You only know real emotional pain when someone you love hurts you and causes you heartbreak you never knew existed.
Having a loved one rip your heart out and not take responsibility for the almost physical pain they caused results in a lot of negative feelings.
Here, we’ll discuss the most effective ways to cope with this burden.
Being expected to not have hurt feelings when someone hurts you is one of the worst parts of dealing with this predicament.
I remember the immense heartbreak I went through when my partner of almost three years dumped me just a few days before our anniversary.
The break-up was excruciating enough but he expected me to just forgive and forget when the heartache was just too raw.
As if letting go of your significant other, then just putting on a smile the next day was somehow normal… But it did teach me a few things.
Can We Somehow Learn From Pain?
”Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” – Pema Chödrön
I firmly believe this to be true. Pain is here to teach us lessons we never really knew we needed. And as tough as it seems at times, it ends up shaping you into a stronger individual.
Whoever caused your pain, the discomfort you subsequently feel is as hurtful as it is illuminating.
Perhaps it was your very best friend who decided you were no longer good enough for them.
Maybe it was a co-worker you believed to have created a lasting bond with, only to hear them talking badly about you in the office.
Sometimes, it’s a family member who shows their true feelings toward you the first time you dare put your mental health above their incessant demands.
Pain is universal. Not one living being on this earth is exempt from being under duress of devastating emotional pain.
However, most people can’t see beyond what they feel at a particular moment. To most, pain is a major inconvenience that wreaks havoc on their life and causes them to spend time trying to cope.
It is in our nature to crave pleasure and expect the pain to go around us. It’s embedded in our brain that pain is an uncomfortable feeling that does nothing but hurt us.
But have you ever stopped to think what pain can actually teach you?
Pain is your body’s signal that changes need to be made. No matter the type of pain, it’s a sign that appropriate measures need to be taken in order to get better and more resilient.
When you face your pain head-on, as opposed to suppressing it and letting it burn you on the inside, you have the upper hand.
Ignoring it does nothing good but being proactive puts you in charge of this negative experience. It demands a strong will, lots of courage and determination to pick yourself up and come out the other end.
Personally, when I am faced with enormous pain, I ask myself this: How can I use this harsh, negative experience as a means toward personal introspection?
In the back of my mind, I always try to think of ways that’ll allow positivity to find me and help me regain self-love before I burn out.
Let’s be honest—pain pushes us to see things from a different point of view.
It makes you take a step back, reevaluate the situation, and figure out how you have contributed to where you currently are. It makes you see the big picture and what really matters at that moment.
Sometimes, you’ll find it difficult to see what it’s trying to teach you and other times, it’s going to be clear as day. Ask yourself this:
• Why is this happening to me?
• How have I affected my current disposition?
• How can I let this make me more careful and stronger in the future?
7 Techniques To Help You Cope When Someone Hurts You
1. Consider what actually happened and don’t react instinctively
It is normal to let your instincts guide you when someone you love hurts you.
At that particular moment, it’s difficult to keep a cool and collected head and oftentimes, we let our heart take over.
We’re only human after all.
And most of the time, your gut gives you a pretty clear indication of what truly transpired and how you should respond.
However, I encourage you to try to find the possible hidden truth in order to be certain that you’re not letting old pain affect your current reaction.
True love makes us all blind at times. I mean, what do you do when the person you expected to spend your forever with blindsides you with the hurt you never saw coming?
However, after the initial, overwhelming reaction washes over you and allows you to truly see things for what they are, only then should you react appropriately.
Remember, it’s always best to react intentionally as opposed to instinctively. It might feel good for a second but in the great scheme of the things, it won’t bring you closure.
2. Do not presume that you are always right
Remember—there are two sides to every story. While nobody is denying your pain, consider every possible outlook before claiming to be in the right.
The need to always be right might stem from unfortunate past experiences of emotional abuse.
This may have made you unable to let go of control and to expect to always be on the right side of the story.
Nevertheless, the truth is that everyone is entitled to be heard and understood.
Different opinions are anything but uncommon and in such situations, it’s important to put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
Can you try to see things from their perspective? What may have made them cause you pain (possibly unintentionally)?
It’s okay to disagree but for your emotional well-being, it’s crucial to see things for what they are and not for what you need them to be.
When someone you love hurts you so deeply, it’s normal to be vulnerable and hesitant to admit to having had something to do with it.
But you’re going to have to dig deep to see how your actions may have led to this current state.
Yes, it hurts and yes, you’re entitled to your pain. But don’t be the person to throw the first stone. We all have our faults and no story is as simple as we might want it to be.
You can still hurt and be broken even if you’re able to admit that you have somehow contributed to how it all turned out.
3. Know that sometimes, the other person is beyond saving
A real change in our mind, body and soul has to come from within. It isn’t and shouldn’t ever be affected by external factors.
A change will never be what you need it to be until you’re ready for it to take place. The shift in your psyche happens when you and solely you come to certain realizations.
And one of those things is that other people cannot be changed, no matter how hard you push for it.
If they’re not ready, it simply won’t happen. The circumstances have to be right and their willpower has to be strong.
You cannot carry another person’s emotional burden on your back.
When someone you love hurts you, they are the one who needs to do some growing up. And all on their own.
You can nudge them, encourage them and just be there for them but it’s on them whether or not they’ll let this experience improve their behavior or push them further down the rabbit hole.
A person has to be willing to make an intentional decision to flip a switch. The only question is: Do they want to be different? Do they want to learn from their mistakes?
If they don’t, there’s nothing you can do about it. It isn’t your job to carry them toward their happily-ever-after. It isn’t your job to save them.
And the most difficult pill to swallow is this: Some people are simply beyond saving.
No matter what you do, they will always choose to be the bad guy in your story. No matter how deeply you wish for them to get better for them and for you, it won’t happen.
You can offer your unwavering support should you choose to forgive them. You can be their voice of reason if they need you to. But the hard work is theirs and theirs alone.
4. Own your mistakes that may have contributed to your pain
Introspection is a good thing. It encourages personal growth, it makes you feel liberated and it allows you to mature without holding childish grudges.
However, upon reevaluating this situation, be one hundred percent sure that we’re talking about a legitimate mistake. Don’t be coerced into admitting to something that wasn’t your doing.
Additionally, don’t allow yourself to let your past negative experiences affect how you react to your current predicament.
Just because you may have been hurt in the past, you don’t get a free pass to skate guilt-free throughout this ordeal.
You don’t get to treat the other person in a horrible manner due to your tough past.
Recognize that they are not to blame for what you went through. They are not the one who hurt you or contributed to your anxiety or fear of being close to someone.
While you’re entitled to your pain, it doesn’t mean that you are never at fault so be sure to always own up to your mistakes without pointing fingers where they don’t belong.
We’ve all been shaped by our past, some negatively, some positively, but that isn’t an excuse to not be a decent human being.
I’m sure you’re aware of that now, so simply remind yourself to say sorry when an apology is due.
Sometimes, that’s all you need for a clean slate.
5. Think, evaluate and then respond
After your initial reaction lets up, give yourself a fair chance to press pause and think long and hard about what just happened.
Wait a little while before you do or say something you may end up regretting. Sometimes, that’s the key to a brand new, eye-opening point of view.
This way, you start regaining control of the situation. By simply reacting, you’re only adding fuel to the fire. And we all know that’s not good.
Your past experiences may have caused you to have certain triggers that the other person unknowingly activates with their actions. But remember—they don’t know that they’re doing this, only you do.
So stop, think, evaluate and then respond appropriately, as this skill will allow your reaction to hold more meaning and give it power.
Educate them on how they are making you feel, even though they’re oblivious to it (and rightfully so). A person cannot know what goes on in your mind until you tell them.
Help them understand how and why this is making you feel this way.
Like I already said, true love can be blind and sometimes, it’s on you to open their eyes to the reality of their actions and help them help you.
This does not excuse their behavior but it does mean that it could’ve been completely inadvertent. Yeah, they caused you emotional pain but they didn’t know they were pushing your buttons.
And the good thing is that now, after having heard your side of the story, they’re bound to know better in the future.
6. Build bridges, not walls!
What exactly does this mean? It’s pretty simple really. Don’t take a defensive stance and build walls around your heart.
Instead, take a stand that is fueled by a sense of love, forgiveness and acceptance!
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re okay with having been hurt. Far from it. But it’s way better than having a hostile attitude that doesn’t allow for growth and leaves zero room for forgiveness.
It is easier to deal with unpleasant situations when you open your heart, mind and soul. Once you consciously practice a positive attitude, it will help you find your way in the darkness.
Their actions aren’t justified by this and you don’t have to forgive and forget until you’re completely ready.
You are simply making a decision to react in a calm way that will bring you more peace than a defensive stance ever could.
Build bridges, not walls. Invite forgiveness, not grudges. Let people atone for their mistakes, instead of being bitter and resentful.
Once you leave room for a possible reconciliation, you will immediately notice great relief in your heart.
Not to mention, the chances of the person who hurt you walking toward you instead of away from you are extremely high.
Take the higher road. Be the bigger person. Show your willingness and ability to forgive and give second chances.
Not everyone’s heart is capable of this but it costs nothing to be kind even when faced with horrible pain and it shows great strength and resilience on your part.
7. Others’ mistakes should never affect your overall happiness
The most reassuring thing I’ve realized contemplating this is the following…
YOU are in charge of your happiness. Not your best friend, not your partner and not your family members. You are the only one who chooses how you will react and what your attitude will be.
If you’ve been experiencing a heartbreak that could very well have been unintentional, ask yourself, ”Why I am adamant to hold on to this pain and therefore, magnifying its harm to me?”
This should give you a clear sense of what your next course of action should be. Letting go isn’t easy but it is very much necessary if you want to be happy and at peace.
On the other hand, if you’ve endured intentional pain by a close loved one who you were able to forgive, this is what you need to ask yourself: “If the damage is done and the mistakes are forgiven, why am I making myself relive this over and over?”
And finally, if the pain was very much intentional and you still haven’t been able to bring yourself to forgive them, do the following:
Ask yourself if that person is worth the pain you’re feeling right now. Do they deserve to occupy such a large portion of your mind?
I think you’ll find in most cases that they don’t. And then, you’re going to find a way to move past it for yourself and your inner peace.
Nobody deserves to be the cause of your incessant pain. So you forgive them but don’t allow them back into your heart.
That way, you get to move forward with a clean conscience, minus one toxic person.
Soon, an enormous weight will be lifted off your shoulders and life will become bearable again.
You Can’t Shield Yourself From Pain But You Can Let It Bring Positive Changes.
There’s no way around it. Sooner or later, pain is going to find you. All your hard work, self-love and perseverance will be questioned when someone you love hurts you.
However, that pain doesn’t define you. If you choose to look at it calmly, from a rational point of view, it can actually bring you peace.
Forgiving isn’t easy, but you don’t do it for them—you do it for your own darn self.
Doesn’t that make it a little easier?
After having endured this pain, you get to choose who to let in and who to never get close to again. Your life takes a positive shift and your heart can recuperate.
You’ve been hurt but you managed to come out the other way. Now you’re stronger, more resilient and your self-love is thriving. What more can you ask for?
Ultimately, you win. You get to move on with a clean slate, consciously choosing happiness over anything that takes away from it.
“We can’t control the world. We can only (barely) control our own reactions to it. Happiness is largely a choice, not a right or entitlement.” – David C. Hill