Hurt your feeling

Feeling Hurt: A Guide To Your Emotions

PUBLISHED Dec 23rd, 2020 & UPDATED ON Dec 7th, 2021

When we feel hurt, it can obviously be a really painful experience. It can feel like a punch to the gut, or a knife in the heart (safe to say neither of those are enjoyable). We might replay what has caused us to hurt over and over again in our minds, which can make it hard to move on from this feeling. We might try to hide away and disappear off the face of the earth so that nobody will see how much we’re suffering. Instead, we bottle up this feeling inside and repress it as much as possible. Onlyyy it doesn’t help, does it? The hurt is still there, dragging us down into a deep pit of sadness until we finally address what we’re truly feeling.

It’s just like the REM song says: Everybody hurts. Nobody (we repeat: NOBODY) is immune to getting their feelings hurt! Even the people who seem confident and happy most of the time. Feeling hurt sucks, but knowing we’re not the only ones who experience this feeling kinda makes it suck less. Plus, we’re here to help you get through your hurt feelings, so stick around!

A Deeper Look At Feeling Hurt

Feeling hurt actually has a few different names. There’s psychic pain, spiritual pain, psychalgia, emotional suffering, psychological pain, algopsychalia, soul pain, or mental pain. Phew, that’s a lot! But one of the most common titles is emotional distress.

Emotional distress or pain is caused by non-physical sources. It’s not the kinda pain you feel when you stub your toe or burn your tongue when you take a sip of piping hot coffee (ouch!). Feeling hurt can be caused by other emotions that you’ve avoided dealing with including anger, sadness, shame, guilt and anxiety.

We can feel hurt when our partner forgets our birthday because it feels like they don’t care enough to remember. Or when a parent criticizes your choice of major even though you are really passionate about your education, and you want them to be proud of you. It can be hurtful when we put a lot of hours into a project at work, and your boss doesn’t show you any recognition or appreciation for all of your effort. The thing is, our hurt feelings come from hurt thoughts. It’s important to dig deeper and ask why something makes us feel hurt. Are the negative thoughts we’re having based in reality, or are we feeling hurt based on personal assumptions?

This doesn’t mean that your feelings aren’t valid or that you haven’t been mistreated. If your partner forgets your birthday, they should absolutely apologize and make it up to you! But it could be that they’ve had a lot on their mind, have been dealing with stress, and they made a mistake. Take the time to recognize the difference in order to protect your heart and look after your mental wellbeing!

How Feeling Hurt Shows Up Mentally

When we feel hurt, it affects our mental wellbeing in lots of ways. Sometimes it appears as a Johnny Cash song, and sometimes it pops up as an emotion. Unfortunately, we aren’t experts on Johnny Cash, but we DO know how to talk about emotions. So, let’s talk about how the emotional hurt shows up. Here’s what you might experience mentally when you’re going through hurt:

  • Feeling overwhelmed, helpless, or hopeless
  • Feeling guilty without a reason
  • Worrying excessively
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Become hostile and irritable
  • Difficulty keeping up with daily tasks
  • Withdrawing socially

We’re going to state the obvious here and say that hurt is suuuper painful. We don’t blame you for feeling the way that you do! It’s totally normal and completely valid. Remember that!

How Feeling Hurt Shows Up Physically

Like we said, feeling hurt can actually give us physical reactions to the pain we’re experiencing. It’s not just all in our heads like we think it might be! Mental pain can easily translate to the body in a number of different ways that you might not have known about before! 

Our bodies are more sensitive than we give them credit for. They feel what happens in our mind and interpret it like it’s actually happening to our physical selves. Here’s a few signs you might notice if you’re hurting mentally:

  • Headaches
  • New, unexplained pain
  • Changes in appetite
  • Stomachache/gastrointestinal issues
  • Fatigue
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Relying on mood-altering substances like alcohol

These symptoms can also be a sign of an underlying mental health condition including anxiety or depression. If you continue to experience these symptoms, please seek professional help.

5 Ways To Cope With Feeling Hurt

Okay, so you’re hurt. It sucks a lot right now, but we know you can get through it! In fact, we have some coping strategies for you. Give ‘em a go and see how much better you’ll feel!

1. Journal

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: journaling is an underrated practice. Write down exactly how you’re feeling, even the dark and twisty thoughts you don’t wanna confront. That way, you can gain the clarity to reframe and counter those negative thoughts. Your hand might start to cramp, but we swear you’ll feel sooo much better!

2. Reach out for support

Just like the Beatles song goes: I get by with a little help from my friends! Reach out to someone you can trust and who will be there for you. You might feel inferior now, but it doesn’t mean you have to navigate it alone! Get all of those negative feelings off your chest. Having someone there to validate our feelings can be so helpful!

3. Engage in something soothing or comforting

When you’re feeling hurt, it’s safe to say you could use a little healing. Spend time with your pet by cuddling them or taking them on a walk. Touch something comforting like your fave cozy blanket. Brew some tea or your drink of choice. Do whatever makes you feel calm, safe and happy!

4. Give yourself a pep talk

It’s hard not to fixate over what is causing us to hurt. Sometimes, we gotta give ourselves a little pep talk in order to turn those negative thoughts around. Try saying some encouraging phrases to yourself out loud: I feel hurt right now but I can move on. I’ve gotten through hurt before. I’m gonna be okay. 

5. Comfort yourself like a friend

If you don’t have anyone who can be there for you at this moment, that’s okay. You can be there for yourself! Think about how you would want a loved one to comfort you in this moment. Give yourself a pat on the back, write a list of the things you like about yourself, and reflect on your accomplishments. Be the friend you need right now!

There you go! It’s hard to get past your hurt feelings, but we know you can do it. We hope this has helped you so that you can move on and feel your best again! We’re here for you, friend.

Read More: Different Types of Therapy & Approaches in Psychology, Top 8 Free Mental Health Apps To Support You in 2022,

9 Ways to Handle Feeling Hurt

By: francesca frakokot

by Andrea M. Darcy

Has someone you loved betrayed you? A friend left you feeling rejected? Or a colleague let you down? What can you do if you are left feeling hurt?


Let yourself feel what you need to feel.  

Repressing our emotions can be like keeping a beach ball under water — it takes a lot of effort, and eventually the ball pops up. Suddenly we are snapping at our friends, or getting really angry about something small at work.

Or we are using unhealthy habits to hide from our emotions, like drinking too much, casual sex, or recreational drugs.

TRY THIS: Mindfulness is a powerful tool to recognise and move emotions. You train your mind to tap into the here and now despite your racing thoughts. Read our free and easy guide to mindfulness to get started.

2. Find healthy ways to express your hurt.

Of course taking time to feel what you need to feel does not mean wallowing. Sitting for days and weeks in our feelings just leads to the victim mentality, which stops us from healing.

And it definitely doesn’t mean spattering our hurt all over others. Yes, you might be furious or despondent. But lashing out often just leads to more hurt.

It’s when we unpack hurt, get to the bottom of it, and learn from it that we can then turn hurt into a step forward. We learn what we do or don’t want from relationships, or how to set a boundary.

TRY THIS: “Free write” out your feelings. Write whatever comes, without judgement, letting yourself be as racy and wild as you want. Then rip up the pages. Or write a letter to the other person saying all

By: Denise Krebs

you wish you had of (don’t send it though!). If you hate writing, try a timed rant. In a private space, set a timer for four minutes, and speak out loud all the things you want to say, no matter how silly or dramatic. Try to keep going until the time is up.

3. Question your hurt feelings.

Does your hurt seem huge, boundless? Have friends hinted you are reacting more than you should be? 

If we have difficult past experiences we never worked through, those feelings will still be with us, and present day hurts can layer on top.

You don’t just react to your latest date standing you up. You take all the rage from the day a parent didn’t show up to take you for the weekend, or the time a friend at school decided they didn’t want to be your friend anymore, and express that, too.

TRY THIS: Counselling and coaching are all about good questions. Ask them of your hurt feelings. If you don’t know how to ask a question, try to start it with ‘what’ or ‘how’ over ‘why’ (why questions just tend to be rabbit holes of self-blame, so best avoided). Try things like:

  •  What is this hurt feeling, really? If I could name it? Is it feeling abandoned, belittled?
  • And what experiences in the past made me feel the same things?
  • What person in the past has made me feel this way?
  • Have I forgiven that person? Or am I still angry at them, deep down?
  • Might I be sensitive to rejection? Did this person reject me as much as I think?

Researcher Mark Leary, in his work on hurt feelings, identified that rejection, and feeling we have ‘low relational value’, is one of the key reasons we end up with hurt feelings.  

4. Manage your behaviour. 

When we are hurt we can want revenge, or to hurt the other person. Such intrusive thinking is not ‘bad’. Thoughts are just thoughts.

But if you actually turn such thoughts into actions, you can end up more hurt than you already were, disliked, and full of regret.

TRY THIS: Ask a friend to be a support buddy who you can turn to and call when you are feeling like you might do behaviours you regret. Agree to time each call to five minutes (you don’t want to use them like a dumping ground). If you don’t have anyone to talk to, consider a counsellor.

5. Try new perspectives.

By: Robynlou Kavanagh

Can’t seem to stop feeling sorry for yourself? Sometimes a shift of perspective can help, where we push ourselves to see things in entirely new ways.

TRY THIS: Think of the three people, dead or alive, real or imaginary, you most admire. What would they have to say about this situation? What about your 80 year-old self? Your five year-old self? What advice do they offer?

6. Balance it out.

Emotional pain can cause ‘cognitive distortions‘, where our thoughts seem real but are deviations of reality. We might think only in black and white, for example.

So it can help to learn what is called ‘balanced thinking’ in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), a psychotherapy that helps you manage your thoughts before they cause depression and anxiety.


  • Write out your thought about your hurt feelings and the situation.
  • When you have the thought, reach for the exact opposite.
  • Then find a thought in the middle. Might this be more realistic? 

e.g.  They probably planned to hurt me all along. They never meant to hurt me. Actually, they probably never meant to hurt me at first, but one thing led to another and emotions got out of control.  

7. Focus on wellbeing.

We all know the positive activities that make us feel grounded and improve our mood. This might be exercise, making art, volunteering, whatever works for you.

Note that one of the best ways we can improve our wellbeing is by being around others who make us feel seen, heard and appreciated as we are, instead of put down. 

TRY THIS: Make a list of all the things that make you feel positive and energised. Then a list of all the things you think might help you haven’t tried. Pick one activity from each list and schedule it into your week right now. 

8. Raise your self-compassion.

Being hurt can easily turn into self-blame. We think of all the things we could have said or done so the other person didn’t hurt us. Then we feel not good enough.

A faster way to raise self worth can be to work with self-compassion, where we try to treat ourselves with as much empathy and concern as we would a good friend.

In her study comparing global self-esteem with self-compassion, researcher Kirsten D. Neff  showed that self-compassion teaches us all the positive benefits of self-esteem, while also avoiding the comparison and defensiveness that just focusing on our esteem can bring. 

TRY THIS: Write a letter to a best friend, giving them feedback on getting through a recent difficult experience and supporting them for their courage. Then read the letter out loud, changing the name at the top to your own. Notice how it feels to talk to yourself like a friend. 

9. Seek support.

Does feeling hurt make you impulsive? Do you to say spiteful things, and then feel full of regret and embarrassment after?

Impulsivity and emotional dysregulation can be signs of borderline personality disorder, or other mental health issues. If you can’t get your emotions under control, and if every time you are hurt you lash out, it’s time to seek professional support.

Ready to stop living life in a constant state of hurt? We connect you with some of London’s top talk therapists. Or use our booking platform now to find UK-wide registered therapists and online counsellors.

Still have a question about feeling hurt? Or want to share your top tip with other readers? Post below. Note all comments are moderated. 

Andrea M. Darcy is the lead writer of this site. She is a mental health writer and advocate and also a content consultant for ethical companies. as not to hurt your feelings.

I've wanted to tell you for a long time, dear: men feel whatever your girlfriends tell you. And if I don't squeal with joy at the sight of your new earrings, it doesn't mean that I'm a dumb, insensitive chump. Now you - I'm sure! - you say: you will not understand, you are a man. Yes, I'm a man and I don't understand. You talk about insensitivity whenever I don't act like you. Although you still remember my stormy and, of course, causeless fun about the victory of our team. And I don't try to explain to you because it will hurt your feelings. nine0003

I agree: even suggesting naming your son Sheva after a football player was stupid. And then I hurt your feelings by saying that you don't understand shit. When we thought about it and you decided to name him Iglesias in honor of the singer, it was useless to object: it would hurt your feelings! The guy grew up, went to school, Julio teases him at school, and he, like any other man, does not feel anything about this. It just seeks to punch you in the face, which of course will hurt your feelings, because after watching the insensitive me, our son grows up completely inhumane. nine0003

Actually, my very existence hurts you a lot, I understand. So your friend says that I will never understand anything, because I do not have a uterus. By the way, my friend’s husband earns everything in the house, with her for yoga, bags in her teeth and no, no. Apparently, unlike me, he has a uterus. And of course, the constant comparison of me with him cannot excite me in any way, because men are thick-skinned and do not suffer. They only get angry.

They get angry, and for nothing. To your mother's statement that I'm not a couple for you, I said: it's none of her business. Of course, I was rude and insensitive. I was also angry that you still dream of a foreign prince who is not like me. I was angry for a tasteless salad - salt is poison, oil is death! - and for the socks you put in the most visible place: between your bras and the old drawings of our children. And when I get angry, I hurt your feelings. nine0003

Honey! I would like to drop everything and work in pharmaceuticals so that I can invent a pill that would satisfy your mental pain. Or design a cryosleep facility that makes you happy forever. But instead, I'm just trying to be less visible to you. I stay late at work, go on business trips, fiddle with the car and so on. It will also hurt your feelings, because I am running away from the family and insensitively do not pay attention to you. And you are everything for me: cooked food that I didn’t ask for, waited for me until three in the morning, although I said in advance that I would come late, bought me a shirt that I won’t wear ... because I insensibly don’t give a damn about fashion and to the fact that your girlfriends are dying from my appearance. The fact that my friends were freaking out when I showed up for work in that same shirt (there are some cute little animals across the purple field, a cross between kitties and ducks!) is, of course, bullshit. nine0003

Honey, I can take care of myself, if anything. Cooking and washing, waiting for you from work without whims and reproaches. I can even raise our daughter as someone's loving wife, but our son as an insensitive man like me. Sending a kid named Iglesias to ballet was overkill, even though it doesn't hurt my feelings. His feelings are hurting, and yours are hurt by the fact that a young dork does not piss with boiling water at the sight of tights and Czechs.

The only one, I realized everything. Yes, I am a vile creature without the slightest emotion and unworthy of your attention. So I packed my things and left. Although it...

...for the last time, I swear!
...hurts your feelings.

How do we protect ourselves from words that hurt us?


Practice how to


“You only think about yourself. And what about me?"

The partner reproaches, appeals to our conscience, forcing us to doubt (“maybe I am an ungrateful, bad person”), reminds us of our fears: we feel like a child who upsets our parents. “Think only of me, attend to my desires, my expectations…” – this is what these words actually call us to. nine0003

Psychological self-defence : do not list evidence of your love for your partner and emphasize indifference to your own person. So that everyone can maintain their self-respect and be an adult, ask your partner to clearly articulate their concerns: “What kind of caring do you lack? What do you want me to do for you?” Each question should be followed by a clear answer. The guessing game clouds the relationship. The communication of loving people is based on openness, the opportunity to express their wishes aloud and be heard. nine0003


“What do you want with your lifestyle…”

Referring to our age, diagnosis or lifestyle, the doctor relieves himself of part of the professional responsibility and hints that we want “too much”. When we are convicted of “excessive demands” by a specialist who has power over our health, we feel guilty, almost ashamed, we are lost, and this strengthens his influence.

Psychological self-defense : don't be shy, prepare for the visit to the doctor in advance, feel like an adult who has come to be treated. Say, “I don't like your tone of voice. I'm here to get advice on how to deal with my problem, not to be educated." Such an attitude should prevent the doctor from seizing power over you. Be clear about your needs: “I want to know my exact diagnosis” or “I need a referral for an examination. ” nine0003


“I understand that you have little time, but I need your help”

Such a phrase calls for the principle of mutual assistance. Guilt arises from the fear of violating it. The word "understand" enhances the effect - if a friend has already taken into account our circumstances, it is more difficult for us to refuse him, referring to our worries.

Psychological self-defense : take a break, postpone the answer. No matter how little time you have, there is a minute to think. Manipulation - even unconscious - works especially well in a hurry. The delay allows you to give a truly positive or negative answer, in other words, a thoughtful answer. nine0003


"My grades are bad because you don't help me with my homework!"

In fact, the child seems to say: "You are a bad parent, you neglect your duties." Children are masters of manipulation, they are manipulated from birth, and they themselves also know where to hit. It is difficult for parents (especially mothers) to avoid feeling guilty when they are reproached for not paying enough attention to the child.

Psychological Self-Defense : recognize that even if you spent 24 hours a day with your child, you could not do everything for him. The deuce evaluates his knowledge, not your parenting skills. Ask your child two questions: about homework and about his needs. "Do you agree that we check it together when I get home?" and “What exactly do you need my help with and what kind?” It is important that the child feels that you have understood and taken into account his emotional needs, and he can count on your help. nine0003


“I know how busy you are. Of course, you have no time for me, there are more important things to do...”

We are put in the position of an ungrateful, that is, a bad child. This role is even more unpleasant if the parent reminds us of all the sacrifices that he had to make to provide us with a sweet life. The cruelty of the reproach is enhanced by the fact that the beginning of the sentence is full of sympathy and sensitivity, and at the end we are in for an unpleasant turn. The purpose of such a phrase is to hurt, not improve the relationship.

Psychological self-defence : do not make excuses, do not blame or make promises until wishes are clearly stated. Ask: “How would you like to spend time with me?” This will help the mother or father formulate specific suggestions. Then you will think about them and decide which ones to accept and which not.


"You never trust me!"

Overgeneralizing using the words "always" and "never" casts doubt on the relationship as a whole. This is the reason for the pain and feelings of injustice that arise in parents from such reproaches. The accusation is sometimes strengthened by the comparison: "But my friend's parents..."

Psychological self-defense : do not forget that this is a teenager who is probably not self-confident. He projects this insecurity onto adults, hoping to hear a refutation from them: of course, you are trustworthy! First, recall the times when you believed him. Then ask him what faith and trust look like to him. If he wants to be more trusted, how could this, in his opinion, manifest itself? And what, for his part, he is ready to do for this - after all, the agreement implies obligations of the two parties, and trust is won gradually. nine0003


"Don't overestimate yourself!"

We are forced to assume that something is wrong with us, thus causing a feeling of guilt. But what and in what direction we should change remains unclear. The manipulator never explains his goals, and sometimes he does not know them himself. Perhaps the boss just wants to feel his power or expects the subordinate to find a solution that he himself cannot find.

Psychological self-defense : Ask your boss to clarify the criticism. You can admit that so far your work has not brought the desired result.

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