The Psychology of Getting Hurt Easily.
How other people hurt us, what it tells about us, and what we can do about it.
Researchers found that cells within the human body are subject to permanent and regular regeneration. The cells of our bodies aren’t old. They keep regenerating and therefore are quite new. As we grow older, only the ratio between the generation of new cells and the degeneration of old cells varies. But regeneration continues.
Your body is as vital and young as it has always been.
To put it in other words: The only old thing you carry is your outdated thinking about your new and regenerated self.
Your mind might still carry old and destructive thinking patterns due to your conditioning. You are trained not to consciously question how to live your life, how to make a difference, and how to think for yourself. You are conditioned to perceive your life as it is right now without questioning it.
What your body does automatically for your physical existence is your responsibility to do for your mental well-being.
Our attitude acts as a filter
Your thinking patterns act like a filter through which you experience your life. Two different people might recall the same event in completely different ways because they don’t perceive objective reality. They interpret what they perceive based on their beliefs. These interpretations form their subjective realities.
Imagine two painters sitting in jail; each has a canvas and a beautiful view of the outside world through a prison bar window. One would paint the bars that lock him from freedom; the other would paint the colorful outside view. Two equal situations, but different perceptions, that root in different sets of beliefs:
Since you’re a child, you experienced, learned, and got told,
- you’re only loved, if…,
- you’re not good enough,
- someone else makes it better,
- you’re nothing special,
- you must do this and that,
- you must be like everyone else,
- you must fit into the group,
- you’re insignificant, too old, too young, too big, too small.
Over time you made congruent experiences. Plans didn’t prove to be successful. Projects didn’t work. You fell out of love. Beloved people left your life. It’s hardly surprising you use these experiences and setbacks as evidence for what you already believe subconsciously.
“I might fail but I’ll never quit & if I never quit, I’ll never fail.” — Grant Cardone
You know what? You never gave up, so you’ve never been a failure. The opposite is the case. You’re here and moving forward. Don’t be so tense. Just fine-tune a few screws on your attitude and invite things to unfold in their natural way and timing.
- You have people in your life that love you unconditionally.
- You have strengths. You’ve just been too focused on your weaknesses.
- There is always the one who can do it better, but you’re the only one with your unique, personal, and valuable experiences.
I’m pretty sure we could extend this list endlessly. It shows how a tiny difference in perspective can change the whole perception of life.
Take your experiences and look at them from a different angle. Can you put a positive spin on them? What do they want to teach you?
Imagine you’ve obtained a mindset that translates each setback into a lesson, each exertion into power, each difficulty into an exercise. You’d not only live life way more naturally, but you’d also form a firm belief that you’re strong enough to handle anything life throws at you.
“The mind is everything. What you think you become.” — Buddha
Our words reveal our inner self
One’s true personality is revealed once he/she speaks while being emotionally charged.
When we’re emotionally charged, we fall back to automatic behaviors, such as the fight or flight instinct. Our subconscious behavior takes over to get us out of the seemingly harmful situation.
We were emotionally charged pretty often in the past. It’s not surprising we accustom ourselves to maintain a specific vocabulary in our everyday language. And we use this vocabulary to talk to other people, as well as to ourselves.
You unconsciously use phrases like:
- “I must do it” — instead of “I decide to do it”,
- “It happens to me all the time” — instead of “I take responsibility for it”,
- “I encounter a problem” — instead of “I challenge myself”,
- “This situation sucks” — instead of “It teaches me something”,
- “I have a terrible day” — instead of “I am capable of being more powerful”,
- “I am ugly” — instead of “I’m unique, which makes me beautiful”,
- “I am not good enough” — instead of “I will improve”,
- “I can’t do it” — instead of “I’ll learn to do it”,
- “Other people are better” — instead of “I have mentors that teach me”.
I don’t know you. I don’t know your situation. I’m pretty sure your emotional reactions were understandable. It’s comprehensible that you talk to yourself in this way from time to time. Don’t suppress it. But question it is as well.
Every decision is easier when made a second time. It’s easy to react the same way a second, third, or fourth time. Don’t do that. Don’t create a subconscious rhythm of destructive self-talk. Because once you maintain this thinking subconsciously, you will put your personal filter over any statement:
- If someone says to you that you need to improve a specific skill, you infer you’re currently not good enough.
- If someone says to you that you’re beautiful, you feel uncomfortable.
- If someone talks about his achievements, you feel jealous.
All these cases have one thing in common — you feel hurt, even though the other person never intended to hurt you. You hurt yourself by your unhealed yet ignored parts that got triggered within.
It’s not the thing itself that hurts us. It’s that we refuse to deal with it. It hurts because we haven’t expended any energy to resolve it yet. We haven’t put our strength together to work on ourselves finally. In other words, we feel hurt because we feel incapable of doing anything about it.
If you feel hurt by other people, it’s time for you to accept one thing: You’re worthy enough to take care of yourself. Don’t let yourself be told anything else.
Listen to the words you say throughout the day. Take notice of your reactions. You’ll observe they’re connected and root in your thinking. How about just using a few more positive words from today on and observing what happens?
From a passionate thought, there could never grow weakness. From a loving thought, there could never grow anything else but love. Think loving, kind, and compassionate thoughts, and you will see the world starting to act differently, but accordingly.
What your reactions reveal about you
There are almost countless examples and situations where we feel upset, worried, underprivileged, stressed, or insecure.
We rarely realize that we don’t receive these kinds of feelings from other people. In fact, we allow unhealed parts of ourselves to be triggered by them.
How the world treats you is a reflection of how you treat yourself.
If you feel like a person is not respecting or honoring you, it might be because you believe you do not deserve it. If you feel like a person doesn’t like you, maybe it’s because you don’t like a specific part of yourself.
Be kind, compassionate, and loving to yourself, and the world around you will follow to be kind and loving to you.
If you keep rejecting this pain, it’ll usually keep coming back.
Healing starts when you allow it in and acknowledge its presence, and when you meet anger with sympathy, contempt with compassion, dislike with kindness.
How would you react?
Fine-tuning your attitude and adjusting your daily vocabulary can serve you in the same way as setting goals: It forces you to move, make decisions, and learn from the resulting experiences. You will get stronger, more self-confident, and less dependent on other people’s opinions because you have your own roadmap.
So why not find some action points right now?
How do you deal with compliments?
Let’s imagine someone walks up to you and says (and means it):
“Wow, you look great!”
How would you answer?
- “Ahh, that’s not true, I have to exercise more, I was lazy lately, and look at my belly.”, or
- “Thank you. I agree!”
These two answers expose a lot about your way of thinking.
The first answer reveals that you focus on your flaws and that you cannot take the compliment. In other words, you disagree with the perception of that person. You somehow feel hurt by it.
Remember: What appears true to you does not necessarily appear true to another person. Your beliefs are creating the gap.
The second answer implies that you keep your word, that you exercise, that you actively work on your shape, and that you can take the compliment because this experience made what you believe self-evident— that you are on your way to great shape.
Here’s the truth: You don’t need to be in your very best shape! If it’s a meaningful goal to you, you’ll take steps towards it, if only tiny ones. Plus, you’ll enjoy the process, and you can bet that it’ll be easy to take the next compliment that will surely come.
Here’s your exercise: If someone pays you a compliment — and it doesn’t matter whether it’s your spouse, a friend, a family member, or a stranger — just say:
And discover your reaction by yourself.
How do you deal with proficient people?
Let’s imagine you have a conversation with a person giving you self-confident insights into his running routine. He achieved incredible results in the last month.
You also love running and planned similar results for this year, which you haven’t achieved so far. Exchange this running example with any hobby, vocation, or craft you love.
Be honest with yourself. How do you usually react in similar situations?
- Do you start to feel upset that someone has already achieved what you want?
- Do you ask that person for tips to achieve similar results, and do you try to learn from him?
You can resort to excuses because other people are better than you. You can also accept that other people have already put the blood, sweat, and tears into it. You can accept them as your mentors.
“If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room.” — Confucius
Submit yourself to the teachings of those who have gone before you. Surround yourself with mentors that teach you to improve your performance, push you to better results, and lift you. These people have already gone through the struggle you’re going through.
Also, don’t benchmark yourself with other people’s results, but with your results instead. Break your own personal records. Let your results make the noise.
You know your flaws, but you focus on improving your strengths. You are good at your craft, and you show it by results and continuous improvement. Isn’t this a firm foundation for self-esteem?
Your take away
Your body renews your cells automatically to retain your physical vitality. This task remains open for your mental viability and wellness. Take care of regenerating your thinking patterns.
- Don’t be so tense. Fine-tune a few screws on your mindset, and then invite things to unfold in their natural way and timing.
- Use experiences where you feel hurt as guidance to find the lessons. Take them and look at them from a different angle. What positive and useful can you find in it? What does it want to teach you?
- It’s not the thing itself that hurts us. It’s that we refuse to deal with it. It hurts because we haven’t expended any energy to resolve it yet. We haven’t put our strength together to work on ourselves finally. In other words, we feel incapable of doing anything about it.
- If you feel hurt by other people, it’s time for you to accept one thing: You’re worthy enough to take care of yourself. Don’t let yourself be told anything else.
- The world around you is an exact reflection of how you see yourself. Be kind, compassionate, and loving to yourself, and the world around you will follow to be kind and loving to you.