Everybody hurts, sometimes …

Daisy Vision Counselling can help if you're hurting
In the popular R.E.M.song, the lyrics "everybody hurts, sometimes" refer to everybody feeling the pain of hurting sometimes, but these words could also be used to refer to everybody hurting someone else, by inflicting the pain on them. As seen in the book “HURT PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE” by Sandra D Wilson Ph.D.(2001), once someone has been hurt, this in turn causes them to hurt others, often subconsciously or unintentionally. It is also worth noting that it is often the person that they love the most that they hurt.

It's true that "everybody hurts, sometimes ..."

... but some people hurt more than others, and so some people hurt others more. This can be the case as we form relationships as adults and even as we become parents, and damage that has been done to us, in our formative years, can cause us to cause hurt others, often in similar ways. It also continues to hurt us at the same time. This can even be the case in loving relationships, where parents think the world of their children and are trying to give them a happy and secure upbringing or in loving marriages or partnerships.

We are often unaware of the ways in which we hurt others

We may wonder why we have clashes at times, with someone we really love, and may even think it’s the other person’s fault when it’s in fact us that’s causing the problem. Our own insecurities may cause us to react to situations, in an irrational way, which can be damaging to our relationship. We may even blame the other person when we over-react, not realising that it actually may be ourselves at fault. However, recognising this is not about who is to blame, but more about looking at why we react the way we do and seeing if we can prevent it from happening.

An example of hurting someone as a result of being hurt:

We may have been brought up in a happy family, with both parents present and with our siblings, and wonder what can possibly be wrong with that. However, suppose we felt the need to be accepted and loved by one of our parents by performing well, maybe at school, in learning a skill such as playing a musical instrument, etc. Suppose that our parent wasn’t good at showing emotions, and didn’t show us love other ways, and we felt their love and approval was dependent on our achievements. This could have caused us hurt, if we didn’t perform well, or manage to please them by our achievements. This could in turn, cause us to form an unhealthy need to reach perfection, putting us under immense pressure as a child, but then becoming part of our values as an adult.
When someone is a ‘perfectionist’ and they strive in all they do to reach 100%, one thing they really struggle with, is taking criticism. They can’t bare to think they’re failing to reach their goal, and therefore risk not being accepted and loved. This can then lead to defensive behaviour, at the merest hint of a criticism, even if it isn’t intended that way. You may now see that this can cause tension in a relationship, and even arguments. So, relationship difficulties in adult life, can even be a result of being hurt in some way as a child, even if unintentional, and so someone that has been hurt then can hurt another person, often the one they love most, causing damage to a precious relationship.
Of course, this doesn’t necessarily have the immense consequences that being physically or sexually abused as a child has on someone, as they become an adult and forming relationships, but nevertheless, it stills hurts both parties.

Counselling to help deal with the pain of being hurt

In my role as a counsellor, I help people with damaged relationships to talk about their associated thoughts and feelings, something they’ve often bottled up, or may even come out in angry outbursts. Just being able to talk to someone, who will take time to listen, who will understand from their perspective, and will not judge them for any resulting behaviour, can, in itself, be an enormous relief.

A trusting, therapeutic relationship

I realise that it may not be easy to express thoughts and feelings at first, but my counselling is based on forming a warm, therapeutic relationship with my clients, in which trust is formed, enabling them to talk about their hurt. I realise this can take time, especially when someone has suffered the break-down of a relationship with someone in whom they put their trust, but I allow my clients to go at their own pace.

Help to find the cause of the hurt

Sometimes, it helps to look at my client’s past relationships, with parents, in particular, to see if they are still hurting from something from their childhood, which is now causing them difficulty in adult life. Sometimes circumstances beyond anyone’s control can cause hurt, but, having some understanding of that can help come to terms with it. This in turn, can help in seeing things from a different perspective, and may even lead to being able to make changes in our values and beliefs, our self-image, and improving our lives and present and future relationships, as a result.

"Hold on ...."

So, if you’re hurt, and feeling like you can’t cope with life, “hold on” – you may be able to turn to your friends for help, but, if not, you could try counselling.
By helping people address their own hurt, I hope to prevent others from being hurt too.