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N in azaleas


How do you manage hurt feelings when you are a grown-up?


I hope it's not me that hurt your feelings. I'm sorry if it was.

For me it varies a lot depending on who hurt them. I rant and rave about certain people in private to blow off steam, particularly those I don't feel comfortable with trying to deal with/change their behavior patterns/etc. (like, say, my mother). Others, I try to work it out with. Some people go so far over the line that I work them out of my life. The line is relative, but closer people get a lot more slack and it takes a lot for me to be done with them.
Yup, this. Pretty much word for word. :)
It depends on the source and the intent, I guess. It can be anything from "hey, I don't know if you knew that, but saying X hurt my feelings" to "Hey dirtbag, that was outta line."
I can't really speak to the confrontation involving (or risking) part of the answer, as that is something I'm still trying to learn, myself.

I do know there's a lot to be said for talking it out with friends. And while hugs won't cure it, they can sure help! *HUGS*
Clarification: do you mean managing your own feelings when they get hurt, or managing the feelings of others when you hurt them?
Managing my own feelings. I'm getting too old to be full of sulking or those intensive, navel-gazing talks of my adolescence.

My birth family resolves hurt feelings with drama, and my in-laws do so by cutting ties with the person who hurt their feelings. They are very affable, but the person who hurt 'em may never know what happened.

There *has* to be a better way.
Maybe it's possible to find a path somewhere between those two extremes?

The problem with cutting all ties is that the offense may have been accidental and, if there's a chance to explain, everyone might end up feeling better. Drama also sometimes precludes the chance for a relieving explanation.

That said, I usually give myself a cooling-down period to decide whether a hurt is worth discussing with someone else. Often I discover that it's not as big a deal as I thought, once I've lived past it. And if it really was a big deal after all, well, I can be calmer and more effective about addressing it.
Drama wastes time, and blowing people off wastes potential friends.

Honesty, on the other hand, saves both. Tell whoever hurt your feelings:

You hurt my feelings
This is how you hurt them, and why I reacted as I did (Be specific)
This is a potential way to behave in the same fashion, without hurting my feelings.

Then, hopefully, listen to what they say in return. You can do this when you're in the grip of hurt feelings and in gestalt (all at once) or you can simply say "that hurt my feelings and I need a bit of time before I can be calm enough to talk about it, and handle it in sequence.

In any event, best of luck - and if I hurt your feelings, I'd love to know so I can change - although I don't think I did.
N in azaleas

September 2009

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