Home  >  My Life  >  Relationships

20 Ways to Tell Someone They Hurt You & See the Pain They Caused You

Relationships can be difficult, and they’re not always happy. So, it might be hard to know how to tell someone they hurt you. Here’s how you can do it.

how to tell someone they hurt you

We’re all human. And we’re all susceptible to saying and doing things with the potential to hurt others. Now, there are some people who consciously hurt those for their own personal gain. In that case, they know exactly what they’re doing and how it makes you feel. But if someone does something to you that unknowingly hurts you, well, this is now in your hands. It’s your responsibility to learn how to tell someone they hurt you and explain yourself in a way they can understand and empathize.

[Read: Intentionally hurting someone you love – Why people do it and how to stop it]

The first step – Get clear before you tell someone they hurt you

Before you tell someone they hurt you, it’s important to do some introspection and get clear about a lot of things before you talk to them.

The reason for doing this is that usually when you are upset, there are so many emotions going wild in your mind and heart that you might not be thinking logically about it.

So, you can’t confront someone to tell them they hurt you before you calm down. Well, you can, but it’s not going to go very well.

When your mind is overly emotional, you cannot think clearly. That’s why it’s vital that you go through this process first before you have the conversation to tell someone they hurt you without hurting them back in return.

1. What did they do, not do, or say?

First, you need to define exactly what they did, didn’t do, or said that hurt you. We know that sounds obvious, but sometimes people don’t know for sure.

Instead, for some, it’s just a general feeling of anger directed at someone without really knowing why.

So, if you can’t quite pinpoint why you are hurt by someone, look at their behavior and situations in detail. What was said by them? Is there any action they did or didn’t do that hurt you? Is it something else or a past fight that triggered the outburst?

This is the first step to creating your plan to tell them they hurt you. [Read: When people hurt you – how to deal with the pain and respond to them]

2. Was this out of character for them?

Next, you have to think about the person who hurt you. Are they usually nice and kind to you? Or are they usually prone to doing things that hurt you and other people? This is a really big thing you need to put into perspective.

Why do you need to explore this question? Well, it’s because maybe the person who hurt you is usually a nice person to you. And if that’s the case, then maybe your hurt is worse. Or, maybe it shouldn’t be quite as intense since this person doesn’t usually hurt you. [Read: Is he hiding something? 20 signs he feels guilty for hurting you]

On the other hand, if this is a regular occurrence, then you have a bigger problem on your hands.

3. Did they do it intentionally?

Related to what we just talked about, do you think this person hurt you on purpose? Do you think that what they did or didn’t do was premeditated? If it was, then that is definitely a reason to be hurt – or even angry.

You see, if the person did not intentionally try to hurt you, then it was an accident. If it was an accident, don’t you think you should be more forgiving? 

Think about it this way. If someone got into a car accident, do you blame them for their malicious intent? No. You simply call it an “accident” because no one wrecks a car on purpose.

So, before you tell someone they hurt you, get clear on whether you think they intended to hurt you. [Read: Toxic people – 48 warning signs and the best way to deal with them]

4. Is this a pattern?

If they didn’t intend to hurt you and it was just a mistake, then that’s great. It’ll be a lot easier to forgive them.

However, if you have realized that they hurt you on purpose, then you need to reflect on whether this is a common pattern for them.

It’s bad enough that they hurt you on purpose. That’s never okay. But, was it a one-time occurrence? Or does this person’s behavior always hurt you? If there is a pattern of hurting you, then you really need to rethink the entire relationship – because it’s not healthy.

5. Were your expectations realistic?

Let’s say that the person didn’t mean to hurt you, but you were hurt anyway. Were your expectations too high of their behavior? You need to answer that question. [Read: 19 unrealistic expectations in love we want to believe but shouldn’t]

For example, let’s say that you announced your engagement on social media but didn’t tell your best friend personally. And then, they respond with a “congratulations” on social media, but you get angry with them for not calling you to say it – they hurt you.

But think about it from their perspective.

Maybe they were hurt that you didn’t tell them personally. So, you being hurt by them not calling to say congratulations might be having expectations that were too high. You expected something from their behavior that might not have been fair to them. [Read: How not to hurt people’s feelings in the first place – 20 golden rules to follow]

6. How has this negatively affected your life?

No offense to anyone, but just because you’re hurt by someone, does that mean that it ruined your whole life?

Probably not. It probably had some effect on your life, but how bad is it? Is it a minor inconvenience, or is it life-altering?

Either way, you need to get clear in your own head about how their behavior is affecting your life in a negative way.

They may be clueless that they even hurt you. If that’s true, then they definitely don’t know how it is making your life worse. That’s why you need to tell them the consequences of their actions. [Read: How to subtly make someone feel guilty and sense the pain they caused you]

7. What could they do to make it better? 

Is there anything the person can do to make it up to you? What kind of reparations can be done so that you aren’t hurt anymore? This is something you have to think about for when you have a conversation with them.

If they’re a nice person, they will ask you this question. What can they do to make it up to you? So, before you tell someone they hurt you, you need to have some suggestions for when you have this conversation. [Read: How to express your feelings – 16 must-know ideas to speak your mind]

But also, you might hear that you have done something to them, too. You might not even be aware of this, so you should reflect on your behavior and see if there’s anything you can do to make things better between the two of you.

8. Write this down

Don’t just sit with your own thoughts and answer these questions in your head. You need to write them down with a pen and paper. Once you see it written out before you, then you can see the “whole picture.”

Also, when you write this down, you can turn it into your plan for guiding the conversation when you tell someone they hurt you.

It’s always good to go into something with a plan. That way, the situation will turn out much better for everyone. [Read: How to tell if someone wants to hurt you because they don’t care about your feelings at all]

How to tell someone they hurt you and explain yourself in a way they’d understand

You can’t expect other people to read your mind. Even if they’re aware of what they’re doing, it’s important for you to sit them down and have them understand you know exactly what they’re doing and why. Is this going to be easy? Of course not.

In fact, it’s probably going to be really uncomfortable for you. It’s something you must do if you want to protect yourself from getting hurt. You need to let that person know how you feel.

1. Look at the offense for what it is

This is where you need to sit down with yourself and think about their actions. Are they intentionally trying to hurt you? Or do you think their actions are unintentional? 

Whatever your gut is telling you, follow it. By knowing where their actions are coming from then you’ll be able to properly respond to them. [Read: 16 silly bad habits that can ruin your relationship]

2. Don’t become defensive

It’s normal for us to become defensive but that’s not what you’re going to do. You need to confront the issue by only stating your point of view and not pointing fingers or assuming why they behave like this.

Stick strictly to how their actions make you feel, and allow them the opportunity to explain themselves. That’s the only way you’ll be able to come to some agreement or understanding.

3. You don’t need to be right

It depends on the situation, and you may be harboring feelings from past situations which involved them.

By the time you confront them, there’s probably a lot of anger and resentment built up inside of you. However, you don’t need to be right in your conversation with them.

And in many ways, you may have contributed to the situation as well. This is something you’re going to have to understand. [Read: How to confront someone when you loathe uncomfortable interaction]

4. Apologize if you’ve done something wrong

If you want to truly come to closure and make amends then you’re going to need to accept the part you played in the entire ordeal. You may have done some things to “pay them back” for the way they treated you, but this doesn’t mean what you did was right. Instead, own up to your mistakes and actions as well. 

5. Use non-aggressive words

If you’re wondering how to tell someone they hurt you, and explain to them how they made you feel, attacking them with aggressive words isn’t going to solve anything. 

You need to approach the situation using words that are calming and honest. You’re not there to cause more drama, you want to resolve it. Focus on talking specifically from your point of view and explain how you feel and why. [Read: How to fight fair in a relationship and grow closer]

6. Be prepared for anything

You may be talking calmly and respectfully but you really have no idea how they’re going to react. They may also react calmly or they could be very defensive and accusatory. 

So, you’re going to need to be prepared for everything that may be thrown your way. What you need to do is make sure you stay calm.

7. Focus on “I feel” statements

Yes, this sounds a little elementary school but kids are learning this for a reason. When you’re talking about your feelings with someone, you need to make sure that you focus your words around your feelings.

When it comes to knowing how to tell someone they hurt you, instead of pointing the finger at them by saying how they made you feel, use “I feel” statements that aren’t accusatory.

8. Be specific

The other person may not understand why or how they hurt you, but this is when you need to show them specific examples.

In addition, it’ll help keep the conversation on track, which is extremely important when discussing your feelings. It’s very easy for people to veer off the topic. [Read: 10 communication techniques you need to adopt to get someone to understand you]

9. Know why you want to talk to them

Why do you want to talk to them about when you tell someone they hurt you? What are you hoping to get out of the conversation?

If you just want to argue, then it’s not the time to sit down and talk to them. Only talk to them if you want to resolve the situation.

10. Set your boundaries

You sat down and talked about how they make you feel and now, you’re feeling pretty good about the situation. Though now they’re aware of your feelings, that doesn’t necessarily mean things will change.

This is why you need to set your own personal boundaries with this person. Know your limits with them, how much you’ll confide in them, and when/how you wish to communicate with them. [Read: How to set boundaries with friends without hurting or insulting them]

11. You may not be the source of their anger

When people hurt us, we assume they’re doing so because we’re the source of their anger. However, that’s not always the case.

Understand that you may simply be a trigger for their actions, and it is actually nothing to do with you as a person. Don’t take on the guilt from them and only accept responsibility for your own actions. [Read: How to master positive self-talk and banish negativity]

12. They don’t have to take away your personal happiness

Yes, they hurt you, but you’re the one in charge of your own reactions and attitude. You can tell someone how they hurt you, and then, though it takes time, you can move on. 

If they act unintentionally, you should ask yourself why you’re holding onto these feelings. If it was intentional and they apologized, why are you still in pain?

[Read: How to stand up for yourself and get what you want and deserve]

It’s not always easy to know how to tell someone they hurt you, but it’s something you must express for the good of the relationship, and for yourself. When you’re ready, use one of these tips to help you out. 

Liked what you just read? Follow us on Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest and we promise, we’ll be your lucky charm to a beautiful love life. And while you’re at it, check out MIRL, a cool new social networking app that connects experts and seekers!

Preeti Tewari Serai
Preeti Serai
Preeti, the founder of LovePanky, is an eternal optimist and believer in the beauty of love and life. With an exhaustive experience in love, relationships, and ...