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Intentionally Hurting Someone You Love: Why We Do It & How to Stop

People can be very cruel to each other. And intentionally hurting someone you love can be damaging. Here’s how to react when someone hurts you.

intentionally hurting someone you love

We all make mistakes and can accidentally hurt someone we love without intention or even realizing it. But, intentionally hurting someone you love is messed up.

Are you intentionally hurting someone you love?

When I was younger and fought with my then-boyfriend, I’d say some really hurtful things. Why? Well, I either wanted a reaction or to make him feel the pain he caused me. Either way, don’t do that.

If you want to make your partner, friend, or family member feel pain, grow up. And I fully admit, I was an immature jerk.

How to respond when someone intentionally hurts you

Now, if you’re with someone who’s hurting you, it needs to stop. Intentionally hurting someone you love isn’t a sign of a true partner nor someone who cares about your feelings. And that’s the honest truth. [Read: Watch out for these early warning signs of a toxic person]

When I said those mean things to my ex, I just wanted him to hurt. I wasn’t thinking about his emotional well-being or how he felt in that moment. Anyways, if someone is intentionally hurting you, do something about it.

You can’t just let someone walk all over you. So, it’s time you learned how to respond when someone is intentionally hurting you. Because saying “it’s okay” or “no worries” isn’t going to cut it. You can’t give them a pass this time.

#1 What happened? Before you start assuming it was intentional, you need to step back and look at the entire situation. Maybe you saw the situation as something different than how they saw the situation. I don’t want to give them a pass, but you should really take a look at what happened. Ask a third party, like one of your friends, to give their perspective as well. [Read: How to fix a lack of communication in your relationship]

#2 Follow your gut. I told you to step back and look at the situation, and you should. But if your heart is telling you they said or did something to hurt you intentionally, you’re probably right. Your gut reaction is a very good indicator of what you really think and feel. By taking a step back, you’re allowing yourself to make sure your feelings aren’t coming from another place.

#3 Do you do the same thing? I’m not putting the blame on you. But you should reflect on yourself, and see if you’re also doing this to the person who’s hurting you.

Sometimes we don’t realize it and the other person is basically giving us a taste of our own medicine. Does this give them a green light for doing this? No. But you now have a great base to start a conversation. [Read: 10 big problems in a relationship and how to fix them]

#4 Do you want to confront them? You have two options: confront them or don’t confront them. There is no in-between. If you choose to confront them, you’ve decided you’re no longer putting up with their behavior. That can go in two ways: keep the relationship or end it. You can also choose not to address them, but beware this is going to happen again… and again.

#5 Don’t become defensive. Let’s say you’ve chosen to confront them. I think this is a great idea. Listen, it’s time to cut the abuse you’ve been receiving. It’s easy to pull the defensive card, but in all honesty, it doesn’t get you far. Only tell them your position and point of view of what happened. You’re not here to convince them or be hostile towards them. [Read: How to tell someone they hurt you without hurting them in return]

#6 Let them share their opinion. Okay, so you told them how you felt, now you just can’t walk away. This is the good part! You need to let them tell you their point of view. They need to be able to express their opinion and point of view as well. If not, it’s just you explaining your feelings and not letting the situation come full circle. You both need to express yourselves before making a consensus.

#7 Be honest. If you’re not going to be honest then there’s no point talking to this person anymore. I mean, the whole point of having a conversation is about being honest with yourself and them.

If everything you say isn’t honest, you’re wasting your time. So, if you want to talk to them about your behavior, you need to be vulnerable.[Read: 18 critical signs of an unhealthy relationship]

#8 Don’t focus on trying to be right. I don’t know what happened, to some extent you are probably in the right. But they could also be right. However, this isn’t a pissing match. It’s not about who’s right and who’s wrong. This person has their own thoughts and feelings. There’s nothing you can do about that. Just accept that you may disagree on fundamental things.

#9 You may need to apologize. Yes, they may have intentionally tried to hurt you, but it takes two to tango. There are some people who are just plain psychos and want to cause you pain without reason. [Read: How to quickly spot narcissistic traits in a relationship]

But for the majority of us, we hurt others because we’re in pain. If you’ve done something that hurt them, you need to apologize as well. Treating someone badly is just bad whether you or the other person did it.

#10 Evaluate the relationship. Now that you have talked it out, do you want to salvage the relationship? It’s a tough question to answer. If someone cheated on you, then you probably shouldn’t try to salvage the relationship. However, in some other situations, such as an argument over laundry, for example, you may want to work on the relationship before cutting it. [Read: The 15 signs it’s time to break up – even if it’s hard]

#11 Establish boundaries. You’ve experienced what it feels like when someone intentionally hurts you. It was hard, but a valuable life lesson. Now is the time to create boundaries for yourself. If not, you’ll never know where the line is which means no one else will. Create healthy boundaries for yourself. It’ll prevent situations like these from happening again.

[Read: 15 healthy boundaries that’ll create better relationships for you]

You have the tools, now you just need to stand up for yourself. If intentionally hurting someone you love is your partner’s mantra, it’s time to put your foot down!

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer best known for her writings on Kiiroo, LovePanky, Post Pravda, and more. She's the creator and ...
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