How to Respond When Someone Hurts You


“He who has injured thee was either stronger or weaker than thee.If weaker, spare him; if stronger, spare thyself.” William Shakespeare

Everyone of us has been wronged, mistreated, and hurt.

In fact, some of my most passionate stories are from when I was hurt.  I can relay the details of conversations, the tone of voice, and the blow-by-blow infractions made by the other person.

Oh yes.  I know what you said.  However, I also know what you meant!

Yup.  When it comes to recalling offenses, my mind is like a steel trap.

However, if I look in the mirror long enough I see another truth.  I notice I'm much less precise when it comes to the times and occasions where I am the one inflicting the hurt.

I don't recall the exact words I used; I remember my intent.  I didn't mean for that to land so hard.

I'm not sure what tone of voice I used.  It's the words that really mattered.

I can relay the precise narrative. But then I didn't mean anything awful.

In truth, I am quick to give myself the benefit of the doubt, to assume the best intentions for me.  Why am I less than eager to do this for others?

We are all capable of responding to real and/or perceived injuries with anger or bitterness.  However, we are also capable of responding with forgiveness.  We know how to overlook our actions when we give offense, and we are equally equipped to do this for others.

We are capable of treating others the way we want to be treated, but (at least for me) , it takes suspending my natural inclinations. Gandhi's famous words ring true, "The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. "