Dail-a-Counselor with Sybil Shaibu: Do hurt people hurt?

Photo: A woman crying. Credit: Charisma News

Hurt people hurt! The first time I came across this statement I had to go back to read it again. So if you’re like me you’d probably have to go back and read it again. We have each been hurt before, be it by something, someone, action or inaction, spoken words, emotions or feelings. And be it big or small, significant or insignificant hurt is hurt period!

“Hurt people hurt people” is an old adage and a clever phrase but also a sad truth.

I find that some people tend to undermine certain degrees of hurt, simply because the hurt is defined by the size or magnitude of the causative agent. So if someone refuses to acknowledge the good done them by another and as a result end up feeling hurt, that would be deemed as a qualified hurt (that’s if anything like that even exists, to begin with). Whereas on the other hand if someone should chuckle at you and you get hurt by that….it’s likely that people would classify your hurt as not being significant.

What does the word hurt mean? To be hurt means to feel pain in a part of your body, or to injure someone or cause them pain. Emotional hurt is usually feelings such as unhappiness or sadness caused by someone’s words or actions. Other words for hurt includes distress, pain, suffering, grief, misery, anguish, being upset etc.

It’s however interesting to note that sometimes though the hurt might be emotional it manifests in the physical, someone who experiences a heartbreak can suffer a headache or stomach upset and even in some profuse sweating and palpitations.

People handle hurt differently as such it’s best not to compare one person with another. Hurt people hurt others because they themselves have been hurt due to the severe damages caused by the hurt. And that damage causes people to become defensive and self-protective and may end up lashing out at others. Hurting becomes a vicious cycle that never seems to end, simply because hurt people hurt.

In other to help hurting people we first need to understand why hurt people hurt. Here are some things worth taking note of;-

  • Hurt people often transfer their inner anger onto their family and close friends.
  • Hurt people interpret every word spoken to them through the prism of their pain.
  • Hurt people interpret every action through the prism of their pain.
  • Hurt people often portray themselves as victims and carry a “victim mentality”.
  • Hurt people often alienate others and wonder why no one is there for them.
  • Hurt people are often frustrated and depressed because they allow past pain to continually spill over into their present consciousness.
  • Hurt people are often self-absorbed with their own pain and are unaware that they are hurting other people.
  • Hurt people often attempt to medicate themselves with excessive drugs, entertainment, alcohol, pornography, sex and sexual relationships, hobbies and sometimes even using people just as a way to forget their pain and run from reality.
  • Hurt people often erupt with inappropriate emotions because particular words, actions, or circumstances “touch” and “trigger” past woundedness.
  • Hurt people often don’t love themselves enough so they look for love and approval from others.

Hurt people hurt people, however, they hurt themselves more. Their reactions stem from past experiences that led them to certain beliefs that they accepted as truth. They are actually just preconceived ideas projected onto others to protect their ego so we don’t need to feel hurt in the process as they take themselves down.

We can always offer love to them-either in close proximity or from further away.

A word of caution; no matter how much a person is hurting, they deserve to be loved in a way that makes them feel good. Unless you have hurt the person in some way, know that they are acting from a place of pain and are only yearning to be loved. It’s really not about US at all. It’s about THEM and what’s inside them coming out and projecting onto us.

Remember that hurt people hurt people and it is not about you, so don’t take it personal.

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