5 Ways Hurt People Project Their Feelings (and how you can cope)

5 Ways Hurt People Project Their FeelingsWhen people who are unhappy, have low self-esteem, and generally feel “damaged” inside hurt you, your first response is probably to hurt them right back.  I know that is my initial reaction as someone uses ugly, demeaning words against me in a pattern that is meant to make me feel bad.  The words they use over and over again, throughout the years of my life are meant to belittle me and make me feel guilt or shame.  They are in no way, shape, or form meant to uplift me, make me feel good about myself or build up my confidence.  They are said for one reason and one reason only.  To hurt me.

Once you recognize the pattern, it is time to find the trigger.  When does this happen to you?  Are you doing something particularly awful and foul or are you just trying to have a good time?  Chances are, you are enjoying yourself and having a good time.  That’s usually the trigger my friends.  The thing is, you have probably tried to speak to them about this type of thing before, and how you are just doing your best to be happy in your own skin, live your life, and teach others how to do the same, but they actually don’t care about your feelings.  It is quite evident in the repeated behavior pattern.

Hurt people hurt people. We are not being judgmental by separating ourselves from such people. But we should do so with compassion. Compassion is defined as a “keen awareness of the suffering of another coupled with a desire to see it relieved.” People hurt others as a result of their own inner strife and pain. Avoid the reactive response of believing they are bad; they already think so and are acting that way. They aren’t bad; they are damaged and they deserve compassion. Note that compassion is an internal process, an understanding of the painful and troubled road trod by another. It is not trying to change or fix that person.  ~Will Bowen

How in the hell do you separate yourself, with compassion mind you, from someone trying to hurt you?  That’s a tall order right there.  I have decided to narrow it down to 5 ways these people are projecting their feelings and give you a bit of advice around that behavior.

5 Ways Hurt People Project Their Feelings (and how you can cope):

  1. Hurt people take it out on those who are often closest to them.  Why?  There are lots of reasons, but the easiest answer here is because they think you will either let it slide (multiple times, even if you have asked them to stop) or because they think you will forgive them over and over again.  How do you cope?  Quite honestly, it’s easier to put space between you and build up stronger boundaries than to get them to ever admit when they are wrong.  Don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen.  They are transferring either some rage they have onto you or feel jealous about something you have.  See it for what it is.  Take the pause here if you can.
  2. Hurt people see every word, or action, as something that was done TO them.  Not for them, not to help, but done to lash out through their narrow vision of pain haze.  Why?  They are not rational and think that everyone is “out to get them”.  Everything is a trap and meant to set them up in some way.  If you don’t answer the door fast enough, you might be avoiding them.  If you suggest they eat healthier, you might have just implied they are Jabba the Hutt.  If you say you like something they are wearing, that might have meant you don’t like how they look normally.  I can go on and on around this, but you are already nodding your head.  How do you cope?  You become a Mime.  Just kidding.  You’d probably mime the middle finger accidentally of course.  Resist the urge though.  Try very hard to put yourself in their shoes.  What do you know about their life right now?  What do you know about how they were raised?  Is there a reason for this type of distrust?  If we act as they do, it will only cause more pain in the end.  It takes massive strength to step back and remind yourself their actions and reactions are all about them.  Not about you at all.
  3. Hurt people often have no real life beyond the hurt.  Why?  They have alienated the people who once tried to help them.  They carry grudges so deep and so wide, that the Grand Canyon is jealous of them.  Remember Ebenezer Scrooge?  When his nephew tries to invite him over and then later he is peeking through with the Ghost of Christmas Present, but they are saying how they feel sorry for him.  It’s just like that.  Only this person presumably doesn’t have the ghosts to show them what the future will look like if they don’t stop pushing people away.  How do you cope?  Recognize that their reaction to pushing people away stems from preconceived notions they firmly believe as truth.  The mind has a funny way of remembering things.  You might extend the olive branch if they are dear to you and know that they will not change.  It is up to you to be the peace maker.
  4. Hurt people are always the ones who are the victim.  Why?  You have seen them never take responsibility for anything in their own lives over the many years of being around them.  They want short cuts, easy ways out, and no responsibility.  They know what they need to do, but they don’t really feel like it.  They are almost certain it is the responsibility of someone else to come save them from their mistakes.  How do you cope?  Don’t enable if you can.  To enable means that you give their thoughts power or you help them self-sabotage.  Simply say nothing if they say they “can’t” do something.  It’s better than agreeing with it.  I mean, to point out that Helen Keller earned a college degree, Stephen Hawking beat his life expectancy against ALS,  is still alive, and one of the world’s leading physicists, and my personal hero, Nick Vujicic, who was born without arms or legs, but later taught himself how to skateboard and surf, to point these things out would fall on deaf ears.  They rationalize their actions and their victim mentality until they decide, not us, that they are ready to change it.
  5. Hurt people don’t recognize your pain.  To say these people lack empathy is an understatement.  They simply fail to see that they are hurting you.  Why?   Any number of reasons, but they like to medicate themselves, drink excessively, or become addicted to false lives.  They don’t seem to be fully present as they continually hurt you.  How do you cope?  If you have read all this and you think it’s time to try to have the courageous conversation with them, you can.  If you have already had that conversation and the behavior is still going on, then you might want to meditate, do yoga, and surround yourself with others who lift you up after being in contact with these people.  When all else fails and you have tried your best, perhaps even going to therapy for you, not them, you get to decide if the contact is worth the pain it is causing you.  Their own self-loathing behavior is constantly being projected at you and your loved ones and it’s time for you to either make peace with the idea that you can’t change them…so give yourself lots of space.

The bottom line is that this is someone who is not at peace with themselves or their relationships.  They cause suffering because they aren’t able to cope with their own emotions.  Do they need therapy?  Yes.  But chances are, they are not going to do the work on themselves.  When we do the work on ourselves, our own inner work, we start to heal these deep wounds.  I know how hard this is my friends, and if you need support and want to work on your own “stuff”, come see me.  >> Learn more here <<

5 Ways Hurt People Project Their Feelings (and how you can cope)



Today I need to warn you about the dangers of P.W.D.  Posting While Dumb.  At many times in your life, you might have a case of “the dumb”.  You should not write your dumb thoughts for all to see.  Nope.  If you have a friend nearby, call them.  They can post for you while you have P.W.D.  Stay away from phones, computers, and paper that you can write your dumb thoughts on and send to other people.  It is well known that P.W.D. is contagious.  If you happen to infect your computer, it might spread to other people.

For example, I do NOT care what your COLOR is, if you leave something dumb out there for my fans to read on my quotes, you get banned.  There are crappy people in ALL colors, but let’s please not bring up crap that happened 150 years ago on my wall.  Why??  This is part of the reason we can’t move forward.  You should have used your phone a friend option and said, hey, does this sound racist?  Friend would have said yes!  You have P.W.D.  You might need to wait before you say anything.  SMH.  Seriously.  I quote white people, black people, ALL the people.  Buddhist, Christians, Christian Buddhists.  Yup.

Then, there was the case of the extremely dumb doctor I read about yesterday.  Clearly, he needed the phone a friend option.  His case of P.W.D goes beyond most I’ve seen.  His case of “the dumb” is so profound he is now delusional.  Read about it here.  That’s right.  He fired a lady for having cancer.  So he is “laying her off” because she won’t be able to function from her job of 12 years…and he sent her a LETTER in the mail.  A letter.

So today I implore you to think before commenting.  If you start to get mad at someone’s post, think, have I caught P.W.D.?  Would my comment lead to more cases of P.W.D.?  If the answer is yes, then don’t post.  Keep it to yourself.  Use a tissue so you don’t spread that stuff around.  Use antibacterial soap before you type.  Maybe even get the dumb off your keyboard before you type again.  They also make Lysol.  Use some.  Clean up your phones, keyboards, whatever you need to stop the spread of P.W.D.  This has been an important service announcement.  Share it with people.  We can change the world:)





I like this definition:  having or showing a lack of experience, judgement, or information; credulous.  She’s so naive she believes everything she reads.  A synonym that was used was simple

If we put things in that context, it is easier to move forward.  I often see very public Facebook statuses about people.  While I personally don’t care, not my circus, not my monkeys, I find it easier to ignore said people.  The old me would get drawn into something akin to a verbal match.  Always having the last word…this me has to have no words.  None.

If you come at it from the standpoint of no one on this earth has been in your place and has had to make your decisions, then you start to realize the person trying to get you to see things from their point of view is basically naive.  How can you see things from their point of view?  Quite frankly, you can’t.

Of course there is a degree of empathy, but people who continually argue with others about their views baffle me.  I see no point.  I could use religion, race, or homosexuality as examples, but I’m not.  People were raised a certain way.  They have in their tool box whatever they learned up until about the age of 18, then it was time to go forth and assimilate this knowledge.

Some people have the capability to decipher knowledge and add it to their bank of learning.  Others use the “I was raised this way” line of thought.  I’ve seen it in teaching and I’ve seen it in society.  Haters gonna hate.  I know, I know, but think about it.  If you remember my blog post from a while back, I mention a man who changed the lives of people.  It was some very Narrow-minded folks.  Feel free to read it again and ponder what can happen when you open your heart instead of your mouth…you do not have to have the last word.



nar·row-mind·ed (năr′ō-mīn′dĭd)

adj.  Lacking tolerance, breadth of view, or sympathy; petty.  Sometimes you find this word with intolerance – unwillingness to recognize and respect differences in opinions or beliefs.

When I was teaching, I could always tell which children were told that not everyone is alike, and therefore, you shouldn’t treat them the same.  I don’t know if parents mean to do this to their children, or if it just comes from years of being told the same thing.  Their parents did it to them, so therefore, it must be the way that children should be raised.  However, at some point, your inner voice starts telling you that maybe it’s okay to make friends with people who are not like you.  As a matter of fact, not only is it okay, but it is good for you.  You become a more well-rounded person and your view of the world starts to become smaller actually, as you realize that on the inside, we are all the same.

Teaching tolerance will always be something I value.  Like Daryl Davis.  If you are unfamiliar with this man, let me tell you a bit of his story.  Daryl is a black musician and in 1983, well after the Civil Rights Movement, he was playing in a all-white (informally of course) lounge.  A man approached him after his set, and said he liked his piano playing.  That started a relationship between the two…the black man and a member of the KKK.  This was one of the coolest stories I had heard in a long time.  I wish this story was made part of the curriculum in high schools all around the country.  You can read more about Daryl Davis: A Black Man Amidst the Klan or in this interesting piece here.

Of particular interest to me is how he was brought up:
I was raised overseas in integrated schools. I had had a racist experience already but I didn’t know people organized into groups whose premise was to be racist and exclude other people. It seemed unfathomable to me. My parents were in the Foreign Service and I was an American embassy brat, going to international schools overseas. My classes were filled with anyone who had an embassy: Japanese, German, French, Italian. It was multicultural but that term did not exist at that time. For me it was just the norm. Every time I would come back (to the US,) I would see people separated by race. When my father was telling me about (the KKK) at the age of 10 it didn’t make any sense to me. I had always gotten along with everyone.
With a diverse background, he came to the United States.  He had some pretty funny conversations with one of his friends in the Klan about the brainwashing prejudice causes.  When people are confronted with images of something they don’t understand, be it other religions, race, or ways of life, they react as if they are brainwashed.  This is another line I like from one of the articles I read above: When asked about the fear many people feel when confronted with images of KKK members, he says “It’s just material. You have to address what’s in the person’s head and in their heart.”
Indeed you do.  Preach it.