When we experience negative emotions such as anger or hurt, it’s easy to want to lash out and say something that will hurt the other person.
But even though it feels good at that moment, lashing out often leaves both parties feeling even worse.
We all have good days and bad days and we’re bound to get on someone’s nerves at some point.
Even if you feel like they deserve it, saying something hurtful isn’t going to solve anything.
When someone hurts you deeply, your response can be the difference between mending the relationship and causing irreparable damage – and I’ve had to learn that the hard way.
Here are some things you can say when someone hurts you so that hopefully, they’ll understand how their actions affected you:
1) “When you _________, it made me feel ___.”
Ok, so the first thing you want to do when you’re telling someone that they hurt you, is to let them know how their words or actions made you feel.
This is important because it’s likely that they don’t even realize what they’ve done.
When we say or do something hurtful, it’s often because we don’t realize that we’re being so hurtful. In fact, it might be completely unintentional.
Letting someone know how you feel and how their behavior affected you can go a long way to helping them understand how they hurt you.
This will give them a chance to apologize for what they did and it will give them a chance to correct the behavior.
Remember to try to keep the conversation focused on how their behavior made you feel.
This will help you avoid getting into an unproductive argument where both sides are trying to prove that they are right and the other person is wrong.
Depending on how you want to word this conversation, you can say something like: “When you called me stupid at work, it made me feel embarrassed and ashamed.”
2) “That was hurtful and I don’t know why you would want to cause me harm.”
This is an important statement that shows that you want to understand why they want to hurt you.
It can be challenging to understand why someone would want to hurt you intentionally.
When someone I care about and trust does it to me, it really messes with my head and makes me feel like I should never let my guard down again and trust anyone.
So, if you feel that they intentionally did or said something to hurt you, you can either walk away from that person, or you can confront them about their behavior.
Ask them why and try to get some closure.
If you don’t feel like you can directly ask them why they did what they did, you can start the conversation by asking for clarification.
For example, if they made a rude comment about your appearance, you could say: “When you commented on my makeup, I was a little surprised. What did you mean by that?”
This is a good way to start the conversation and get answers to any questions you have without directly confronting them.
3) “I feel betrayed because I thought we had a good relationship and I trusted you.”
Betrayal goes beyond mere hurt. If you feel like this person has betrayed you, it means that you can no longer trust them.
Betrayal is a deeply painful experience and it is important to let the other person know that you feel betrayed by what they did.
They need to know that this is not just a disagreement between friends, it is something that has hurt deeply and shaken your confidence in your relationship.
Not all betrayal is intentional, and often people are unaware that their actions hurt another person, let alone made them feel betrayed. That’s why it is crucial to let the other person know that what they did or said made you feel betrayed.
This will give them the opportunity to try to repair the relationship with you.
And if their betrayal was unforgivable and you decide that you don’t want to repair the relationship with them because you could never trust them again, you should still let them know why you’re walking away.
4) “I can forgive you, but I need some time to myself right now to cope with what happened.”
This is a good option if you feel that the person has shown remorse for what they did and that they deserve a second chance, but you don’t feel ready to move past the hurt that was caused.
In my case, my best friend – someone I had known my whole life – hooked up with a guy I was in love with. Even though he and I were never together, she knew how I felt about him.
Even though I loved her like a sister and wanted to stay friends, I was so hurt by what she had done, it was difficult to move past it. I needed some time away from her to deal with my feelings.
That’s why I recommend telling the other person that you forgive them but that you need some time to yourself to deal with the hurt that was caused.
Let them know that this is not a punishment, but rather a productive way for you to heal.
When you need space from your friend before moving forward, you can say: “I know this is hard for you too, but your actions have hurt me deeply so I need some space right now before we can be friends again.”
Time heals most wounds and that was the case with my friend and me.
5) “If this is how you are going to treat people who care about you, maybe we shouldn’t be friends anymore.”
This is a good option if you have tried everything else and still feel that the best thing for both parties is to end the relationship.
This can be hard, but it is important to remember that even though you care about the other person and their well-being, you don’t have to stay in a relationship that is toxic and where someone keeps treating you badly.
You can let them know that you care about them, but that their behavior is unacceptable and that you have decided that you no longer want to be in a relationship with them. It is important to remember that you don’t owe anyone your friendship.
At the end of the day, friendship is supposed to make you feel good, not bad. If it helps, make a list of the pros and cons of being their friend. If the cons outweigh the pros, you should walk away without looking back.
6) “Why would you treat me that way?”
When someone hurts you, it can make you feel like you are going crazy.
And the thing that hurts you the most?
It’s the fact that they don’t even seem to understand why their actions are so hurtful.
When you don’t understand why someone would hurt you, it can be difficult to move past it.
You can say: “I don’t understand why you would treat me that way, and I wish you would explain it to me.”
If they don’t know why they did it or if they have some kind of explanation that doesn’t make any sense, and if they don’t seem to show any remorse, you might want to ask yourself if you want to be part of such a friendship.
7) “That hurt me deeply and I don’t know how to move forward.”
When someone hurts you deeply, it can be easy to dwell on it forever. It may even affect your ability to trust others or let people into your life because you’re afraid it will happen again.
You may even feel like the relationship should have ended when it happened, but you’re unable to move forward so you’re stuck living in the past.
If the hurt that was caused was so deep that you don’t know how to go back to how things were and you don’t know how to move forward in that relationship, it’s totally ok to tell them: “That hurt me deeply and I don’t know how to move forward. I know we’re supposed to forgive and forget, but I can’t do either of those things right now.”
Sometimes you need to cut someone out of your life for your own good.
The bottom line is that some friendships weren’t meant to last forever.
8) “I’m disappointed that you would behave this way.”
When someone close to you does something to hurt you, there’s a good chance that you’ll be disappointed in them and their actions. This will inevitably affect your friendship.
Disappointment is usually a feeling that comes from being let down by someone you care about. I mean, you’re not exactly going to be disappointed by someone you don’t know or care about, are you?
So instead of keeping your feelings to yourself, you need to let your friend know what’s going on. You can say: “I’m disappointed that you would behave this way, and I wish you would apologize.”
Trust me, it’s best to get it all out in the open and give your friend a chance to explain and apologize.
9) “I feel like our friendship is at stake here.”
Friendships are important relationships that can be difficult to maintain. When they are put to the test, it can be clear which friendships are worth keeping and which ones aren’t.
When you feel like your friendship may be at stake, you can say: “I feel like our friendship is at stake here, and I don’t know what to do about it.”
Now the ball is in their court. See what they do. If they care about you and your relationship, they’ll try hard to make amends and make things work.
But if they try to brush off your words and pretend that nothing happened, then maybe this isn’t one of those life-long friendships.
10) “You’re important to me and I want us to fix this together.”
Some friendships are worth fighting for.
When someone you really care about has hurt you, you want to be able to move past it.
You want to be able to go back to the relationship you had before the hurtful actions took place.
You may have been trying to fix it on your own or have been waiting for them to come to you, but nothing has worked.
Now, it’s time to put all of your cards on the table and let them know how they harmed you, and acknowledge any role you had to play.
Let them know that you want to work on your relationship together.
You can say: “You’re important to me, and I want us to fix this together.”
11) “If this is how you are going to treat people who care about you, maybe we shouldn’t be friends anymore.”
The truth is that it’s easy for some people to let others hurt them. They just blow it off and say “we’re fine.”
But the hurt is there, and it can eat away at a friendship if you don’t deal with it. When you’ve tried to fix things and they continue to ignore you or blow off your feelings, you may want to consider parting ways.
When you want to end the friendship, but you still care about the person, you can say: “If this is how you are going to treat people who care about you, maybe we shouldn’t be friends anymore.”
What else can you do?
1) Stick to the point
When you’re talking to someone who has hurt you, it can be easy to get off topic and start chattering away.
You might want to talk about how they’ve treated you in the past or why they might have said or done what they did and make the issue much bigger.
However, it’s important to remember that the point of this conversation is to let them know how their actions or words affected you. You don’t want to get so sidetracked that you forget to actually say what you wanted to say!
Try to keep your point as concise as possible. You’re not trying to write a book – you just want to get your point across so that they understand why you’re upset with them.
2) Set healthy boundaries and explain what you need
When someone has hurt you – especially if it’s a person in a position of power – they can often make you feel like your feelings don’t matter.
This is especially true if you’re not entirely sure how to confront them about what they’ve done.
When this happens, it’s important to stand up for yourself and let them know what you need from them.
For example, if your boss is constantly criticizing you in public, you might want to sit down with them one-on-one to let them know how their actions make you feel.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, you can also write them an email. You could explain that when they criticize you in front of other workers, it makes you feel unvalued and self-conscious.
You could let them know that you appreciate their feedback but that you’d appreciate it if they kept it private from now on.
3) Ask for what you need in the future so that this doesn’t happen again
When you’ve had a particularly bad experience with someone, it can be easy to let that define your entire relationship with them.
However, it’s important to remember that one bad experience doesn’t have to ruin your entire relationship.
When you’re talking to someone who has hurt you, it’s important to let them know that you’re willing to move forward and forgive them. The best way to do this is to ask them to change the way they treat you in the future.
Look, the simple truth of the matter is that people are bound to get on each other’s nerves once in a while and it’s inevitable that relationships will be put to the test.
When someone hurts you, it’s important to deal with it in a way that allows you to move past it.
When we experience negative emotions such as anger or hurt, it’s easy to want to lash out and say something that will hurt the other person.
However, even though it feels good at the moment, lashing out often leaves both parties feeling even worse.
To prevent this from happening and getting stuck in this cycle where you dwell in the past and poison yourself and the other person, you’ll likely need to start using some healing tools and techniques.
Practices like this free 20 minute Self-Healing Meditation are a great way to start shifting the focus back on to your own inner healing, as opposed to continuing to get riled up and attack the other person.
Once you’ve taken a step back and regulated your emotions, you’ll find it far easier to assess what to say next and how to communicate in a manner in which they’ll actually hear you. Shouting or otherwise getting aggressive serves no one only triggers people’s defences, which never leads to successful and healthy communication.
When someone has hurt you, it’s important to keep the conversation civilized, tell them how their words or actions made you feel, ask for an explanation, and let them know what they can do to make it up to you.
But to do this, you absolutely need not to be reacting in a heightened emotional state. Instead, calming down means taking that brief but immensely valuable time out.
Using these emotional regulation techniques, you’ll be far more likely to say the right things when you’ve assessed why you’re feeling upset. On top of that, you’ll be more able to explain you reasons and suggest compromises which will help you mend the relationship and move past the hurt.
Doing the opposite could just make things worse or even mean the end of your relationship.