How to deal when people intentionally hurt you

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Hurt people hurt people. It’s a  popular quote most people know when referencing painful relationships. Yet, there doesn’t seem to be any catchy quotes for dealing with hurt from that person you trusted. I know because I looked and failed. And it happened at a time I needed it most.

Just two weeks ago I was forced to deal with someone whom  I thought was a friend intentionally hurt me all over a misunderstanding. She questioned my character, belittled me and shamed me publicly on social media. And to make matters worse, she made it known that I was no longer welcome at a place I loved. If that isn’t called hurting you intentionally – I don’t know what is. Rather than doing what she did  – attack her character and publicly shame her on social media- I did what comes naturally to most Cancer women (or anyone for that matter). I cried. I cried for days wondering how this person I thought would be a life long friend could treat me so poorly. I cried for hours mourning the friendship and chapter of my life that had come to an end.  I cried for days wondering where I went wrong and blamed myself for this girl’s callous actions towards me.  And as the tears subsided I wondered how I would make the hurt end.

I’d be lying if I said that it still didn’t hurt sometimes. While hurting her just as bad as she hurt me would’ve made me feel better temporarily, I knew I had to find a way to deal that had more impact. Luckily, all I had to do was look towards the people I admire most to realize the steps that I needed to take. I only hope the below help you as much as they helped me deal with someone who tried to hurt me intentionally. 

1. Be honest and stop the pain

Although vulnerability is one of the things I’m most afraid of, I realized I needed to allow myself to be vulnerable when confronting this girl. I explained how she made me feel and discussed what caused the issue. In this case, it was a third party misinforming this “friend” about a conversation I had with another person. Rather than trusting the person she knew me to be and ask if what she heard was true, she decided to go on the defensive. Unfortunately, this girl had already made up her mind about believing those lies. I knew trying to convince her otherwise was out of the question and not worth the effort. So instead I decided it was time to make her stop the pain by ceasing her efforts to try to hurt me. As silly as it sounds, some people are not aware of how callous and offensive they are being until they are called out on it. In my case, I told her that I didn’t appreciate being belittled on Facebook and Instagram. I was fortunate in that the person realized her wrong doing and stopped it immediately.

2.  Stop blaming yourself

This is a tough one, but stop blaming yourself for the way this person chose to act towards you. The reality of the situation is this person intentionally hurting you has a lot more to do with their issues than yours. While it would be easy to blame yourself for everything under the sun, now is the time you need to celebrate yourself and realize that you can’t control people, what they do or what they think about you.  There are people who will love everything about you and people who have nothing good to say about you. You will never be perfect, but you can be pretty damn amazing. Keep in mind, Jesus was perfect and they still hated and hurt him. So stop blaming yourself for someone’s immature reaction towards you.

3. Resist the urge to get revenge

A true mark of maturity is trying to understand someone’s hurt rather than trying to hurt that person just as bad as she hurt you. Luckily, I never had an issue in this department. It’s just not in my DNA. But i definitely did think about it. An eye for an eye only makes you just as wrong as the other person. Plus, it just takes too much effort. Instead of investing energy in trying to get the person back, channel that into something productive so you can be the best version of yourself.  After all, living well is the best kind of revenge.

4. Show them your softer side

If you thought resisting the need to hurt her was hard enough, wait till you try to show her your nicer side. They may not deserve your kindness, but in my experience being kinder to that person helps you more than it helps the person who hurt you. Showing your softer side when people intentionally hurt you, not only eases your miserable feelings but makes it less likely for you to feel guilty. Think about how guilty you’d feel had you chosen to blast them on social media the way she did. Now think about how proud of yourself you’ll feel if you chose to pray for that person every night. Sure praying for the person who hurt you may not change the person, but it will certainly change you. Furthermore, being kind and showing that person your softer side will reflect greatly on you. Even though you don’t need to prove anything to anyone, those familiar with the situation will only see you as a kind, levelheaded, and mature person. Lastly, it will only ease your feelings about the painful situation. Rather than feeling bitter and scorned about the pain this person caused you, you’ll feel compelled to only feel pity for the amount of hate this vengeful person has in her life.

5. Be the best version of yourself

After this incident, I made the mistake of proclaiming that I’ll never let myself get close to anyone again. However, that is the worst possible thing I could do. Allowing the painful situation to change me, only gives her the power and results in my giving the world a second rate version of myself.  If you do that, you’re only allowing the person who intentionally hurt you to win. Lord know’s she doesn’t deserve another victory.

Don’t let anyone’s pain, drama, ignorance, lies, or closed mind stop you from being the person you are meant to be. Instead, choose to utilize this painful situation to be a better version of yourself. Take the lessons of scorn, conflict resolution and sympathy that you acquired from this situation and apply it towards building better relationships, valuable opportunities, and selfless acts of kindness.

Don't let anyone's pain, drama, ignorance, lies, or closed mind stop you from being the person you are. Click To Tweet

How do you cope when a person has hurt you intentionally? Have you ever tried to get revenge?

TERRIfic Words: Be kind to unkind people. They need it most. 

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  1. Thank you so much! It is definitely hard to take the hard road when someone goes out of their way to hurt you. However, I’ve learned the classy approach makes a world of difference when it comes to healing. I’d be lying if I said, that thinking about what the person did to me still doesn’t hurt. However, I’m proud to say that being kinder to that person certainly does soften my feelings towards her.

    Be kind to unkind people. they need it most!

  2. Well written! I always have to remind myself to be kinder in these situations. It is a reflection of the other person’s inner world, and many times has very little to do with what I did or didn’t do! Hope you feel better after this!

  3. This is a great post, although I’m sorry you had to go through this. I hate that social media is such an open and free forum for opinions; it’s so easy for people to do mean things or spread gossip. Humility and honesty are definitely good places to start, like you said, although I agree – it’s easy to respond in kind to what the person did to you! I’m glad you had the courage and integrity to approach the person instead of trying to hurt them back.

  4. Excellent advice. I have had people say terrible things to me when they think I disagree with them, people that I thought cared for me and my family. I take it as a sign of their true colors and try to be thankful for the opportunity to be shown that this person was NOT my friend before I was in a position for them to hurt more than my feelings. it is hard, but holding your head up and moving forward is the best way to get past the hurt and/or the end of a friendship.

  5. Thanks for putting things into perspective going through a rough spot with someone I Love. This person disrespects me and then thinks I should do for them. I have been in prayer about this. I’m so glad the Lord directed me to this site. There are great scriptures on this. PS 34:18 GOD WILL HEAL THE BROKENHEARTED GENESIS 50:20 What is meant for evil God will turn to good and several more. Thanks again God Bless

    1. Debra, I’m so happy this post was able to help. I am no longer speaking to the person I wrote this post about. As much as it hurts, I realize it’s for the best. Just continue to pray for yourself and that person. It may not ease the pain but at least you’ll be able to sleep easy knowing you didn’t retaliate.

  6. Beautiful blog post. I am also dealing a with a friend who recently hurt me, I have a lot more to reflect on . Not sure how to move on from here.

  7. Great post! Thanks for sending me the link. I too was about to close my heart to anyone so that they can’t get close and hurt me ever again. I’ve decided to take your advice and be the version of me. Why should I let what they said change me when they didn’t even have enough guts to say it to my face? We will be ok. 🙂

  8. How do you overcome a friend who totally exploded on you, threatened to hurt you and extremely rudely kicked you out of their home just because they were having a bad day??

  9. You have no idea how this blessed me right now in this moment! You have idea! I’m the person that is suppose to love me and cover me literally is my biggest heartache. I do stuff always with good intent. I never go out to hurt anyone. I don’t always make the best decisions but at the time I do what I think is best for me. I explained this in great detail to this person . For them to purposely hurt me the way they did truly have heart my feelings to the core! But this has truly made me think before I did something I regret! God bless you!

  10. Amen, you all been blessed since the beginning (:
    God has helped me acknowledge the ticks to make me a better person as well , I have never had more faith in Him since today

  11. This is a great post it really touched me. Thanks so much for writing it! People too have hurt me and the way I see it is that they do it intentionally because of their inner hurt or unintentionally. For you it’s as if the world is crashing down, and all you knew of others was a lie, but for them it’s not so dramatic and they most likely don’t even remember hurting you. If I could myself I would’ve made different decisions. I would’ve wanted to take revenge and make them feel the pain they caused me. But then again, even if I did get even I’d still feel scarred by that person, and probably feel worse about myself. However, wallowing in my hurt isn’t going to change anything sadly. So the fact that you say it’s best to be kind to unkind people is one hundred percent true. It is better to move past these events, be happier, and show that that person does not define you. That it’s time to stop blaming yourself because all that you’re doing is making it worse and accomplishing their job of making yourself miserable. And by doing what you have suggested in your post, it really does help on the long path of recovery. Even though deep down I may never be able to forgive and completely let go, I shouldn’t base my world around this incident. It’s not worth giving up my own happiness and wasting my own life wondering what I should’ve done instead. Because, truth be told, in the end life does get better and your past makes you stronger as you move towards a brighter future.

    1. Heather, I truly appreciated reading this. I’m so happy my post has helped you find some kind of peace in dealing with the person who wronged you. I’d be lying if I said I never thought of getting back at the person who hurt me. However, I found that truly living my best life and wishing this person well has brought me some peace. I hope that in time you will be able to move past the hurt and be comfortable with yourself again.

  12. Even sadder when its your own adult child trying to hurt you… esp when youre known as great people.. the emotional head games are their problem we all know but it hurts so deeply for myself as well as her.. she cant be happy to intentionall hurt her parents.. all i can do is pray and be with those who love and treat me well.
    Pls pray for me and her and all our fam.. thank you and God bless you♡

  13. Hey! great post! I am so fortunate to have come across this post! I am sorry, you had to go through this. You are a great inspiration and have set a very good example for our society by being so mature and not taking revenge…. Just one suggestion… don’t you think, this post should be renamed from “how to deal with “people” intentionally hurting you” to “how to deal with “friend” intentionally hurting you”… though, at the end, we end up calling that so called “friend” as one of the people, who had hurt us and made us stronger…. but main thing is, there are random people who hurt us intentionally, but we don’t feel any pain, because we don’t EXPECT… but these friends are the people, who have potential to hurt us…. great potential… not just because we expect, but also because we trust them, and when they break that trust, it is heart breaking! and great post! thank you once again, for sharing 🙂 you made my day 🙂

  14. Great article. Sadly I was your friend in one way, that I believed lies from a third party and ranted about it, but in private, not publicly.

    The situation differs from yours in that this third party- the giver of the info- wanted to publicly “destroy” our mutual friend over perceived wrongs, and when I refused, she went on a year long rampage destroying my character and relationships all online.. she took revenge on me for not being publicly vengeful (!!) , and did so by sharing things I said in private. Vindictive narcissism…

    Now both the third party AND the old friend have teamed up against me.
    It’s a hard pill to swallow. I feel this article is for me and against me as I was on both sides (I was wrong to talk about someone behind their back without confirming the info).

    Thank you for writing this… I’ve learned my lesson, lost a dear friend over a misunderstanding and now am paying for it. Some people can be vengeful once, but conscience takes over. You learn and grow from it. Others are vengeful at heart and will never stop being so. These people don’t seem will ever understand growth and forgiveness.

    1. Catherine, your honesty is refreshing to me. I think whether intentional or not, we’ve all caused someone pain one way or another. It takes true maturity and growth to recognize when you are the wrong one in the situation.It’s nice of you to recognize your part in it all, but still upsetting that you are hurting yourself. I hope you find peace and even stronger friendships in time.

  15. Although this was good for you….it is not always good for everyone. I find stuffing the anger, turning the other cheek sometimes allows the perpetrator to go unchecked and do it again. When I confront them in a kind but intellectual manner….standing up for myself on social media in a very calm intellectual manner and yet calling them out on it by saying, “I’m disappointed in this assessment and here’s where you are wrong….. but best of luck to you in future endeavors..” that way I am not a doormat, I call them out in a calm intellectual and “best of luck way…” and I can move on as a mature adult but defending my character on FB and my own peace of mind. When we stuff things..its makes us ill sometimes…and worse, it allows the perpetrator to think he or she can get away with it.

  16. Thank you so much for your article! I was humiliated by a “friend” recently. I thought she was my friend & I vented to her about a guy I really liked. She had promised to never tell anyone. She did. She told the guy I liked & all the guys in our group everything I said complete with screen shots. I was devastated!

    I know I was wrong in venting & I wish I hadn’t! I am trying to move on but it’s hard!

  17. wonderful post. I had a friend that invited me to her house to help her paint to keep me there, knowing her boyfriend was going to come home and explode on me, belittle me, taunt me with “what are you going to do, cry?” and even taunted me about my dead sister whom I miss dearly. She then sent me a message saying she doesn’t want this to come between her and him. The thing that helps is that not once did I say a cruel thing to either of them. Being ugly back would have left me feeling guilty on top of shell shocked. I haven’t even cried about it yet as I am still too shell shocked as I had no idea anything was even up, but I will keep coming back to this as I heal. Thank you.

  18. I just found out a relative of mine is having other relatives to her home this coming weekend but I am always intentionally left out. Any time I have gone to a family reunion I have been treated coldly by some and have never figured out why. If I have done anything to hurt anyone I would be happy to make amends. I have been told that different ones just do not like me and if I run into a cousin ( all on my mother’s side of the family) they are unfriendly. I know I have been talked badly about, called gay(not true) but they are judgemental and I am not. Once a lady I worked with belittled me about being gay as a cousin who worked there as well I suspect started the rumor, my cousin always ignored me even tho I have always smiled and been friendly. I ended up leaving that job with very hurt feelings. Long story short. This is my family, I have always wanted to know all my relatives but am left out. My cousins and I on my Dad’s side of the family have a loving and kind relationship, I feel so confused and hurt and tired of the hurt. How do I deal with this. I have always been kind to everyone and that is why I say what did I do wrong. I am older now. What is the deal here? Let me add that I do not place judgement on anyone and am not meaning to put any life style down I just feel hurt by this attitude and don’t like things that are not true. I have to admit that my Mom was a bit squirrelly and I am probably better off wthout their friendship as they are argumentative etc, but still a family reunion and left out? I am so thankful for the wonderful family of cousins on my Dad’s side of the family. This is long but wanted to get some insight into this if anyone has any suggestions, they are welcome.

  19. Thank you very much for this blog. A few months back one of my friends and I weren’t on good terms. She assumed that I told her supposed to be EX about something she told me about him. I did tell him something but it wasn’t because she told me. She was highly upset with it. I would have been too but she didn’t even give me chance to explain myself. She was furious with me. She would see me and not talk to me but tried to make it seem like everything was okay. The thing that hurt me about the situation between her and I was that the same EX hurt her by using her, confessing all his love for her then broke it off with her over supper and then got married a few months later but she’s still talking to him like ain’t nothing happened. I supposedly did ONE thing wrong and things between us changed. The other thing that hurt me was that she had a birthday party and she didn’t even invite me or tell me about it. I found out through multiple sources. Every single thing she did to me, I forgive her but she found it hard to forgive me for what I did for a while. And the funny thing is that we never talked about the situation, she brushed it off like it was nothing. I am trying to take everything that happened between us out my head. Many times I am successful but sometimes I’m unsuccessful and have a little crying moment. I love my supposedly friend, we still talk but not the way we used to. I never want to experience something like this again.

  20. I have been in the same situation. In March 2018 I had my delivery my mother was already there to support me but when my mother-in-law came she created a nuisance that at that I thought of committing suicide. My baby was born premature, then also she did not even think of him. It impacted my relationship with my husband. And it was not the first time she did such thing earlier also she has done such drama. She insults my family members in front of me. I am very much afraid of her behavior. No one in my husband’s family makes her realizes her fault, instead, they all support her. Sometimes I think that I am caught in a web of bad people. Don’t know how to overcome it. Sometimes my mind becomes so revengeful that I keep on cursing them, I know that it’s of no use but it’s very difficult to live with people who humiliate you every time.

  21. My ex is bipolar not medicated and we moved to Delaware for what we thought was going to be a better life and to get some help with her I’ll mother.
    Well none of it happened and she starting cheating and started a friendship with the neighbor.
    I left and went to Tennessee and we talked every day she said she wanted to move to Fla
    and then when she called me crying that her mom was dying and asked me to come back to Delaware.
    I’m here and she is barely talking to me and I don’t understand why she is playing these games.
    Now I’m stuck in Delaware until I get enough money saved to leave and go to Fla in about 3 weeks.
    I just want to say the hell with this entire family and whatever happens to her she deserves it.
    I’m a good person that understands what her problem is but it’s time to think only of myself.

  22. I know it was wrong but a an ex friend of mine threw my husbands death in my face unintentionally hurt me. I abandoned my usual kind self and showed her what it feels like. I have shown her so much patience and kindness but she kept pushing. I wanted to apologize but not this time. I warned her and tried to leave but she kept on. I blocked her after telling her I’m done. I know it’s wrong but these people don’t know kind when it’s right in their face. If they see it they see it as weak and push you harder. I pushed back with no regrets. She said I’m crazy well she made me crazy.

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