The things and people who hurt you can change you, drawing you away from your true self: a strong, brave, and free individual who deserves to be happy.
Of course, we all know that it’s not easy to escape or break away from something emotionally damaging overnight.
Most of the time when you think of escaping from something, it’s a physical threat – a knife, or a dark and deserted alley…your brain is hard wired to recognize those kinds of threats and trigger a response: fight or flight.
But if there’s one thing that everyone can agree on it’s that not all harmful things are easy to recognize, and it can be even harder to convince yourself that you need to escape from them.
Humans are social creatures who establish friendships, relationships, partnerships, and other bonds with people who can sometimes cause you harm.
What should you do in those situations when the thing that’s “hurting” you is a family member or a partner?
People who hurt you don’t deserve you“A person who hurts you doesn’t deserve you.” Sure, those words are easy to say. You know deep down in your heart and soul that the kind of person who destroys your self-esteem and doesn’t respect you also doesn’t truly love you…but how to force yourself to admit that. And how should you respond?
We recommend you read: 7 signs of emotional toxicity
People who hurt others are the type that can only care about themselves
When we talk about people who hurt others, the first thing you probably think of is physical violence.
And yes, it is a sad reality of life, that violence persists across cultural and class boundary lines. But there’s also another kind of implicit, indirect, or silent kind of violence that’s equally harmful.
- There are people out there who are incapable of feeling empathy or of establishing relationships based on mutual respect.
- People in a relationship who always put their needs before those of their partner are also very destructive.
- Selfishness and not knowing how to create a bond through understanding, trust, or respect are without a doubt characteristics that can do a lot of harm from day to day.
Words can be damaging
Sometimes it’s not even what they say to you – it’s how they say it. The use of a disparaging tone, raising their voice, and being sarcastic are all an affront to your self-esteem.
- Being raised with poor communication or by an iron fist can also damage a person, undermining a child’s self-esteem and sense of security.
- The way a person acts in a relationship, their tone of voice, and the way that they present their side of things can say a lot about them.
Learn to defend yourself against what injures you as well as the people who hurt you
The real issue, which we were talking about earlier, is that people most commonly react to physical threats instead of social or emotional ones that threaten their self-esteem.
One person who can often cause more damage than any other is a family member or a person in your closest circle of friends. What can you do if your parent, partner, or best friend doesn’t respect you or is blackmailing you with emotions?
- Don’t be afraid to set your boundaries and say “NO” to things that you don’t like or that cause you pain.
- Saying “no” isn’t a selfish act. It’s how you define your personality respectfully – it informs the people around you that you deserve to be considered and that some things are hurtful.
- It’s essential that once you’ve made that declaration, the person responds. If you realize that nothing has changed and they continue to act in the same way, it’s time to make a decision: a person who hurts you on purpose doesn’t deserve you.
- Understand that it’s impossible to please everyone. Trying to make every person in your life happy all the time is an impossible goal that will only make you unhappy.
- In life, you must be able to set your priorities, and the first priority should be you. If you love and respect yourself, you won’t allow others to harm you.
- The most important relationships to cultivate are those that allow you to always be yourself, showing you respect, love, and understanding.
You’re responsible, brave, and entitled to seek your own happiness just like anyone else in the world. Don’t waste your time on people who hurt you or don’t respect your values and your integrity.
They’re not worth it.