Monday, May 28, 2007

I wrote this article to convince myself (and others like myself), who have often been on the receiving end of hurts, mostly emotional, from people whom I have known through the years (who may or may not be my friends) that there are definitely reasons or nuances of sound logic why people hurt others, deliberately or not. Call it my way of putting things into perspective, to know where people are coming from, to discern what prompts them into doing something offensive to a fellow human being, to understand them, and finally, to forgive them. After much contemplation, I came up with five reasons on why people tend to hurt (physically or otherwise) others: they do it for kicks, they do it for vengeance, they get manipulated to do it, they don’t actually know they’re hurting others, and lastly, because others allow them to do the hurting.

Some people hurt others for kicks. Really, there are people who experience a sense of euphoria when they inflict pain on others; they derive pleasure from other people’s sufferings. I’m just about finished with Arlene J. Chai’s book, Eating Fire and Drinking Water. A certain character in that book caught my attention; his name is Aure, a military colonel tasked with quelling terrorism in the South (Note: South here refers to the terrorist-infected southern part of the Philippines). This Aure is a man that belied his calm demeanor, for underneath the mask is an animal that unleashes his claws to torment his victims with the most horrid things imaginable (cutting a flesh here, scooping an eyeball there). And this he does in the full feeling and seeing of his preys; they are being mutilated alive. What can I say to such people? None. No one can change their convoluted minds, so I wouldn’t even try.

Some people maliciously hurt others as an act of vengeance. This, I think, is the most logical reason behind the need to cause others to suffer – to get even for some reasons, real or imagined. I hope that people who wreaked physical or emotional wounds on others have found a valid reason to do so and not do the hurting solely on the basis of some made-up thoughts or impressions concocted by malicious minds; otherwise, the premeditated “hurting” only becomes a channel for venting one’s hang-ups or grudges on the wrong party. To those who say, “Vengeance is mine,” you can learn a thing or two from Mahatma Mohandas K. Gandhi when he says, “An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind.” Don’t harbor ill will, throw it out. You’re better off without any excess baggage. Go light. Be happy.

Some people get manipulated to hurt others. People come in different shapes and sizes. There are the “dictator” types who think that they own people and that they could impose on them. Trailing behind are the “puppets” who seem to have no mind of their own, allowing others to decide for them, never questioning the dictator’s intentions. To those who dictate upon others, may you be filled with enough cunning so that those you dictate upon won’t be able to discern the real score, because if they do, you might one day end up all by your lonesome selves. And to the puppets, wake up, you’re human beings with free reins on your thoughts and actions. Must you totally abandon the dictates of your own conscience just to give in to another person’s every whim, however absurd? Remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others what you want others do unto you.” I suppose you don’t want to be hurt yourself.

Some people are oblivious to the fact that they’re hurting others. Call it lack of sensitivity, if you must, but some people can be tactless sometimes they hurt others without really meaning to. The hurting may come in the form of a seemingly trivial comment, a broken promise, a missed appointment, even simple acts of courtesy that might have been overlooked for whatever reason. Enemies can hurt you, but sometimes friends and loved ones can hurt you more. Why? Because you love them, that’s why. And you expect much from them. What do I say to those who don’t know they’re hurting others? Always put yourself in the other person’s shoes; never assume that the other person always understands. S/he may be in one of those wake-up-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-bed days or may be particularly feeling down and out, you may be rubbing salt to her/his wounds, making it all the more unbearable. For whatever it’s worth, learn to patch up your differences. It won’t hurt to say, “I’m sorry.”

Some people allow others to hurt them. Though it’s hard to admit, we’re sometimes responsible for how people treat us. In order to live harmoniously with others, we sometimes willingly give in and allow others to have their way, letting stale comments and little acts of discourtesy pass, without so much as giving a thought to them. Unfortunately, the very act of giving and understanding and making lame excuses for how others behave (or misbehave) toward us sends the wrong signal – that they (the misbehaving crowd) can get away with everything, and again, because we seem to be okay with what they do; it doesn’t seem to annoy us one bit, although the truth of the matter is, we’re fuming mad we’re just not showing it. We bear all of the other party’s blows up to the point where we can bear no more. Sooner or later, we’ll explode and there’s no turning back on angry words thrown at each other, forever burning the bridges that had once been witness to good relationships. How do we guard ourselves then from getting hurt? Learn not to be nice all the time; you’re prone to abuse. Give the other party a piece of your mind and heart; don’t let others trample on your pride and dignity, because in the end that’s what you will have left.

The acts of hurting and getting hurt are but parcels of our human existence. Each of us inevitably gets hurt one way or the other, and there’s no escaping that stark reality. We invariably cause other people’s pains and sufferings, too, by mere thoughts, words, or actions, however we deny it. Whether the hurting was done just for kicks or vengeance, out of sheer manipulation or mere insensitivity, or because there are willing victims, it’s not really the beatings we received that matter, but how we deal with those hurts. We can accept each whack in the back nonchalantly or make our indignations heard. We can own up to our faults – if we’re to be honest about it – that we deserve what we’re getting or we can justify our ill treatment of others. Whatever – different folks, different strokes. The morale of the story is: No matter how harshly others treat us, we must not lose sight of what it’s like to live without resentment in our hearts. We may not always forget, but we can always forgive those who have wronged us. Continue to believe that there’s an inherent good in all of us, that there’s no such thing as people born bad, and that there’s still hope for humanity.

13 pensive thought/s:

Hi Tetcha, this post is very true. In my case, I really took time to tell the person if he/she hurts me one way or another so we can settle it right away. I don't want to sleep at night knowing I'm still carrying some resentments in my heart towards someone. I value peace of mind so much.


Tetcha, thanks for a great post. Your analysis is right on target, and has helped me make sense of the actions and behavior of someone who hurt me recently. I have not fully let go of my sense of resentment and hurt, but I am working on it, and hope to get there soon. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.


I think you may have missed one thing. People hurt each other out of selfishness.
I think you hit on a great deal of whys in your post. How ever I have to say, and I think that people hurt each other out of selfishness. Selfishness could be a hole topic in its self.
I believe that a great many people don’t under stand the great rewords that they could receive in there lives by being less selfish and more giving. I could go on but I believe that its all out of selfishness. What ever that scenario is. ITS ALL ABOUT WHAT I CAN HAVE OR GET!


Hi, Wench!

You have the right attitude here. In my case, I find it hard to tell the person who hurt me that I was hurt/offended by what he/she did or say. It takes some time before I can finally confront the person and settle our differences.

Hello, Daniel!
I'm glad you like my post, and I hope your hurt is resolved by this time. So sorry for this late reply.

Dear Anonymous,

Yes, you have a point there. Why didn't I think of that? Thanks for commenting on my post.


I think this is so true...I think abuse is a cycle. Often times the people who hurt other people do it because they are hurting inside or have been abused, and dont know how to deal with their own emotions. This is not an excuse, but I have often unintentionally destroyed relationships with people who I really respect and love because of my inability to deal with my own emotions. Thank god for redemption and foregiveness...I think from some people I love I will never get this..but in trying to change and break these painful cycles...foregiveness and taking responsibility for your actions seem like the best way to break these negative cycles...


I think people hurt others for many reasons and this was a great outlook into some of the reasons why people hurt people. My thought was sin, pride, envey, seems to really stand out.


I dont have a clue why people hurt wach other but my heart cant handle it anymore. I am a very giving person and Im always the one to get hurt.


Hang in there, me too. Nice post. Reading this did not make the pain go away, but did make me feel not alone in the sea of pain from hurtful people.


I've been hurt by a man who said he believe in karma, but he hurt me so bad to a point I don't believe I could ever trust again.


Wow, Great fourm. Ok Iam male though and have had my heart broken 4 times. And with each time and relationship, I tried to give more and do more for the next person.

I also looked more into each person character, trying to find the right person. The last woman said all the right stuff, she said that she noticed that, I was easly taken advantage of, and that it hurt her to others take advantage of me.

She spoke of Karma on a regular basis. So, I thought this person was golden. I gave her almost anything she wanted, showered her with roses and cards atleast twice a month. Helped her with her finances, finished her basement to get renters to bring her additional income. Left messages of my love on anything I could.

I basicly adored her. Her old boyfriend also kept up with her on facebook, and I even said it was ok because trust is what a relationship is about. But after 2 years I could tell that she was starting to fall prey to him, and began to take notice of his advances. I told her that he was wrong for these advances, and I was told it was just his sense of humor, and that I did not have any, and then was told I was insecure.

My heart was hurt and broke, and I ended up leaving to see if she really loved me, and she never followed, in fact she cut me out of her life, and told me not to email her, another big blow since I had allowed his emails for 2 years.

I could not sleep night if, I did this to a person that loved me.

So people hurt others, because they fall prey to greener grass, selfishness.

I can't say that she will ever return, because she is a person that for one gets a lot of attention from other men, and that she is a very prideful woman that does not see any faults in herself.

Her friends call her a Heartbreaker, and that was one of the flags that I saw and ignored thinking I was different.

So there is my story, My heart was broken but I still have faith that there are good people in the world, and maybe by me writing my story, someone that has had thier heart broken has has faith, and someone that has broke a heart realise that they cause pain in others that is unjust. If anyone has advice for me I would love to hear it, because I do want to end this cycle.


I saw this article fell in love and read every comment I feel I have a little bit of everything in me and has been the victim of everything. All I know is,I need help quick


Those who hurt others are usually hurt inside. Their own inner sorrow, they may not be able to bear. They may not even aware of their own action because they're so hurt inside. For that reason, we must forgive them and move on with our own lives. They will soon figure out how to carry their own cross with compassion and dignity like the rest of us. Failure to do so will only augment their pain and sorrow.


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