Darn It – I Hurt Someone!

by Melody Jean

Darn It I Hurt Someone Contemporary SeekerWhile talking with a friend, I was caught off guard. It was then when I realized that a situation which I did the best I could to handle wasn’t over. It’s still very much ongoing and may be for some time. Why?

Because darn it, I hurt someone, albeit unintentionally.

It Feels Yucky

While it feels yucky, sometimes we hurt others without intending too. It’s a part of life. A reality if you will. Of course we hope it happens seldom. Yet it happens, whether we intend it or not, and for a plethora of reasons.

The Role of “The Hurter”

What role does this often unavoidable conflict play in the lives of those who hurt someone, but didn’t intend to? I believe it helps if “The Hurter” pays attention to one key factor as I had to do in my situation.

–> The Choice – When to Hurt

You see, sometimes there’s no choice in whether we hurt someone. It’s really just a matter of when. In a way it’s sometimes unavoidable. I like to maintain, most people are ‘good.’ So in many instances it sometimes really is just a matter of when we’ll cause the hurt, not if. Will it be sooner or will it be later? This really is an important factor to consider.

–> Best Interest at Heart – Truly

As long as we hold the best interest of the other at heart; sometimes the only thing that we can control is doing what’s appropriate sooner, than later. Sadly, we can’t control if they hurt as a result. In most instances this is not easy because we need to end something or conclude a situation. The earlier we recognize it needs to end, the better in fact. I’m talking days, or weeks; not months and years. Though time waits for no one.

When proceeding in this vein as long as we do it lovingly, kindly and perhaps acknowledging that our intent was not to hurt, even though we may have, we can find solace. We can walk-away knowing we did the best that we could under difficult circumstances. This is what I did recently. True story. Yet, to no avail darn it, I still hurt someone, and it doesn’t seem that my efforts to lessen the pain, worked. And for this reason, I feel yucky.

Ahhh, But “The Hurtee”

When someone is hurt it’s often because they’re embarrassed to some degree and feel wronged. Hurt and embarrassment go hand in hand. Our ego takes a hit.

In “most” cases when this happens it helps to recognize the other party was likely not intending to cause pain and was in it for the potential good. As a result perhaps we can accept moving forward in the same friendship as before.

On the flip-side, I faced this too in recent months in that I was the hurtee. Yet, I recognize what happened was not ill-willed on the part of “the hurter.” While it hurt, and perhaps I was embarrassed I know my best interest was held. With that, I’m able to proceed. I don’t harbor resentment, because well, that’s just not fair.

Maturity & He Who Hurts “The Hurtee”

I believe that embarrassment and fear are closely aligned to why we get hurt by someone or situations. With that, much of the outcome and ability to cope with situations when we’re hurt, no matter how hurtful or embarrassing it may be, depends on the maturity of each individual involved. I truly believe this. I have witnessed this with myself and others. Both in cases where I’ve acted “mature” when hurt, and ones from more early days, where I could have done a much better job, ha! Hey – it’s how we learn, right?!

—> Tolerating Embarrassment

A quote by Douglas Engelbart, an inventor, sums this up best when he said, “The rate at which a person can mature is directly proportional to the embarrassment he can tolerate.”

Englebart is an inventor so he is accustomed to trying new endeavors. He regularly sees things work, and not work. Much of his success probably can be attributed to the fact that he recognizes maturity as an important element. He certainly can handle embarrassment he feels when others see him fall short in his experiments.

–> An Example? As Always

I relate Englebart’s words on maturity to a situation where friends decide to partner-up on a business endeavor. The exploration and uncertainty of whether it will work or not can be viewed as an experiment of sorts. Yet if they feel it’s worth anything, they should try. Even if in the end one decides to terminate the partnership and as a result the other remains hurt or embarrassed, it was worth it, no?

–> Nobody Likes a Poor Loser

What if it had turned out differently and nobody was hurt and it ended happily ever after? Then for sure all involved would say it was worth the risk. Yet, my friends, most times we are not offered up the future and do not know if it will be roses or coal in the end. Often we have to risk being hurt or embarrassed, to gain. You win some, you lose some, yet nobody likes a poor loser.

The End Note

People are human and make mistakes. I’ve been hurt and been the hurter. While I’m not suggesting that we forgive every wrong that comes our way, I merely suggest stepping back and putting on the other’s shoes.

Did he or she cause us less potential hurt in the long run by acting now? Will the damage be less than if the situation continued until things unavoidably fell apart and others around us became more entrenched? Did they drag us through the mud, or treat us without dignity?

When hurt, these are factors to consider, as well as, keeping our embarrassment in check, and acting mature. Simple, yet so complex.

–> Heed the Words

Perhaps at times it’s worth heeding the words of Englebart. So with this post I offer maturity as a possibility for coping when embarrassed or hurt. After all, we’re all human and “most” don’t intend to cause others undo pain or distress.

Another good quote applicable here, is by Ann Landers – especially because of one line “be able to bear injustice without having to get even.”

Landers says, “Maturity: Be able to stick with a job until it is finished. Be able to bear an injustice without having to get even. Be able to carry money without spending it. Do your duty without being supervised.”

Yes, so it seems, darn it, I hurt someone, though truly unintentional. And yes, so it seems I’ve been hurt. Nobody is immune and we’re all “the hurter” and “the hurtee” and so the story goes …

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }


Hi Mel,
Another excellent article!


Melody Jean

Thank you much 🙂


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