Another common emotion we have all experienced and experience from time to time is hurt. Hurt is an unhealthy negative emotion provoked by holding an unhealthy belief about being treated badly, let down or betrayed by someone (and you think you do not deserve such treatment). It can also be provoked by unhealthy belief about someone who appears to hold your relationship less dearly than you thought. Disappointment is the healthy version of hurt and is provoked by holding a healthy belief about being treated badly, let down or betrayed.
You feel hurt or disappointment when you have an emotional connection to another person. They can be felt within different relationships such as family, friendships, intimate, special interest group and work relationships. They are emotions associated with lack of care. It is less common to experience hurt or disappointment towards a stranger.
When you feel hurt, you tend to exaggerate the unfairness of the other person’s behaviour towards you and you think the other person doesn’t care about you. You will see you yourself as someone who is uncared for and you will recall other times when you have been hurt. Your mind will also be focused on how the other person should put things instead of you. As a result, you will tend to sulk and shut down communication as well as criticise the other person without telling them that feel hurt.
Disappointment is the healthy version of hurt. When you feel disappointment, you will be more realistic in your judgement about the other person’s behaviour. You won’t automatically jump to the conclusion that you are uncared for. You will tend to judge the insensitive behaviour rather than personalise it. You won’t see yourself as alone and uncared for and you won’t think of other times when you have been hurt. You will explain to the other person how you feel and won’t shut down communication and criticise them unnecessarily. So the mind set and behaviours that trigger disappointment are more balanced, realistic and assertive.
An emotion often associated with hurt is anger. This combination is known is Anger-Hurt. Hurt is directed towards the self because the person thinks they are alone and uncared for and anger is directed towards the other person and the other person is damned as bad. The anger emotion is the most obvious and the most expressed emotion out of the two. Hurt tends to be held under the surface emotion of anger.
- Take responsibility for your emotions and explain how you feel but do not make the other person the cause of your feelings. Use expressions like ‘I felt hurt when you ignored me’ rather than ‘you hurt me when you when ignored me’.
- Ask but do not demand change from the other person.
- Do not pay the other person back by being overly critical about other things they are doing. Express your feelings in a balanced way.
- Focus on the incident that you felt most hurt about and refrain from bringing past hurts into the same conversation.