me. I will either apologize or will say I am sorry what I wrote touched a nerve, this is what I meant.

This isn't middle school people and we aren't the Mean Girls movie.

Bitsy

June 26, 2010
8:05 pm
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THIS IS THE ONE I WAS LOOKING FOR

1. Hurt people hurt people
________________________________________
Hurt people hurt people.

Lately we’ve seen that pain in the words and actions of several members on the boards. A lot of it takes place behind the scenes too.

Hurt people hurt people.

Others act out their pain differently, but it can be equally antagonizing and disruptive, in spite of their “good” intentions. The attention they/we hunger for is a flimsy band-aid on a serious wound.

Hurt people hurt people.

I cringe when I read some of the words people post here. Not only am I hurting for their targets, but I hurt for the person shooting the arrows. They obviously don’t realize how much of their soul they’re revealing by what they say.

It’s as though they slash their wrists and allow their blood to seep through the forums. It’s painful to watch.

Hurt people hurt people.

There is a beautiful quote from the late Mother Teresa, “If we have no peace, then we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” I think about that quote often lately. Then I remember:

Hurt people hurt people.

~ What people say about you reveals more about them than it does about you. ~ A wise woman

2. Forgiveness”. I heard this quote several years ago, probably 10 years ago and it has always stuck with me. When people are hurting, they end up hurting others if they do not deal with their hurt or heal in the right way in their lives.

When people become bitter, resentful, vengeful, angry with hate, or they have been hurt by abuse, divorce, neglect, betrayal, etc…it can bring about behavior that is not only not healthy, but ends up hurting those trying to help or hurting those close to us. We not only push people away who care, but we treat them very harsh, even to the point where we ruin relationships because of our behavior and attitude.

People can’t help us when we won’t help ourselves. People won’t stick around forever if they are constantly being yelled at, taken for granted, treated unfairly, or pushed away when all they are trying to do is help and be there. It’s a vicious cycle, that won’t break until we do something about it. We will continue to have broken relationships, whether that is dating, marriages, or friendships because of our unhealthy hurting behavior. We will continue to hurt people, especially those we love and who love us until we deal with and get help for our hurts.

It can mean stop avoiding your pain and start dealing with it. It can mean finally confronting or forgiving someone who hurt you. It may mean going and talking to a counselor or getting therapy. It may mean that you need to seek God and get serious about your faith and allow God to heal you and help you overcome your hurt. It means stop taking out your pain on those who did not cause the pain. It means stop making yourself and others miserable. Get help. Seek help. Find help. Want help.

I have been hurt and I have hurt others, never intentionally, but even if we don’t do it intentionally it doesn’t change the fact we hurt people. Most people who are hurting don’t want to hurt others, push them away, or be mean, but when your feelings and emotions are out of whack, damaged, or remain un dealt with, they really cause chaos, unstability, and a rollercoaster of reactions, emotions, feelings, and behaviors.

I encourage everyone today to stop hurting others by dealing with your hurts today. I would say, healing people, heal people would be a better quote. If we find healing, then we’ll have healed relationships and we’ll help people instead of hurting them. We’ll get help instead of hurting.

Bitsy

June 26, 2010
8:11 pm
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I read this twice...there is a lot here and thanks for posting it bitsy...
Its a lot to work on...some of it seems impossible...
But maybe slowly...yes...over a period of time...
Hopefully...

June 26, 2010
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Bitsy- In the name of focusing on our own recovery, I was wondering how does this apply to you. What have you done to hurt people? What have you done to stop it?

June 26, 2010
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Destiny, I don't understand your obsession with my recovery. Have I hurt you? You sweep your side of the street and I will sweep mine.

Bitsy

June 26, 2010
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Hey BFgirl, good to see you back! Had to say that 🙂

Bitsy, I'm sorry you can't stand the innuendo of "when certain people" but yeah, when certain people post, i do step back. What can I say. Nope, don't wanna confront them and so I'm not gonna. sorry about that. 🙂

andii

June 26, 2010
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Andii, I actually wanted to apologize to you for using that quote. I remembered it, but couldn't remember who wrote it. I went back and searched. It belonged to you. I do think for me (I am not saying anyone else has to do it) that it is best to say "Andii, when you said (blank) it hurt my feelings and I would like you to clarify what you meant.

I do think saying "certain people" confuses most of us. I personally am at a place of "say what you mean and mean what you say" but that is just me. I can't and won't try to control what you say and do. Each of us heals at our own rate. These are MY boundaries and I cannot impose them on you.

All is good with me Andii and I hope you and I are good. Peace...

Bitsy

June 26, 2010
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Quite frankly Andii, you do not owe me or anyone else an apology over the way YOU feel.

Bitsy

June 26, 2010
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Oh I'm fine with you Bitsy! I can't give you what you're asking for right now but maybe someday I will be able to

🙂

June 26, 2010
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It is not my right to ask anything of you.

Bitsy

June 26, 2010
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Special note on THIS IS THE ONE I WAS LOOKING FOR...

I did not write that. I copied and pasted it from another forum. I only WISH I wrote it.

It seems to apply here as well as there. Take from it what helps you and leave the rest.

Peace to all...

Bitsy

June 26, 2010
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"It is not my right to ask anything of you. "

Actually, Bitsy, it is most certainly your right to ask anything of me, and I'm glad you felt safe enough to do so.

It is my right to say "I'm sorry, I cannot give that to you," and expect this to be respected.

andii

June 27, 2010
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Bitsy on this thread you said
26-Jun-10

"Destiny, I don't understand your obsession with my recovery. Have I hurt you? You sweep your side of the street and I will sweep mine." Let me make myself perfectly clear, I am hear for my own recovery, I could care less about yours. Your comment is irrelevant to the question I asked you. With this thread I am wondering whose side of the street are you sweeping?

June 27, 2010
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"when certain people post, i do step back. What can I say. Nope, don't wanna confront them and so I'm not gonna. sorry about that. :)" Andii I really respect you for having such a mature attitude.

June 27, 2010
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Bitsy, I didn't even think of Strong, or you, when I read amen corner. I didn't take that literally.

June 27, 2010
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I didn't either bevdee. I took it as a consensus. just goes to show i guess, we all take things according to what's goin on with our own selves I spoze.

June 27, 2010
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When I hear the word amen corner I think of the British rock group called Amen Corner.

andii- you said"we all take things according to what's goin on with our own selves" that is why I think of AAC as a mirror, whatever people say they see in other people they really see in them self.

There is also a big difference between preaching and teaching.

June 27, 2010
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Gosh Destiny!! if that's entirely true, I'm a troll, a narcissist, and you are a sociopath and control freak. lolhaha. It is possible to see cvertain behaviours on others without being that yourself. Like I think I could see that someone is mentally retarded, and not be myself.

June 27, 2010
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Andii,

yeah or if you can get enough agreement, it might seem like a consensus. Remember that scene in the Blues Brothers with Aretha Franklin? They come to take ? Murph? to go with them, and she starts that singing. THINK! Then those three girls sittin at the counter pop their arms up and chime THINK. None a they bidness, but there they are, walkin around him pointin at him, and sayin THINK after every time she does.

That's an amen corner, IMO. Nothing to do with religion other than that's where it originated.

June 27, 2010
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Check it out -

June 27, 2010
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Well i am happy to see a lot has gotten out. I hope everyone feels better..Have a blessed day...

June 27, 2010
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SexyChocLady, when I see your nickname I always think of "Catherine" on I think it was News Radio that came on back in the 90's. 😉

Bevdee, my ex husband used to tell me the only woman he would ever leave me for was Aretha.

Bitsy

June 27, 2010
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Yeah, but if he said that to her - "Aretha, baby, the only woman I would ever leave you for is Bitsy,oh! I bet that head would get ta shakin, finger'd start pointin, little foot would stomp. and she'd say - THINK!

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