This is a true fact of life:
People who are hurting,
They can’t help themselves.
They hurt on purpose
because they don’t know any other way.
But that does not mean you should sit there and take someones crap. Not at all. You can still care for the person and try to help but a strong boundary is needed always.
When someone is hurting, as much as they might want to stop hurting they will bite the one trying to help them. Or they might feel justified in lashing out because they are in so much emotional pain, whether it’s obvious to them or not. It’s an extreme form of resistance. And changing is hard work. In most cases even the sickest, most hurtful people have moments of clarity but cannot change. It is the same with everyone. We know we must change but can’t because we resist the exact thing we need.
In my opinion, people who deliberately hurt others, have a deep seated guilt about something, so they set up hurtful situations to be hurt back. Guilt always seeks punishment. Some behavior is as much a mystery to the offender as it is to the victim.
According to Steven Pressfield’s book the “The War of Art” resistance is ever present and we need to be aware of it all the time or it will kill us. Resistance is impersonal and out for blood in anyway possible. Resistance is the enemy of change. Resistance is the enemy of healing.
So what to do when a hurting person hurts you.
1. Feel your feelings.
2. Don’t deny what is going on.
3. Set up a strong boundary.
4. As tempting as it is: don’t hurt back.
5. Wait it out until you have some clarity.
6. Use kindness by trying to understand where they are hurting.
7. If they are open enough make suggestions for improvement.
8. Move on if necessary.
The person who is strong is the one who is willing to straighten hurtful situations out. The person who is weak is the one who withholds their willingness to straighten hurtful situations out.
Which one are you? What does it feel like to hurt on purpose? What does it feel like to be the victim? What similar experiences have you had?
Are you the strong one who is willing to work things out? Or are you the weak one who is withholding.
The choice is yours.