Living is like dancing. People unintentionally bump into each other and step on each other’s toes daily. Some people are clumsy, frequently falling over their own feet, taking others with them to the floor.
Fact is people do hurt each other daily in many ways, and most of the time we do it unintentionally and even in total ignorance.
Hurt is defined by dictionaries as –
- Give trouble or pain;
- Be a source of pain;
- Cause emotional anguish;
- Make miserable;
- Cause damage or affect negatively;
- Cause (somebody) emotional pain or offence;
- Feel physical pain;
- Feel ill, be uncomfortable or in pain.
- Any physical damage to the body caused by violence, accident or fracture etc;
- Psychological suffering;
- Feelings of mental or physical pain;
- A damage or loss;
- The act of damaging something or someone.
This hub is not about hurting others intentionally and also not about hurting each other unintentionally with fatal consequences. This hub is about those clumsy 'bumping into each other' and 'stepping on each other's toes'.
My own clumsiness in one week -
At the funeral of my ex-sister-in-law I waited until last before I step forward to express my condolences to her husband, my ex-brother-in-law. He was eight when I got married to his eldest brother. As the youngest of three brothers and with no sisters, he picked me, besides his mother, as a role model of a woman. He adored me from the start insomuch that he begged me twenty years later (in vain) to change my decision to divorce his brother. Since then we have seen each other about twenty times - once per year during the Christmas season.
He was strong at the funeral until he saw me. He broke down on my shoulder and cried like I’ve never heard or seen a man cried in my life. I held him for a long time, patting his back, frozen with the knowledge that I am completely powerless and not at all able to minimize his pain. Not even with a million hugs. I felt small and incompetent to carry the big responsibilities Life throws upon women, specifically the responsibility of playing the role of a mother or elder sister. All of us play these roles one time or another in our lives, and how do we fare?
Back to the topic -
After he regained his self-control I was still frozen for many seconds when I all of a sudden registered that his eighteen year old son was standing right next to me. He was looking at me, holding his tears, waiting for his turn for a hug. His lips were trembling like the lips of a sad baby. I opened my arms for him and just like his father he broke down on my shoulder without a clue how guilty I felt because I've ignored him without even realizing it for how long. He might have - could have - think I had ignored him on purpose.
At the nursery school the other morning I handed my clinging three-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter over to her teacher, pretending that I’m not upset about her unwillingness to go with the flow. Back in my car I realized I had ignored another teacher who was standing there, witnessing my quasi playfully hand-over performance.
Some teachers will accept this as normal, while others may feel they were treated with disrespect and even with contempt. So I almost yielded to my impulsive urge to run back and practice my good manners until she explodes with joy.
Right here at The Hubs I accidentally noticed today I did not respond to comments left on one of my hubs by two of my most dearest friends. Oh, and there are probably more of this kind of clumsy bumps I will discover in time. I felt so bad and almost yielded to my impulsive urge to send them a ‘please forgive me’ message.
How do we make amends after we have hurt others -
If you are like me you will always get an almost uncontrollable urge to say “I’m so sorry! OMG, I'm so sorry I’ve hurt you!”
This is, however, the very last thing one should do.
When we say: “I’m so sorry I’ve hurt you,” we are in fact putting ourselves in the position of a winner who defeated a looser. Nobody with a healthy self-esteem, who is proud of himself and his achievements, likes to hear the word ‘sorry’. It is a simple word with no positive power. Most of the time it does not even reach the heart; it becomes a bitter pill in the throat. Swallowing it means admitting we’ve been hurt, admitting we are vulnerable with sensitive egos, while we prefer to believe we are strong and beyond the reach of criticism, attack or impeachment.
Down in the comment section rpalulis inspired me to add – “I never feel comfortable when someone say to me “I am sorry I’ve hurt you.” Yes, we may deserve the apology and we should accept it with dignity just as we accept compliments and even criticism and insults. But why force others to accept something that does not give them pleasure? Why not please and satisfy them with a gift or favor of any kind? Surely making others happy is making ourselves happy.”
So what to do after we’ve hurt somebody?
Don’t use those vain words “I’m sorry!” Show them! Be creative! We should do something constructive for the person we’ve hurt, in such a way that the person realizes we are sorry for whatever hurt we have made him/her suffer. Just one well thought-out action may be enough to countermand all damages we have done in our clumsy and ignorant modes.
While doing this we’ve got to be discreet. If we seek recognition because we humble ourselves to say “I’m sorry” in whatever way, we are right back at square one – hurting someone unintentionally (because we are selfish and clumsy).
My plan of action to make amends to the people I’ve hurt (or might have) during the past week.
- My nephew will receive at least two tax-messages from me – or posts on his Facebook’s profile page. “Hi! Just want you to know I’m thinking of you and I’m always available for a quick chat.”
- I’ll find something to say to the teacher at the nursery school to make her realize I respect and admire her with all my heart for practicing her fantastic talent – to educate toddlers – for the benefit of all.
- My dearest friends here in Hubland – those I’ve skipped in the comment sections of my hubs, will, while reading this hub, realize I’ve written this one especially for them. I know they will smile when they read this, and they will instantly forgive me my clumsiness.
When we are hurt by others
Some of us are insensitive, some are sensitive and others are over-sensitive. I am one of the latter, though at last mature enough NOT to fall to pieces when somebody accidentally or even on purpose ‘step on my toes’. I can provide a list as long as my arm of hurts others unintentionally made me suffer. But this list is in essens a master copy of hurts suffered by all people on this planet. Hurt is hurt. pain is pain - it is severe, normal or mild. The rest - the circumstances, the specific infliction, the detail are nitty-gritties, six of a kind and half a dozen of the rest.
I would like to share my method of dealing with hurt –
First I ask myself WHO is the person who is hurting me. I value him/her and his words/manners based on a quote of Napoleon Hill: “Who is he... what did he accomplish in his life, or merely experience, that gives him the power and authority to hurt me?” NOBODY in this world was born and raised in my shoes. I am the ONLY one with the right to hurt myself and/or to allow others to hurt me.
If the person is very close to me, I will consider the meaning and purpose s/he has in my life, as well as that of my own in his/her life, the peace and harmony in our relationship - whether it matters or not, his/her motives and intentions, and then I will decide whether I’ll accept, suffer and sooth the pain s/he is causing me for longer than a minute – I will always restrict pain to a certain period of time. Of course there are pains we have to accept and suffer for the rest of our lives, for example those caused during a major accident.
We reject/suppress/deny pain with ANGER. Our anger kills our pain as a fire extinguisher kills a fire. Our anger may not be enough to kill a certain pain immediately. Some times we stay angry for a few minutes, some times for days, and some times forever. Some pains are truly like the burning bramble bush Moses once upon a time stumbled upon in a desert.
Dealing with my own pain I always try my best to follow the advice of King Solomon.
“A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.” Proverbs 12:16.
Of course I am not always able to follow this. I am an impulsive woman by nature who can react fiercely on my emotions. Many – too many – of the wrongs I have done in my life was because I have failed to follow Solomon’s advice.
To the rhythm of Life
I hurt many,
Many hurt me -
We are dancing
the rhythm of Life.
Our pain is mild,
normal or severe -
we are dancing -
we are alive.
Quotes about hurting
- The only correct actions are those that demand no explanation and no apology. ~Red Auerbach
- Every time I've done something that doesn't feel right, it's ended up not being right. ~Mario Cuomo
- Goodness is the only investment that never fails. ~Henry David Thoreau
- It takes less time to do a thing right, than it does to explain why you did it wrong. ~Henry adsworth Longfellow
- Every human being has... an attendant spirit.... If it does not always tell us what to do, it always cautions us what not to do. ~Lydia M. Child
- To speak ill of others is a dishonest way of praising ourselves. ~Will Durant
- Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. ~William Faulkner
- There is no pillow so soft as a clear conscience. ~French Proverb
- Don't try to be different. Just be good. To be good is different enough. ~Arthur Freed
- Your life may be the only Bible some people read. ~Author Unknown
- “Hurt, as other emotions, must be shaped into perspective.” ~ Marcella Glenn
Why do we hurt the one we love?
- Darling, Why Do We Hurt the One We Love? | Psychology Today
Each man kills the thing he loves. By Aaron Ben-Zev, Ph.D....
Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on June 04, 2015:
Zebra, admitting and apologizing depends on the situation and on the person involved. For people who hate hurting others, the way of making amends - admitting and apologizing, or show it instead of say it, will come naturally.
Zebra on May 29, 2015:
I don't like this advice at all, admitting that you realize you've hurt someone and are sorry is a very good thing.
Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on June 19, 2012:
NC - We so often say something hurtful without any intention to hurt. Yes, rather make amends with genuine complements. Thanks for leaving an insightful comment.
NC on June 19, 2012:
Thanks a lot for this info. Today a girl in my class complimented my hair and I thanked he and made a feeble attempt at returning the compliment. She caught on to this and I said "well you did get icecream in your hair earlier". (She did ) Anyway she wasn't angry or anything and it didn't hit me till later how rude I was. I was honestly just trying to joke. Anyway instead of saying sorry I think I'll just give her a genuine compliment next time I see her. Thanks!!
Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on April 16, 2012:
Millionaire, I, too, believe we should bury our current concept of 'winners' and 'losers'. We are learners on a journey, members of an expedition, discoverers of knowledge and wisdom.
Winning is living; living is winning. We loose (life) the day we die and who really knows what we are going to win in the world of the dead?
Thank you for reading and commenting.
Shasta Matova from USA on April 15, 2012:
I regularly apologize when I have unintentionally hurt someone. It never occurred to me that someone would consider an apology to be hurtful. I am acknowledging their feelings and regretting my action or inaction, with the hope that I will be more careful to avoid such hurt in the future. I don't think that makes me a winner and the hurt person a loser. In fact, I think it makes me humble enough to admit my shortcomings.
You've provided great quotes and ways to make amends.
Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on January 25, 2012:
Nady, thanks for your comment. I am glad you finally got a job. But please refresh my memory, when/where did I help you and spent extra time on you? I am not a doctor, I am a writer and student of Human Behavior. Maybe we interacted in the comment section of one of my other articles? Anyway, I wish you all of the best in the new job. Just give it your all and more if possible. You know, the man who do more than what is expected of him, is always in control, while the man who gives just what is expected and less, is under control.
Nady on January 25, 2012:
I finally got a job!!! I start tomorrow and it will go for 2 months. What a relief! What's funny - sort of - is that Friday I got rejected for one job and got hired for this one within a half hour of each other. I am so relieved and happy. MANY THANKS FOR YOUR HELP Dr.(email@example.com)!!! Especially for the extra time - very nice and very appreciated...
Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on December 23, 2011:
poetvix – Thank you for the pleasant surprise you’ve given me in this ‘old’ hub of mine. Of course the topic will never grow old.
Believe me, allowing yourself only a specific time to indulge in a specific emotion is truly a win recipe for one’s own sanity. At this very moment I feel like drowning in sadness and self-pity, but I have decided not to allow myself a minute for that, but rather maintain serenity while hubbing until I am so tired I will fall asleep the minute my head hits a pillow. Maybe somewhere next week I will listen to appropriate music and do the bungee jump to the dark depths of my soul and back. I have so many reasons to be sad, not to talk about to be angry, I can be sad and angry for the rest of my life. One really has to make a definite decision to be happy and contented for at least 90% of a day.
Earlier my daughter started to tell me something really upsetting, and I had to stop her. It was not her problem, so neither she nor I can do anything about it, so why discuss it? Did I hurt her? Maybe she felt hurt for a moment, but then she must have realized my logic. If not... the day will come. Anyway, the rest of our conversation was positive and uplifting.
Thanks for the visit, poetvix. Also many-many blessings to you and yours.
poetvix from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. on December 23, 2011:
I can't imagine you ever hurting anyone intentionally. The fact that you recognize possible hurts caused unintentionally shows what a kind and gentle soul you are. I found a lot of words of wisdom here but the one I'm tucking away, deep inside, is limiting the time allowed to hurt. I am going to apply it to being angry too. Thank you Martie. Merry Christmas to you and your family and many, many blessings.
Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on June 12, 2011:
JayeWisdom – I have many memories of embarrassing myself and others by expressing myself haphazardly with the wrong words, and my poor sister Rika is constantly on the red carpet because she allows her thoughts while still disordered to roll off her tongue. I guess it runs in the family. Strange, my gut feeling gave me the correct reason why you’ve left the other site, and I can relate, though a lack of time is my problem. There is, however, room for sharing stuff not really suitable to share here, and I do hope to get the time to do it. I also want to read more of your hubs a.s.a.p., because I was really impressed with your story and style of writing. I’m glad I’ve met you there.
Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on June 12, 2011:
Hello again, Martie....This is a very perceptive hub on a topic that surely concerns every reader. Who among us does not at some time inadvertently hurt another person? I liked your description of clumsiness as a causative factor. Heaven knows, I'm the clumsy sort! I've often spoken words that meant (while issuing from my mouth) something entirely different than how they were perceived by the listener. Yet, we all know that perception in the ear/eye of the recipient is what counts. Thanks for the advice about how to handle the after-effects of such incidents.
By the way, I'm sure you're wondering about my very fast opt-in/opt-out-again appearance on Novelty Fiction. I decided that my limited energy (I'm nearly 69 years old with health issues that do, in fact, limit my physical and mental energy)is better suited to Hubpages. I couldn't handle both, so I'll stick with HP. So glad to find you here! I look forward to "catching up" and reading your published hubs.
Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on June 02, 2011:
*** Richard – Thank you so very much for your extremely kind comment. I’m looking forward to read your hubs :)))
Richard83 from West Virginia on June 01, 2011:
So sorry about your losses. Your words speak what you are, which is kind hearted, loyal, a life long friend. Pain is hard to deal with, whether it was meant to be or not. We, as humans, should try to abide as you. You are a great example to follow Martie. I have seen your comments and you are a caring person that deserves the exact same. You think things out, research before you speak. You are already the bigger person. A little off topic. Sorry. Your a great writer and I look forward to getting to know this special person that so many people already know. You are well loved here Martie. Best wishes.
Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on April 16, 2011:
*** Fucsia - Thanks, our experiences always make us a little more wiser and more able to understand ourselves and others. Take care!
fucsia on April 12, 2011:
An interesting Hub that made me think about me and my experiences of unintended "victim and victimizer". It is very well written! You are a great Hubber
Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on April 07, 2011:
Granny's House – While enjoying the most awesome holiday in my life I just peep from time to time to my HubPage’s account to respond on the comments of my friends. Your’s pulled my tears, because I truly regard my co-hubbers (including you) as part of my family and I love them all as such. Sooner all later, my dear friend, I will catch up with the reading of all their hubs published since 1 April. Thank you so much for your kindest compoment.
Granny's House from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time on April 07, 2011:
Martie, you are truly one of the nicest hubbers I have met. I am happy I did. Anyone can tell by the comments you have received on this hub how much you mean to many.
As our lists of followers grow we need to realize It is hard to get right to everyone's hub. I agree with WB.
Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on March 28, 2011:
shygirl2 - you are so welcome to ponder with all of us in writing just for a few moments about hurting and being hurt. I just love all my friends for giving me their opinions about this topic, and all others I have raised since I became a hubber in this bubble of a site in a space we cannot meassure... by doing this, they assure me and all of us that we are sober and sane and NOT lost in a world of our own. Take care, shy, while you dance through life. If you step on my toes, I will not blame you, but I may scream 'OUCH'.... :)))))
shygirl2 on March 28, 2011:
Good hub!!! : ) I loved it, MartieCoetser! Up and awesome. (boy do you have a lot of comments though). Felt as if I had to hold my breath to get to the bottom of them.
Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on March 27, 2011:
saddlerider1 – Hi, my big brother, so nice to have a chance to see you again. Nooo, I’ll never-ever accuse you of tardiness. I know in my heart you will sometime or other peep in here to see what’s cooking in the corner of your little sista.... :)) I must admit I’ve sent a spie to see if you are still living, and when she came back with the good news that you are still up and about, I happily went on with my doings. Mmmm, you might have missed some good news, which I’m not giving you here.... tralalala... :))))
Saddle, firstly I must say that I have to be very-very-very angry before I will hurt somebody intentionally through (for the 1st 10 years of my life) biting, slapping, hair-pulling, and thereafter spoken or written words, and since I remember my very first impulsive urge when hurting someone unintentionally is to say “I’m sorry’. While there are really people who are not at all able to say (or act) these words, even while they realize they should. This is another enigma, because the most soft-hearted people I know, those you believe will not even hurt a fly unintentionally, are not able to say/act ‘I’m sorry’, while I know many vicious fighters like me – all of them – are over-eagerly speakers/actors of apology. I might as well do a hub on this and add the link here.
Thanks so much for your kind comments... I honestly feel like your African ‘sista’, as if we have lived together as siblings in a previous life... weird, is it not? Be good, big brother, don’t let them evil spirits get under your skin. Hugs and a peck on the cheek from me to you.
saddlerider1 on March 27, 2011:
I am tardy here, yet agree with so many great comments left here, especially drbj's. I have learned from you and here you are again, the great teacher that you are, teaching us how to use the word apology in right context.
I have been sorry most of my life and have tripped over my tongue with humility in it's proper use and situation it involved. Sorry is a very difficult word for many to use, they feel sad, inadequate and often humbled to use it.
You my dear friend have no apologies needed at the hubs, good friends know when good friends are tardy and understand and never take it personally. You were one of my earliest followers and I have shared much with you and stood behind you and for you. You are my African sista:0) and I am honored to walk with you.
Thank you for being my friend and sharing what you share here at the hubs, you are a brilliant, care giving, kind, generous and wonderful writer and I so admire your talent. Hugs from me to you.
Katie McMurray from Ohio on March 25, 2011:
Amen Amen, Well said as it hits the mark and touches the soul. May much healing run abundant and may everyone know the power to cast it out to the sea of forgetfulness. :) Katie
Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on March 25, 2011:
katiem2 – Now that is a proper thought-provoking statement: ‘Hurting people hurt other people.” Wow, it is so true. Solution: we have to come to terms with the hurt in our souls! We should sterilize it, allow it to heal... stop messing with it... (If you keep on scratching a sore with your dirty nails, it becomes an ulcer...) Thanks for the visit, Katie. I’ll see you soon.
Katie McMurray from Ohio on March 25, 2011:
Oh my what a powerful conversation on hurting unintentionally. Very eye opening facts! I once heard, "hurting people hurt other people" not sure from who but the sentiment holds true here as well. Thanks for the touching and helpful insights. :) katie
Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on March 24, 2011:
Healing Touch – my dear friend, so nice to see you! Of course there are times we have to use the words ‘I am sorry’ – specifically after hurting somebody really bad, like in adultery, or a car accident – One will really have to use these words with heart before starting to prove that it truly came out of the heart. My heart still goes out to my x-brother-in-law and his son, but since the funeral I do keep my distance and merely send them tax messages or posts on their Facebook walls. They know where I am; they know they are always welcome to visit.... when they need a shoulder to cry on. Thanks for coming over for the read. Take care!
Laura Arne from Minnetonka, MN on March 24, 2011:
"You had me at Hello". This was a great write. I really enjoyed the solomon verse. Must put on Fridge.........
I used to teach a class at Nutri System and one of the topics was accepting apologies, saying sorry, but mean it if you say it.
An apology without heart is void.
You make us ponder once again about something so human. " To be human is to Err. By the way, I am so glad you held the man at the funeral and the boy. Were all broken, and that is why we need each other.
Great job, voted up and awesome and all buttons. I am such a fan.
Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on March 24, 2011:
*** The Story of Us – It is important to KNOW a lot, but we will never be able to understand anything in its depths – especially emotions - whether positive or negative - if we haven’t experienced it personally. And even experience does not give us enough insight to proclaim ourselves as Know-it-alls, because our intensity levels and security forces differ. What you may experience as awful may be for me nothing to mention. Therapist can but only helps you to identify your true emotions, motives, thoughts and whatever you have in yourself, and they can bombard you with suggestions how to deal with it. So I guess the saying, ‘Everybody for himself and the devil for all’, was not suck out of the thumb of a linguist. Thank you so much for coming and leaving such a kind comment.
*** Sandra – Hi, my ou niggie – so nice to meet you in here! What an idea – I might just do that. Will post some pictures of us – you in your tutu..... Oh my word, and I’ve bitten you all pimple and purple intentionally to get your toys and whatever you had I thought I should have... at least for a few minutes. Oh my, I will forever be known as Martie de Byter. But don’t forget, I remember all the spankings (and bites) my mother gave me while you were screaming as if I’ve bitten off your heads. Hahaha!
But the wonder... miracle? - All of you poor victims of my bad biting habit never stopped loving me. Now that makes me so grateful and proud to have the most awesome cousins in the entire world. I will definitely do a hub on this issue as soon as I get the time.
Jip, we should NOT DO to others what they do to us, but what we would like them to do to us. So if you bite me again when you see me, I will.... laugh my jack off. Thanks for your support, cuzzy.
Dit is regtig hartroerend lekker om hier in Hubland kontak met jou te maak. Dis ’n ander wêreld hierdie, waar jy so maklik in kontak kan kom en bly met mense wat dink en voel soos jy. Hi, ek chat nou té lekker..... ciau vir eers!
Sandra on March 24, 2011:
Bad things are always going to happen in life. People will hurt you. But you can't use that as an excuse to hurt someone back.
Sandra on March 24, 2011:
My cuzzy at her best!!! Great article. The topic...an emotion we both have first class experience of. Love you niggie. What about you write a story on the topic of sharp teeth...LOL.
The Story of Us on March 23, 2011:
This was wonderful. I keep telling my therapist she needs to jump on Hub pages for Articles like this. Thank you! This will truly give me a guide on mending the fences of those I have hurt.
Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on March 23, 2011:
*** toknowinfo – Your comment is an essential contribution to this hub. I believe we can all try a little bit harder to be considerate. I am sure if we practice Jesus’ command ‘Do to others what you would like them to do to you’, we would reduce hurting others with 50%. Thanks so much for coming over and leaving such a profound comment.
*** Wayne Brown – I’m so thrilled with your comment. I can but only say I agree wholeheartedly with every word of it. Your last few sentences reminded me of one of my mother’s preachings: “Don’t expect anything from others, then you will never be disappointed.” And another one: “Concentrate on yourself. Make sure YOU do always what is right.” I guess if we practice this constantly we will never hurt others or be hurt by them. But oh, ‘never be bad’ is not at all human, is it? Thanks so much for the jewel of a comment you’ve left. Take care. I’ll see you soon. (I’m far behind with reading the hubs of my friends, but will catch up soon).
Wayne Brown from Texas on March 23, 2011:
I like your action plan. It reminds me of a technique we use in management to address solutions. Sometimes the solution lies someplace bigger than the problem. As you point out, the daycare teacher will be much more thrilled and impressed with some special attention than she will an admission of guilt.."Gee, I am so sorry I ignored you (but I did!)". Our solutions should be bigger than the problem and address a broader aspect. Your solution with the teacher sends multiple messages: I do not intentionally ignore people, I do have time for you, and I enjoy having an interaction with you. That solidifies your character to a much greater degree than before and though you might not notice her at some time in the future, she may feel very differently about it because you took the time with her before. We set ourselves up for hurt when we create mental expectations and outcomes. I sent little Billy a birthday present and I will anxiously await his thank you note...which never comes. Rather than bask in the joy of giving the present, we too often choose to bathe in the sulk of disappointment created by not getting the thank you card. Was it bad manners? Yes. Should he have sent a card? Yes. But he didn't, which was his choice to make. We cannot make choices for others, only ourselves thus we should not set ourselves up to be disappointed and hurt by others by creating an expectation which never evolves. Great hub...thanks for sharing it, Marty! WB
toknowinfo on March 23, 2011:
Wow, this is a great hub. You inspired me to think differently about using the words I am sorry. I will bookmark this, it is so important. Hurting others unintentionally, is what we humans do naturally. We don't mean it, but it happens. And because of this we walk the earth with pain, guilt, shame, anger, and a plethora of other feelings that fill our minds and occupy much of our time. We then choose to either avoid or work on these emotions, and how we could have made it better or do it better next time. Thanks for all the valuable info. Rated up, awesome, and bookmarked.
Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on March 23, 2011:
*** SilentReed – Oh, I was never allowed to be a hippy – even wearing jeans was forbidden during my teenage years – but via the music I was a hippy in my heart. Got my first bell bottom when I was 15 – the very first slacks my father eventually allowed me to wear and it was made of decent material (for tailored suits) and I was thrilled because the color was ‘denim’.
I was 47 when I rented a cottage (with a thatched roof) at the foot of a hill on a small farm. After I’ve settled down I realized I was sharing the property with a bunch of hippies. At first I ignored them (smokers of marijuana) and they regarded me as a snob. One evening they invited me to a barbeque with the idea they’re going to shock me right off my high pedestal. To their (and my own) surprise I instantly felt comfortable amongst them. They are the most natural, true, unpretentious, warm-hearted people I’ve ever met. Thanks to them I’ve lost all my pretentiousness and snobbism and holier-than-thow attitudes in life. I lived with them for two years before I moved on to the next phase of my life, but I still love visiting them at least once in a quarter. One afternoon/evening with them feels like a week’s vacation at the coast. I must do a hub about them.
Thanks for the visit and for giving me the opportunity to tell you about my hippy friends.
*** Storytellersrus – Long-long time no see! Why are you so scarce? I honestly missed you!
Actually our hurt always explodes in our own feelings (self-esteems). Others merely trigger the explosion. Your yoga teacher is my kind of philosopher. Ref me being pretty special – for many I am, though there are a few who regard me as too-this or too-that to be special. We are but only human beings. All of us are special for at least half a dozen people and a pain in the a#s for at least one. On my way to your corner to see what you’ve got on your menu :)))
*** izettl – Also long time no see! I should’ve written more in this hub about ‘saying sorry’. There are so many ways to say it. We can load those words with the most devastated intentions and conscious and subconscious motives. I always feels embarrass when somebody tries to sooth me with an ‘I’m sorry’ phrase. After all it takes two to tango – If I had a super-genius spirit I would’ve never provoked any urge in others to be rude or anything hurtful to me. Some wise man said: We can forget what others said to us, but we cannot forget how others made us feel.
Take care, Izet! I’ll see you soon.
L Izett from The Great Northwest on March 23, 2011:
Great topic and you did such a wonderful job here discussing both being hurt and hurting others. You are so right about saying sorry- I know you can relate, but I have a bad past with "sorry" being with an emotionally abusive man who said it with such ease only to do more harm he was sorry for. I like your advice for when you've been hurt.
Barbara from Stepping past clutter on March 22, 2011:
Hi Marti, long time!!! Last night I thought my sister in law was questioning my fulfillment of a family responsibility. Turned out it was all a misunderstanding, but I certainly got worry and ticked off mileage before I figured it all out. My yoga instructor says something like, "Do not project your feelings or frustrations onto others. Be your own center and take responsibility for this center." I like this, because too often I allow others to manipulate- even unintentionally- my perceptions.
Thanks for your contribution to my thoughts on this! Hope you are well. Big HUG! (You are pretty special if two young men feel comfortable enough to cry on your shoulder!)
SilentReed from Philippines on March 22, 2011:
Martie Coetser a Hippie ?:) The songs "Aquarius" and "San Francisco" comes to mind as I picture you in bell bottoms with flowers in your hair while strumming "this is the dawning of the age of Aquarius".:)....was it only yesterday? now we're grandparents :) I miss those days of "Gentle people" with "harmony and understanding,sympathy and trust abounding":)
Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on March 22, 2011:
Hyphenbird & thedutcman - Welcome in my corner! Nice to know you liked the read. Thanks for the encouragment.
thedutchman on March 21, 2011:
This article is really nice. I like it. Keep it up.
Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on March 21, 2011:
I am so glad I ran this Hub. This is a great subject and one we must deal with every day. I will be reading more of your Hubs!
Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on March 21, 2011:
*** neeleshkulkarni – I’ve made the call and of course my mother appreciated it. She is a happy mother – all five her children and spouses, grandchildren and great-grandchildren adore her. She has a pleasant, loveable personality - one has no other choice than to love and appreciate her. Thanks for your encouragement, sir! Take care.
*** SilentReed – You are so right – if they felt hurt, the cause would have lied in their own egos. But having a sensitive (bruised) ego myself, I try not to provoke hurt in others. Doing to them I would like them to do to me.
Ref having a heated argument today and go on tomorrow as if nothing has happened – even laughing it off – I was brought up with the rule ‘an argument has to be ended, wrapped up and put away with an apology.’ As I’ve stressed in this hub an apology should not be words (I’m sorry), but actions.
Your action is ‘laughing it off’. This is the norm amongst my hippy friends. It was difficult for me to get use to this while I lived in their midst in 2004-5, but I eventually succeeded and it was absolutely wonderful. It gave me the freedom to be rude to them when they violated my privacy – I could say NO I am not in the mood for them today, just to enjoy them the very next day as if nothing has happened. This way of being is not possible on all levels of my existence – on some it will have disastrous results.
Thanks for your profound and essential contribution to this hub, SilentReed. I really appreciate your comment for it broadens our perception on hurt and appropriate apology.
SilentReed from Philippines on March 21, 2011:
Martie,From the examples you gave it would appear that these are unintentional and should not be considered a slight or snub.If the person in question is not conceited and self-centered then she or he would probably just ignore it.
Although the context in which the words "I am sorry" is used should be taken into consideration since there are varying degree of emotional "hurt";) I believe what truly matter is the sincerity and authenticity of the apology and we should not be overly concern with how the other person interprets it.
With long time friends who know the nature of my character no apology is necessary,We could have a heated argument today and when we meet again we would just ignore it or laugh it off.They probably would look at me funny if I said those words :))
neeleshkulkarni from new delhi on March 21, 2011:
Martie we oldies sure are getting weepies no???? make that call NOW.
Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on March 20, 2011:
*** Puppyluv – I’m so glad to meet you, and I am now your follower too.
*** neeleshkulkarni – Yes, that kind of arguments really hurts all involved. A hug and saying ‘I love you’ are just the remedy to heal wounds instantly. Forget the ‘sorry’ word. Perhaps you need some more hugs? What about giving your daughter a slab of her favorite chocolate?
Thanks so much for the visit, my dear friend. You made me wish my father was still alive – I’ve hurt him many times in my life and I would have loved to phone him now to tell him how much I appreciate what he had taught me. But I’m going to phone my mother NOW to tell her I am dead sure she is the best mother on this planet.
neeleshkulkarni from new delhi on March 20, 2011:
i have never thought that saying sorry is also hurting the other person.i must give this thought and do intend to try out the sending message thing .
i recently said some unkind words to my married daughter during an argument as did she.i did not realize how much i had hurt her till the time we met again yesterday and when she hugged me she kept on crying and i found i could not let go of her either.this was hurt which i knew about but not the depth of it so i guess part was unintentional.all it took to erase the hurt was saying you know i love you.
i now feel that sending those messages or doing something for them that we have hurt is also a way of saying i love you and maybe that is why it works so well.
great food for thought Martie.
Serena Zehlius from Hanover, PA on March 20, 2011:
Beautiful hub! Rated up and will now be following. Glad I stumbled upon this one!
Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on March 20, 2011:
*** CASE1WORKER – Thank you so much for your compliment and high hopes for me. In view of Nellieanna’s comment and my hiper-sensitive ego, I will experience hurt probably daily until my dying day. My expectation of others as well as of myself is unfortunately too high. I guess I’ve heard/read too much fables/fiction in my life, where the goodies are too good and the baddies are too bad. Can’t change this imprinted crooked perception so I got to live with the hurt. Take care, my dear friend. I’ll see you soon.
*** thougtforce – I enjoyed your comment – and lol for the bulldozers-image, which is truly a precise description of some people. I think my urge to withdraw myself frequently from people – at least a few hours per day – is the reason why I can’t see myself in a second marriage. Oh, sometimes some of my needs try to convince me I do need a full-time partner, but then my common sense kicks in again and I realize I have to have the freedom of an eagle - Just can’t be put in a cage. Will fly down on the arm of a falconer just to be fed with delicacies.
I think my skin is a bit thicker now as before, and I do have more hair on my teeth. It became definitely easier for me to reject and deny hurt. But yes, some people still have the power to hurt me – i.e. my children – but back to Nellieanna’s comment – only when I interpret their actions as an affliction.
Thank you so much for your compliments, Tina. It really encourages and delights me. I must confess that my friends here in Hubland helped me to prepare my damaged self-esteem. I am soooo grateful to all of you. I am no longer trying to prove myself to myself and others, I am just ME, and so happy to be just me in spite of the fact that I have not (yet) reached the summits of my ambitions. Take care, dear friend, I’ll see you soon.
Christina Lornemark from Sweden on March 20, 2011:
Martie, I think we must be soul mates and I recognize the feelings you describe with such skill in this hub. Fortunately I can deal better with those feelings and the urge to say "I am sorry" now than when I was younger. I don’t know why some people don’t seem to have any thick skin at all while some goes through life like bulldozers, and never knowing or seeing the damage they leave behind.
Sometimes I get tired and have to withdraw myself from people, it is tedious to constantly respond to others when others feelings sort of goes straight in as if they where my own and is my responsibility. I feel you are the same. Can one practise on how to get thicker skin?
I like your methods on dealing with hurt from others and I will remember them! Thanks for this enjoyable read, you are a master of putting feeling into words and I am so thankful you are here in hubland! Take care now my friend!
CASE1WORKER from UNITED KINGDOM on March 20, 2011:
you are such a good writer and such a sensitive soul. I ardently hope that no one ever hurts you.
Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on March 19, 2011:
*** mysterylady 89 – It is those kinds of memories we should forget because we just don’t remember how many times Who and Whonut bumped into us while we were dancing. We may remember the time we were taken to the floor by a clumsy punk, but what really counts is the fact that we got up again, and here we are... still dancing....
Thanks for coming by! Take care, dear mysterylady.
*** Amy Becherer – You are so dear to me – one of my identical twins. I agree wholeheartedly with your entire comment and thank you for the fascinating compliments. Some people think when you stop loving people you should hate them, and this is not at all my idea. Stop loving only means I am no longer acting certain deeds of love, and only certain, for I will still love as I love myself - not do to others I would not like them to do to me. I love you and your comment(s), Amy. Have a splendid Sunday.
*** A.A. Zavala – thanks for making me smile-out-loud. I’ve got to give you 99% for Tact. Lol! I’ll see you in your corner soon. Thanks for coming over for this read.
*** Nellieanna, my dearest virtual mother, you are sooooo right. Why did I not mention all of your wise thoughts – which are in this case mine as well - in this hub? I guess I was too focused on a specific perception. Thank you so much for improving here with your brilliant comment. You’ve said it all! “OTHERS DO NOT HURT US – the source of our hurt lies in our interpretation of their words and actions.”
Oh yes, those ‘showing we are sorry’ - instead of telling - have to hAvE to HAVE to be without any pretentiousness. Personally I often find that ‘the moment’ to show I’m sorry slipped through my fingers. I’ve missed the opportunity. Then I have to wait for the next (right) moment. Come to think of it, we might as well never stop showing others how sorry we are because we regard ourselves as the most important – with our born right to interpret the actions of others according to our own perceptions.
So many times I’ve created an enormous distance between me and others just because I experienced unbearable pain while they were merely their spontaneous selves. I’ve done this to my ex – until today he cannot see/understand what on earth he did wrong to me. He swears by lighting and thunder he did EVERYTHING in his power to make me happy. ‘In his power’ was obviously not sufficient according to my criteria of interpretations.
Yes, Mama-Nellieanna, I too miss seeing you. To be honest I HURT because I don’t see you as often as I would like to see you, which is preferably every day. This is one of those unintentional hurts we have to live with, and if we don’t blame TIME we have to blame our selves who want to do too much, LIVE and LOVE too much in the limited time we have on our hands. I love you love you love you and will be in your corner soon :))))
Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on March 19, 2011:
A most considerate and thoughtful hub, Martie! Thank you!
There is another consideration that can help, perhaps, whether one is on the "sending" or "receiving" end of unintentional (or even of intentional) hurting. Others do no hurt us, We hurt. We hurt due to our response to what is said, done or thought and our interpretation of it. Likewise - others either respond to something we say, do or think as "hurt" due to how they interpret it. If one person says something with no malicious intention and another "takes it" as malicious - the receiver's response creates that person's hurt, not the words spoken by someone else.
No one can possibly avoid saying or doing something which someone else may "take wrong". We can & should treat others as we wish to be treated and it usually takes care of avoiding hurt. But even that may agitate some old feelings with a person for whom nothing but good was intended - and the person will be hurt over it because of an unsuspected sensitivity having nothing to do with the sender or his/her intentions.
With that in mind, we can examine our own responses and interpretations and avoid feeling hurt - even if someone wanted to try to hurt us! It will become hurt only when we accept & interpret it as such.
Fact is, people express tjemseles (who & how they are) with what they say, do and think. It is not "about" others; it is merely reflecting who the person is who is saying or doing it.
The best thing is to automatically give others benefit of the doubt and avoid jumping to conclusions and taking things personally. And, of course - being considerate to them.
You're SO right about the "I'm sorry" thing. It is somehow demeaning, especially if it is delayed, meaning it wasn't even important enough at the time to mention! Giving someone a gift is nice - and even better is giving them a sincere boost of confidence - though, again, it is implying in a way that they "NEED" reassurance because one thinks they do, which is one of those things which may "hurt".
Great work, Martie. I've missed seeing you enough!!
Augustine A Zavala from Texas on March 19, 2011:
Martie, beautiful women "hurt" me all the time. But it's ok. I'll still be here. Just don't do it anymore, or I'll be annoyed quietly for awhile until you comment on my hubs. Thanks again for sharing.
Amy Becherer from St. Louis, MO on March 19, 2011:
Dear Martie, It doesn't surprise me that you would write such a heartfelt, empathetic, but realistic approach to avoiding this pitfall we all stumble into in life. I think that many times the most sensitive among humanity, see a "slight" in something they did or didn't do, where no one else does. The fact that you were comforting your grieving ex-brother-in-law, while his son stood nearby waiting for your attention, only serves to show your sincere full involvement with your ex-bro-in-law at that sad time. And, when you noticed his son, you opened your arms to him. No one could ask more.
You are correct, though, that we have all managed inadvertently to unintentionally hurt another. I have found that in many instances, it is an oversight. No one of us is without stress, unhappiness, sadness and personal turmoil in our lifes at one time or another. I try not to assume any slight I might perceive is personal and most times it is not. Often, something I am completely unaware of is a source of distress for the individual. I am not the "be all, end all" or an important faction other than for very few people. With that in mind, I respect that the person is not deliberately trying to hurt. Many times, that person is hurting. In time, I have found many instances of this and am always so glad I did not make an issue over something that was not...and would have added to the person's distress. After all, the world does not revolve around me. Thank you, Martie, for this valueable reminder regarding kindness. Everyone of us will benefit. You are a wise, compassionate, tender hearted woman that anyone would be lucky to call friend.
mysterylady 89 from Florida on March 19, 2011:
Martie, this hub has given me a guilt complex. I hate to think about the many people I may have inadvertently hurt when I was teaching, especially when I criticized their writing.
Of course, I, too, super-sensitive, have often been hurt. You offer good suggestions for dealing with this.
Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on March 19, 2011:
vietnamvet68 – I do feel guilty, because I’m neglecting many of my friends just because there are not enough hours in a day to do everything I have AND WANT to do. Presently a lot is going on in my life – very bad things as well as very good things. Ohhhhh, stop hurting, I’m flying over to you to catch up on your latest. You know I love to read your hubs. Thanks for your much appreciated visit, my friend. Take care!
vietnamvet68 from New York State on March 19, 2011:
Martie you hurt my feelings, you never come see me anymore. :) (JUST KIDDING) Great hub and so true we do sometimes hurt people in so many ways and don't even realize it.
God Bless dear Martie
Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on March 19, 2011:
*** Marcella Glenn – you’ve said it so well I’ve GOT to repeat it: “Hurt, as other emotions, must be shaped into perspective.” And I’m going to put it above under quotes. Thanks for coming over and contribute such wise advice to this hub about hurt.
*** Chatkath – Oh, I love to see you in my corner! This is the wonder of HubPages – we are looking at issues through each other’s eyes, and broaden our perceptions. If King Solomon rises from the grave, he might advice people to go look at the ants AND to read HubPages :))))) Take care, dear friend. I’ll see you soon!
Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on March 19, 2011:
*** Darlene Sabella – you darling you :))))))) I hope you are having a peaceful day.
*** Genna East – thank you so much for your kind comment. You and all my friends in Hubland are so special to me... like my family. It is so nice to share my thoughts with you and nicer to here your thoughts regarding the topic. Take care, Genna, I’ll see you in your corner soon.
*** drbj – your comments, ma’am, are extremely valuable to me. I regard you as my mentor, my personal professor doctor BJ and one of my dearest friends in Hubland. If you are, perhaps ;), one of the two I’ve accidentally ignored in a previous hub, sMiLe, you are on Candid Camera :)))))))
Kathy from California on March 19, 2011:
What a passionate hub - actions do speak louder than words when it comes to I am sorry, no doubt but I think your words say volumes in this hub! Much like dancing! I never thought of it quite like that but it is true, if you ever sit back and observe a crowd "dancing" ....
Good hub Martie
Marcella Glenn from PA on March 19, 2011:
Excellent hub! Hurt, as other emotions, must be shaped into perspective.
Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on March 19, 2011:
*** JY3502, nice to see you, sir. If I allow myself I will dwell in my hurt forever. I had to learn how not to do that. I guess it is easier for some people (with a very good self-esteem OR a superior complex) to deny/reject all afflicts to their persons. It does take me a few hours and even days and sometimes months to get over hurt. As I’ve said, I am hiper-sensitive – was/is often blamed for being this. So what, that’s me, so mind your manners and tact and be careful when you address me. As far as I remember I have told you once that I feel disdained (ouch) when you ignore my comments on your hubs. Thanks for coming over, JY – you know I always appreciate your visits and comments.
*** always exploring – hahahaha! Hee-haw, what do they say, party-time is party-time, like war is war. If you haven’t tagged your man with a golden ring, he is free game and will certainly be hunted..... lol! But honestly, if I knew he was halfway in your dreams, I wouldn’t have flirted with him – I would have helped him deeper into your dreams. You know you’re my twin – your happiness is mine.
Oh, what an exiting adventure we are going to have with all those wonderful people. Wow! Can’t wait... can’t wait! Mmmm, must warn you, though, I may behave myself this time extremely well in the company of those handsome men, because I’ve met a very-very handsome one who may not think I am a woman-without-morals, you know. Oh well, this only means I will not dance on the tables, and I will definitely not go bathing with one of them… so there, epi will also be able to relax - there will be no need for him to save my reputation. Hahaha! I promise I’ll help Docomo to notice all your good qualities! Hee-haw! LOL!
drbj and sherry from south Florida on March 19, 2011:
With your very first line, Martie, "living is like dancing," you hooked me. What a great title that will be for the book you write about hurting others unintentionally, saying 'sorry,' and the other valuable lessons you have shared in this article.
You ARE a writer, m'dear, a great writer with heart, and I look forward to more lessons. Promise. BTW, rated UP!
Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on March 19, 2011:
Martie, you have become one of my favorite hubbers. I only wish more people could read this wondeful hub. And you are quite right; we hurt without realizing just as others hurt us without realizing. Up and awesome. :)
Darlene Sabella from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ... on March 19, 2011:
Ditto darling friend, and I stop by one more time to rate you up again for such a thoughtful hub...love & hugs back at you......lalalallalalala
Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on March 19, 2011:
Martie, I feel that i must remind you of the time you hurt me over Slick, but you know that i have forgiven you completely. Hee Haw. I love this hub. Great advice. I'm afraid i do hurt people sometimes without meaning to, but i won't say sorry anymore. Now, on another subject, sending you an updated list of the people who want to go with us on our next adventure. Granny's House-Juliet Cristie- Erin- Fossi- Nell- Epi- Micky- Docomo. I feel that i must tell you that Docomo is very handsome, so remember Slick, Hee Haw.
John Young from Florence, South Carolina on March 19, 2011:
Martie, Good hub. As a male, I too get hurt sometimes. Like you, I consider the source. But I don't dwell on it in any case. Some are just thicker skinned I suppose.
Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on March 18, 2011:
*** rpalulis – Now let me be honest and admit that your compliment is an absolute delight for my ego. It (ego) is now jumping up and down - like a child who receives a most wanted gift - making my head swell.... and swell. What a lovely feeling! Surely better than any trip a deadly drug can send us on! My oh my, this is why I love my life in Hubland – amongst such charming friends like you, sir, who are so generous with praise. You’ve now inspired me to write a hub about compliments and the pleasure it give us. Rpalulis, you’ve made my day! Thanks a lot.
I never feel comfortable when someone say to me “I am sorry I’ve hurt you.” Yes, I might have deserved that apology and I’m supposed we have to accept it with dignity just as we accept compliments and even criticism and insults. But why force others to accept something that does not give them pleasure? Why not please and satisfy them with a gift or favor of any kind? Surely making others happy is making ourselves happy. (Oh my word, this paragraph you’ve inspired me to write belongs in the hub – it just got to be in there, don’t you agree?)
Thanks for coming over and leaving me such a very-very nice comment – Oh, I’m just a vain woman who need compliments instead of insults :)))))
*** Darlene Sabella – I’m giving you a firm hug and kisses on both cheeks – you are such a dear friend to me, because, I guess, you can read me so clearly as if my thoughts and views are your own. Yes, we can but only give our best to others – and we should regard it a challenge to develop and perfect the best we have to give. Have a good day, my friend. I wish you only joy and peace.
Darlene Sabella from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ... on March 18, 2011:
Oh my dear sweet friend, you hub is so awesome and so true, live is hard and remember walking home from school so scared to step on the crakes as not to break our mother's back? Yes, we do silly things all the time, but remember if in our hearts we know, really know we gave it our best that is all we can so. I think you are wonderful and the bestest of all...such cute pictures and I love this hub and I love you....peace darski rate up
rpalulis from NY on March 18, 2011:
Martie, your the smartest woman I know. I have never thought about apologies in the way that you have described, but holds much truth. I know whenever someone has ever said I am sorry to me, I most always respond- "don't worry about, or you don't have to apologize to me". I love your approach to saying I am sorry.
I can't tell you how many times in my life my big mouth has caused be to hurt someone, and 9 out of 10 times unintentionally, which is why I love the Proverb, be slow to speak and quick to listen.
Excellent hub my fiend and vote up!
Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on March 18, 2011:
*** mckbirdbks – Welcome in my corner and thank you for the compliments.
*** bellawritter23 – Hurt certainly deserves to be hated. Terribly awful feeling, and contagious! Thanks for the visit.
*** epigramman – Making me smile is one of your fortes. I must send you some kind of a medal. I wonder where we are going next? I think Erin will be our hostess. I’m looking forward to another outing with all of you. Good to know you like that arty picture of me, Epi. I appreciate your compliments sincerely. Take care!
*** BobbiRant – so good to see you! If we realize how many times we hurt others, we will forgive those who hurt us much easier. Thanks for the visit. I’ll see you soon.
BobbiRant from New York on March 18, 2011:
Great hub about all the accidental hurt feelings we all do inadvertently and never realize some of them either. I guess it's part of being human and this is a great reminder that we are all human and make mistakes, many of them unintentionally.
epigramman on March 18, 2011:
.......a day without you in my life here at the Hub would be the 'big hurt' for me .......I love everything you do for me - everything you say and everything that you write - we've had good times together at Woodstock and with the white lions in Africa with the girls - and I am constantly learning from you (as in this hub) and listening to you when you speak .....when you write - you are truly one special lady and my dear friend - and not just because - lol - your new profile picture is 'hot'!!!!!!
Erica Sanchez from California on March 18, 2011:
Hurt!! This emotion I do HATE! I wish the emotion never existed. Really great write very informational.
mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on March 18, 2011:
I am a new follower, but I can see why so many have committed to you. Excellent information covering a universal topic - plus solutions.