“Hurt me with the truth, but never comfort me with a lie” – Unknown
Looking for a good reason to hurt someone? Here’s an example of one:
Gotta love it!
Let’s take a walk down the dark, haunting side of memory lane and think back to the times where we’ve been hurt, not physically, but mentally or emotionally. This is obviously not a place we like to dwell long but I feel most everyone has a skeleton hiding in their closet of such a time.
Let’s take a similar walk down this side of the road and think back to a time where we may have hurt someone else (again, not physically Mike Tyson), but mentally or emotionally. This can include a situation where we may have had good intentions. Maybe the hurt we caused had been a complete accident or misunderstanding, or maybe we didn’t actually see the person be hurt or feel hurt and it was indirect. Regardless, the thought remains, that such a time has more than likely occurred in all of our lives.
I remember when I was in the fourth grade a girl in my class dared me to show her my boxers. I didn’t really understand the big issue there so I just pulled up my pant leg to show her my sweet Spiderman getups. She screamed and told the teacher on me as the sight alone must have irreparably scarred her pre-pubescent mind and I got a pink slip (or a detention for you go-hards out there).
What a bunch of sh*t right? There have been plenty of worse things I’ve done to people. I’ve broken girl’s hearts. I’ve insulted people. I’ve lied to people. I’ve talked bad about people. I’ve made my mom cry. I’ve made my sisters cry.
I’ve hurt people before. And people have hurt me before. And I’m here to tell you : That’s OK!
Now, there’s definitely a good way of hurting people and a bad way of hurting people.
The ways I’ve described above (less the boxer story because seriously what is not to like about those boxers) are not nice things to do to others (obviously, I think we can get that). We shouldn’t feel OK when we lie to people, talk down or insult others. There’s a difference in hurting someone and being an evil, mean and cruel person.
The kind of good hurt I’m talking about is when we are honest with someone about our desires, our needs and our wants and explain to them how things are going to have to change between the two sides for our desires, needs and wants to be fulfilled.
There can be a multitude of scenarios where hurting someone can be necessary, such as:
- Breaking off a relationship that isn’t working
- Ending a friendship that is toxic
- Leaving a job that is unfulfilling
- Defying our parents when their beliefs are against our own
- Quitting an activity that isn’t providing happiness
- Saying no to an invitation
Hurting people in these scenarios is hard, I know! It’s hard to disappoint others. It’s hard to cause pain in others. But…
As a general rule of thumb: There is no righteousness in allowing ourselves to be hurt or abandoning our desires in order to make someone else happy or allow someone else not to hurt.
None. Nada. No way Jose. This only will lead us on a life of resentment and regret. Which leads me into my first reason why it’s OK to hurt someone:
- Because our needs and desires are important, period.
This is not to say that compromise is not a legit thing and isn’t a great way to live a happy life, but this is to say that we cannot give up on ourselves for the sake of someone else.
I’ve never read the book Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, (although I really want to but for god sakes why the hell does it have to be over 1,000 pages long!) but in the book the character John Galt states “I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine”. The line is essentially saying that we each have to live our own lives and share them with someone else, but certainly not live for someone else.
If a person or situation is asking us to live a certain way that we aren’t comfortable with or won’t be happy with, it is our job to leave that person or situation, regardless of any pain or hurt it may cause them.
This idea can be supported with the next reason…
- Life is too short
It is something that we have keep in mind whenever we are dealing with tough, life changing decisions. How unfair is it to ourselves to waste the short, precious time we have here living a certain way or doing things that make us unhappy? For more on wasting time, check out “Wasting Time: And How to Avoid It”.
Answer: It’s incredibly unfair! We should be spending the majority of our time every day doing what it is we choose to do and any time spent unhappy is simply ruining the limited time we have here.
So let’s go ahead and make those tough decisions, regardless of whether they may or may not directly hurt someone, because we deserve to live every second of the life the way we want and envision. Clearly this doesn’t mean let’s run wild and be a$$holes, but let’s simply be open and honest with everyone about how we want to spends our days and disregard whether this might hurt another party.
Harsh? I think not. Because…
- It’s not personal
Anyone who watched Game of Thrones was pretty aware from the start that Joeffrey was a real d*ck and pretty much did things to humiliate and hurt other people (hurt is kind of a weak term there since the boy slaughtered individuals). Adolf Hitler and the Nazis weren’t real straight shooters either and I’m pretty sure I don’t need to get into what happened there.
For the most part, however, people don’t just go about their lives thinking “Hey, I’m going to just go hurt someone today, I feel like taking this person down!” It’s pretty common place after a break up to cry on the couch with a tub of ice cream screaming out how the other person never loved you anyway and was just out to get you, but chances are that’s just not true.
I’m a firm believer that people really do care about each other. People really do love each other. Everyone just wants to be happy. Everyone! And, unfortunately, on this quest for happiness, some people are going to get hurt.
So next time we hurt someone or someone hurts us, just remember that both sides are just trying to make themselves happy, and that it shouldn’t be taken personally. Furthermore, hurting people…
- It helps us grow
Just like a phoenix rising from the ashes of its grave, making a tough decision to hurt someone to better our own lives enriches us and helps us grow. It shows us that we have the power to push our lives in the direction we want them to go and have the courage to make it happen regardless of any collateral damage.
Even on the other side, when we get hurt, it helps us grow just as much. Getting hurt enters us in a state of self-realization where we learn how to put ourselves back together again and focus on what makes us happy. Therefore, one might argue that being hurt is necessary for growth and strengthening our self-esteem. If we never experience defeat, we’ll never know just how strong we really are.
As I said before, there are limits to what is an acceptable way of hurting someone. Don’t cheat, don’t lie, don’t deceive…just pretty much think if what we’re about to do will take us off the “Nice” list on Christmas and act accordingly. It’s OK to be honest with someone about our wants and end whatever kind of relationship that it is with them (romantic, work, friendship, family) in order to let ourselves grow and be happy.