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Telling someone that they hurt your feelings

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Helen of Troy posted 6/11/2013 15:14 PM

This topic is about a person in your life now, is someone you care about, and is not abuse.

Do you let someone know if they hurt you?
If you feel like sharing: an example?

I recently gently confronted someone, and it really helped my self esteem and self worth. For me this is an important part of self growth and of my NB.
It would be nice to hear other stories about (tactful) confrontation.

seekingright2013 posted 6/11/2013 15:49 PM

Wow, WGB, I could have written this post.

A few days ago, I just wrote an email to a close friend stating this exact thing -- that my feelings had been hurt by something she did (or actually, didn't do). And, I was feeling used, as well.

This email was very carefully written by me, I think, and qualifies as a gentle confrontation. I basically stated my perception of events, my feelings, and that if she wanted to repair our friendship, she could contact me (after a certain date in late June -- I have a big credentials exam coming up, and don't want any drama before then.)

And, I think I need time to just ... be.

Like you, WGB, I think standing up for myself really helped my self-esteem.

I am recovering from my grade-A codependency, btw.

Some history on my friend -- we have been good friends for about 8 years. She has been through a lot of drama in that time, and sorry to say, she has been the OW twice. I think I have been, during some of that time, in a codependent role with her, and doing too much for her, at my own expense. NO MORE.

I am hoping/thinking that expressing clearly how and why my feelings have been hurt, (by what I have perceived as her disrespect of our friendship), is a GOOD thing for me to do. I think it's healthy.

It's funny, but I have felt very freed after doing this. And although I hope she contacts me to repair our relationship, I am not all caught up in the outcome, not one bit. Que sera, sera.

WGB, does this any of this sound familiar?? Thanks for posting this topic today !

slight t/j: I think I need to start a topic on "When your friend is the OW" !! At the time this was going on with her, I was mildly disapproving -- NOW, after my own experience, I would be 1,000% a flamethrower. Just sayin'.

Sad in AZ posted 6/11/2013 15:52 PM

Interesting post. I'm working on this in anticipation that I may get into another relationship at some point.

Generally, I don't let others know when they've hurt my feelings. I either suck it up (if I care for them) or I write them off (if I'm just DONE with their behavior.) A good example is my brother. We were very close growing up. We became less close after we both M, but no trouble, just distance. Then few things happened, but I chose to ignore. He was angry and I wouldn't let him be--he didn't speak to me, but I kept up contact as if nothing had happened (and it wasn't because I felt I was wrong; I just didn't want a rift with him.) Eventually, he would come around.

Recently, though, he's become impossible-drinks excessively and gets nasty. His last outburst was over the presidential election, and I wrote him off. I decided I don't need crazy in my life. The thing is, I don't think my addressing the situation would change anything; we differ in opinions; while I don't care about the issue, he is vehement, and I don't want to deal with it.

I don't think I could have changed the outcome with my brother, but I'm afraid that future encounters with people I care about will snowball into a similar situation.

seekingright2013 posted 6/11/2013 15:59 PM

Wow, Sad, sorry about your brother.

Here's the thing though -- it takes TWO people to have any kind of friendship or relationship. No one can do it on their own.

His political craziness is beyond your control, as is his inability to bridge the gap, discuss issues, problems etc.

I think it's freeing to be honest, although there is of course a time and place for gentle confrontation.

Have you ever had an experience where you DID express feelings of hurt etc?

[This message edited by seekingright2013 at 4:00 PM, June 11th (Tuesday)]

tabitha95 posted 6/11/2013 16:05 PM

I know that I'm extra sensitive and also somewhat flaky any more.

I tend to blame myself for some of the hurt feelings I have.

If I did confront someone, I would have to think it out very carefully, because I may be making a mountain out of a molehill.

Broken hearted61 posted 6/11/2013 16:18 PM

I would also like to share in this topic. In the past I did not speak up. I didn't mostly thru 28 years of marriage although I would imagine my ex would have labeled me as passive aggressive. I also did not speak up to the many endless red flags from my cheating ex boy friend. Never wanted to make, was I a doormat. I am in a new relationship and I now 'pick my battles'. I think because I don't badger him my words seem to carry more weight. One thing I still battle with is making sure I do speak up on issues that are not just deal breakers but stuff that hurts my feelings. I am really trying to make sure I never accept 'crumbs' in a relationship ever again.

[This message edited by Broken hearted61 at 4:21 PM, June 11th (Tuesday)]

Sad in AZ posted 6/11/2013 17:32 PM

Actually, I'm more likely to hurt someone else's feelings because I'm pretty blunt.

I usually just walk away, ruminate for a while, and figure out where the comment or action came from. If it was innocent, and I care about the person, no harm/no foul. However, if it's not innocent, I will fire back with a zinger if I'm on my toes; otherwise, I'll stew about it, then decide if the person is worth continuing a relationship.

damncutekitty posted 6/11/2013 21:14 PM

I have a hard time with this. Telling people in my life that they are doing things that bother me is incredibly difficult. Terrifying even.

positively4thst posted 6/11/2013 21:31 PM

I'm getting much better at this. This is what you need to remember: "My feelings are hurt because I felt x,y,z when you said/did a,b,c. Just because someone hurt your feelings, doesn't mean you need to have "the" conversation with them and "break up" with them!! What I have found helpful is trying to gently speak up in the moment without creating a monumental situation. Takes practice.

Example: "Gently" call people on behaviors that hurt you. "Hey, next time you have an issue with my " ", can you please speak to me directly? I think you misunderstood my intent." That kind of thing. It difuses the situation when you represent yourself as open and seeking feedback, but it also gently calls them on the carpet to let them know, don't talk behind backs, word gets around.

Hope this helps.

little turtle posted 6/12/2013 07:25 AM

I'm with dck. I have told people how I felt about things, even minor things, and I tear up every time. I've gotten WAY better about it in my relationship with SO, but not so much with everyone else.

Example, my brother and his wife text me to make plans. Every time they did, they would start with "do you have the boys on x date....we're going to..." and it started to feel as though I'm only invited if I have my kids. However, the last time I got invited over, that wasn't mentioned. so maybe one of my parents said something to someone. I did tell my parents I have to talk to my brother and SIL (and why) with the hopes it would help me follow through with it, but I haven't told brother and SIL. If it happens again, I'm going to have to say something.

itainteasy posted 6/12/2013 08:34 AM

My mother constantly hurts my feelings.

Whenever she gets pissed off about something, anything...I'm the punching bag.

A couple of days ago she made a comment about the food I was eating. (backstory: I had weight loss surgery in april. I have just been allowed to advance my diet to "regular" food)

On my plate was about 2 oz of grilled chicken, 1/2 cup of veggies and MAYBE 2 tbsp of potatoes.

She said "that's a lot of food for someone who can't eat a lot."

So I replied that it was exactly within the dietary guidelines I have been given. And then she says "well if you keep eating like that you won't need new clothes."

I tried to walk away and she started yelling at me "Don't you walk away from me!"

And I simply asked her "would you treat a stranger this way? Or one of your BAR friends? Or is just me?"

My mother for as long as I can remember has lashed out at me when she has been angry with someone else. I think she thinks that because I'm her child she has the right to talk to me anyway she wants......and that I have to both accept it AND keep loving her. As well as never fight back and always be respectful towards her.

I told her I wouldn't be accepting that behavior anymore, and whenever she says something nasty, I will leave the room/end the conversation/etc.

Because I have value. I am not here to be a punching bag.

TrulyReconciled posted 6/12/2013 12:45 PM

This is one of the things that you work on at an Imago weekend.

The 'format' is important and is generally taught as:

"I feel ______ when you ______ because ______."

It's often surprising how much better this works than "You always ridicule me!" and so on. "You" is the caution word.

ajsmom posted 6/12/2013 12:54 PM


Argh. Your mother. I have a friend with a major P/A mother who does similar things.

Yes, you are valued - HIGHLY valued.

Thanks to some great therapy I now tell people straight up if they've hurt or insulted me. Granted, I have to remind myself to do it gently, but I no longer let things slide.

After this journey, I've realized life is way too short to allow others to treat me poorly.


inhishands55 posted 6/13/2013 00:13 AM

Sometimes I can be really blunt and tell someone when they hurt my feelings...

Recently, I asked my SO a question and he gave me an answer I wasn't expecting...I told him I shouldn't ask the question if I couldn't except the answer...After we got back to the house, I lost it..I didn't tell him about the hurt for a couple of days..He said he knew I was upset, but he waited for me to bring it up...We talked about the issue and cleared the air...

From my past, I use to let things slide...I might wait a few days to confront the issue, but I will not let it go with discussing it...To me, any relationship worth having is worth both of you working at it...

didiknow posted 6/13/2013 02:42 AM

I can absolutely relate to this. After doing some reading lately, ive come to the conclusion that i'm a bit codependent. I've put others needs ahead of my own and haven't effectively established boundaries. When someone hurts me, I let it slide if they are a friend or SO or write them off if they aren't close.

I'm definitely working on that.

Is it just me or does it seem like a lot of us Betrayed Spouses have codependent tendencies?

itainteasy posted 6/13/2013 07:30 AM


Thank you.

It's amazing her reaction now when I walk away from her!

idkam posted 6/13/2013 15:52 PM

Interesting topic because i posted about my best friend and i had a huge argument at a restaurant a few months ago... She called me a "Selfish Bitch" ... I have not gotten passed that yet...i refused to get in her car when she pulled up to curb i was standing by waiting for my cab....then she proceeds to send me texts about how my ex has my head all f'd up about religion, blah blah blah....i never responded... I still have not reached out to her...

We've been friends over 20 yrs...

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