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Delivered bad news? 10 things NOT to do after hurting somone

When You Hurt Someone

Have you ever absolutely crushed someone’s feelings or spirit? You honestly meant no harm; however, you inflicted great pain and there isn’t a thing you can do about it. What’s next? Let’s look at 10 things NOT to do.

Emotional and mental pain – from the perspective of the recipient and deliverer, they’re an unpleasant – but very real – part of life. Maybe it involves dissolving a relationship. Perhaps a broken promise due to unforeseen circumstances. Or maybe the wrongest of words were spoken at the wrongest possible time.

It happens.

Understandably, empathy and counsel are most often offered the recipient. But what about the deliverer? I mean, if the delivery of the hurtful words was without malicious intent, isn’t he/she also worthy of empathy and counsel?

Have you ever been the deliverer? Did it hurt you, as well? I have – it has.

So what do we do in the aftermath of crushing someone? Well how ’bout we approach the question from the perspective of what NOT to do?

10 things NOT to do after hurting someone…

  1. Attempt to make it better. You can’t in the immediate, so show some respect and leave it alone.
  2. Offer the recipient excuses and apologies. You’re both better than that.
  3. Use plastic rationale in an effort to justify and vindicate yourself. There’s no need if you were shootin’ straight.
  4. Cavalierly change your mind, or the story, after you’ve witnessed the recipient’s reaction. You’ll only cause more pain.
  5. Deflect responsibility. As much as you meant no harm; you made the decision, as well as the delivery. Own it.
  6. Feel sorry for yourself, or the recipient. It does neither of you any good.
  7. Find things to help you ignore your feelings and thoughts in the immediate aftermath. You’ll need them to gain personal insight and effect indicated change.
  8. Ruminate over the events after your time of reflection. It happened – move on.
  9. Beat yourself up over what went down. If you know your intention wasn’t malicious, you’re self-destructing.
  10. Miss the learning opportunity. You’ll be much less likely to, again, hurt another – and yourself.

chipur is a blog, which is short for web-log. That means when you read the articles here; in a sense, you’re reading my online journal.

I very unintentionally hurt someone very badly about five hours ago. And I’m still reeling from it. What you’ve read is real-time and raw feeling and thinking. Now if I can only follow my own advice.

Your feelings and thoughts, chipur readers? I’m sure you’ve been a recipient and deliverer – why not share with us in a comment?