About being harmed and feeling hurt

Recently, we have discovered a meme on Facebook which we deemed to be worth a comment: In this phrase, we soon found several issues.

Firstly, these mental patterns tend to assign us to the role of a victim and usually make us neglect  responsibility for our actions. At the same time, we are bereft of the control of our emotions which are triggered by external impacts rather than ourselves.

How is it possible to hurt another person? What is the origin of hurt feelings? If an action is hurtful, then will it hurt everyone to the same extent?

How is the extent of hurt and pain dependent on the person that experiences a trauma? It is to say that in this article, we are covering emotional, not physical traumas.

Maybe, you we can grasp this topic more easily when we leave aside deliberate and purpose-driven harm. These deserve an article in their own right. Harm induced by accident or unthoughtfulness evokes similar results, thus it is worth investigating the harm’s origin.

But for now let’s focus on the harmed person: If you are harmed, you likely perceive the act of harming as some unspecific action taken or an act of speech performed, resulting in hurt feelings. Indeed, you will f e e l hurt. It is a feeling that is linked to a specific situation. This link between the cognitive reception and the attached emotion is individually hardwired.

Thus, the initiator accidental harm does not consciously evoke an emotion. How on earth should they do so anyway? Initiators follow their own behavioural patterns acquired by individual, oftentimes, too, painful life experience, subsequently attached with painful emotions.

So if we try to prioritise preventing others from being harmed, how can we be authentic and interact with others? This is, at least, severely hampered. Because everyone has thoughts and patterns attached to emotions both positive and negative, we would need to study our environment intensely, feeding the retrieved information into a database. This, then, would at best serve as rough guide to interaction on encountering other people.

This, begging your pardon, is rather unrealistic. And, while assessing a scenario, how should we adjust ourselves to it, trying to avoid all potholes in the road?

Now let’s take the harmed person’s perspective. 

It is easily done to point your finger at someone , accusing them of having harmed you. This, anyhow, won’t soothe the pain. You just pass the responsibility on to someone else, getting away with no change at all. By the way, we are talking about that kind of change that will to avoid feeling hurt, be it partially or fully.

The connections between cognition and emotion have been established deliberately by ourselves. In other words, these patterns can also be altered, and linked entities can be rearranged.

For this purpose we have to look at ourselves instead of our counterparts. What exactly that our opposite does makes us feel hurt, and why? Are there situations in the past where similar emotions were evoked? Which are our established beliefs that make us feel hurt? Once we have found answers these questions, we can begin questions the would-be facts in order to redo the emotional attachments.

Emotions are exclusively evoked by thoughts attached to them.

Let’s look at an example that may be common to many of us. While driving through town, we see familiar faces. Whilst we have the impression of having been noticed, we greet the others, but no there is no reaction at all. When we are emotionally stable, maybe we’d assume the other one is busy with thoughts. But we would then proceed on our way without giving much thought to the incident. 

Not so, if we are unstable: We would blame ourselves for having done something wrong that lets the other one ignore us. If our mental assessment concludes that there is no obvious reasons, we would probably call the other one names, swearing we will never ever greet them again. That incident ruined our day and we feel hurt.

Albeit it is the same situation, the cognitive perception and its interpretation are just as contradictory. And it is our own choice which scenario we choose.

Even if such a situation should occur again, it is a lot more useful to address that other person.  Uncertainty and doubts are long-standing and annoying companions. Relieving the uncertainty can help to let go unwanted things. Either the other person apologizes and has a straightforward explanation, or we will get to know that we are deemed to be an unpleasant person and therefore are not being greeted.

If we then feel hurt, it is our own responsability. We can’t be everybody’s darling. If someone does not like us – so be it. Still, this is no deliberate act of harm. It is us who rummage in the attic to find that old painful feeling again. By pointing your finger at the so-called “initiator“ or the harm, we carry on feeling hurt, and if we are dealing with numerous people, this effect will occur oftentimes. We can’t change others and even so, we can’t help others not liking us. But we can change our view on the matter. And so can we influence the feeling that is evoked in such situations.

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