Why does this person keep upsetting me? 

Does someone in your life keep upsetting you? It happens to the best of us, and I am afraid to say that experiencing pain and hurt is part of the human experience for us all. However – there are things we can do – and I believe that starts with us asking ourselves the right question. 

  • It could be a friend who repeatedly cancels your plans. 
  • A colleague who doesn’t pull their weight. 
  • A partner who repeatedly talks over you. 
  • A family member who cuts you down time and time again. 

It can become a repetitive pattern of hurt in the fabric of your life. 

And what are we likely to do? We keep questioning “Why does that person keep hurting me?” They can see it hurts me, why do they keep doing or saying that thing? Can’t they see how much it is hurting me? We wonder “How can they do or say that thing?” We turn these questions over and over in our minds. 

And nothing changes. We keep feeling hurt and we wonder why they continue to do it. 

Here’s the thing. We are asking ourselves the wrong question. The question isn’t “Why does that person keep hurting me?” The real question is “Why do I keep letting them?”

When we change the question and bring the power back to ourselves by directing it at ourselves, “I”, not the hurtful person in question, we can start getting some answers that will actually help. 

“Why do I keep letting them hurt me?” leads to self-awareness. It could be “Because I don’t tell her it offends me when she cancels “ to “I take on the extra work because I am too scared to confront the issue” to “I’m scared she will leave me if I speak up” to “He’s always talked down to me, since I was a child, and we’ve never reset the boundaries of our communication now I am an adult because I am too scared to rock the boat”. 

The reason we keep letting people hurt us is usually fear. Fear that we can’t handle the reaction of the other person if we speak our minds. Fear that they won’t approve or agree. 

Fear that we simply can’t handle confrontation. 

Fear that we won’t be seen as a “good” or accommodating person. 

So, to avoid that fear we keep letting them hurt us. 

But…it can be another way. We can act from self-love and respect, not fear. We can choose to not allow ourselves to be hurt on an ongoing basis. We can choose to speak up and cope with whatever the reaction is. We can choose to distance ourselves from that person or relationship for a time. We can choose to place our thoughts elsewhere rather than dwell on why the person that hurt us should be different. We can take our time, our energy, and our focus and place it where it doesn’t hurt. 

Taking our emphasis from how we want the other person to change in thought, word, or deed to what we can change in ourselves reduces suffering and pain. It’s the fastest route to stop feeling upset. When someone keeps upsetting you – start by asking the right question. 

 

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In this article I am talking about emotional hurt: if someone is physically hurting you please get immediate help from the police or a domestic abuse organisation in your area/country. Lx

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