Have you been offended by a person close to you, and you want to get rid of the ill feeling toward them? Learning how to tell someone they hurt you is the first step to healing and reconciliation. It is a good thing that you are here.
Some people decide to keep the hurt to themselves to avoid conflicts or to upset the other person. However, this is not healthy as the other person may repeat the offensive remark or behavior since they do not know its effect on you. Therefore, if you want to keep your relationship with them sincere, healthy, and harmonious, you have to be honest.
To help you resolve the issue, here are some tips on how to tell someone they hurt you:
1. Evaluate What You Feel and Why You Feel That Way.
Before confronting the other person, it is best to spend some time contemplating on what you truly feel. There are some questions that you can ask yourself. Are you really hurt? Why were you affected by what the person said or did? Do you have the right to feel that way? What can the other person do to remove the pain?
2. Pray for Courage and Wisdom to Confront Someone.
It is difficult to treat someone kindly if you have been hurt. If you confront them while you are angry, the situation might only worsen with a heated argument. For this reason, it is wise to pray first before making any move. Ask God to help you forgive the other person and approach them in a gentle and peaceful way.
3. Choose to Forgive the Person Even Before Telling Them.
Even if the person has not apologized for hurting you yet, it is best if you decide to forgive them. It is not for them but yourself. Forgiveness is the first step to healing and reconciliation. Pray for the Lord to touch your heart and give you the strength to release forgiveness. Ask Him for wisdom on how to tell someone they hurt you.
4. Organize Your Ideas on How You Will Approach the Person.
Before talking to the person, you better plan what you will say ahead. Your goal should be to send your message across without provoking the person to be defensive. It will only lead to an argument and might end up with a bigger conflict. Therefore, organize how you will deliver the message without making the other person feel attacked. Also, choose more civil and gentle words to use.
5. Ask for Time to Have a Talk.
Once your heart is ready to confront the person, give them a head’s up that you want to talk. In short, set up an appointment with the person. It is not a good idea to ambush them as it could be the wrong timing. In addition, arranging a specific schedule with the individual will help them be conditioned. At least they will be prepared to hear you out.
Right Place and Timing
6. Meet in a Neutral Place.
Choose a neutral place to meet. It can be in a public area, such as a restaurant or a park, to help you both control your emotions. However, if the issue is too sensitive and there is a chance for heightened reactions, it is better to find a private place so you can talk freely. However, to avoid worst-case scenarios, be somewhere with other people you both know and trust. They can stay outside the room, so you can talk privately, though.
7. Do It When Both of You Have Enough Time.
As mentioned in no. 5, it is best to schedule the appointment. It is not advisable to talk when one of you is in a hurry. There is a possibility that the issue will not be totally case closed afterward. Talk when both of you have enough time to contemplate and process the situation. Your goal is to have a resolution before you separate your ways.
8. Talk When Both of You are in a Good Mood.
Moreover, it is important to talk to the person if both of you are in a positive mood. It is not advisable to confront someone when you or the individual is irritable or stressed. Instead of resolving the issue, there is a big chance that you will end up fighting.
9. Decide to Make the Talk Objective.
And when you talk, make the conversation as objective as possible. Be direct to the point in stating what hurt you, why you want to talk, and how you think the issue should be resolved. Avoid being too emotional, so you can be cautious with the words you say. Pouring out too much of your pain might lead to hateful words that can make the other person feel attacked.
What to Say
10. Open Up About the Situation that Hurt You.
Let us break down what you should tell the person. Focus on the situation that has hurt you. Mention the particular actions or words that have offended you. By pointing out the specific situation that caused you distress, the person can reflect on what they have done at that time.
11. Let Them Know the Feeling that was Triggered.
Then, specify to them how their words or behavior made you feel. What was the emotion evoked? Why were you hurt? This will help them reflect on their actions on how they treated you.
12. Tell Them Why You Want to Talk About It.
It is also important to let them know why you want to talk with them. Let them know that the confrontation is not to attack them but simply because you want to let go of the resentment you feel. Moreover, add that you want the person to be aware of their actions to help them avoid offending other people in the future.
13. Make the Talk Brief, Avoiding Too Much Pointing of Finger.
Also mentioned in no. 9, be direct to the point. Make the conversation brief and concise. It is also important to avoid using statements that sound like you are judging the person. Focus on the individual’s mistake, but do not make them feel that you condemn their character.
14. Focus on Coming Up with a Solution.
Do not dwell much on what went wrong. Instead, give more time to how you can reconcile and forget about the past. Assure the person that you have already forgiven them and that they are still valuable to you. Then, talk about how you can avoid the same conflict in the future. Of course, do not just focus on how the other individual should improve their behaviors. Ask how you can be a better friend, colleague, or family too.
15. Apologize for Any Offense You Have Done to the Other Person.
The best way to end the conversation is to humble yourself too. Ask them if there were any times when you offended them as well. Then, say “sorry” for all those past offenses and assure them you will be more careful next time.
Save the Relationship
Now that you know how to tell someone that they hurt you, you can be at peace knowing that you can resolve issues without losing your friendship. Do not let pain and bitterness consume you. Focus on how you can save your relationship with these people who matter to you. They are not perfect, but so are you. Learn to be patient with each other.
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