When someone says or does something that hurts you, you may feel angry, sad, embarrassed, or even scared. While it may be tempting to hit back, sometimes the best thing you can do is put on a calm face and ignore the hurtful behavior. After the event that hurt you, give yourself time to feel upset. Understanding the other person's reasons and knowing their feelings about what happened can also help you get through it.
Method 1 of 2: Ignore hurtful behavior in the moment
Step 1. Stay calm
If someone else is intentionally trying to hurt or annoy you, it is important not to give them what they want. On the other hand, if he doesn't hurt you on purpose, reacting in anger can escalate the situation unnecessarily. Even if you are angry, sad, or scared, do your best to appear calm and collected. It may be useful for you:
- Take a deep breath through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
- Slowly count to 10 in your head.
- Keep your face neutral and expressionless.
Step 2. Be silent if you can't think of anything constructive to say
If someone is rude or hurtful to you, you may feel the need to lash out or respond with harsh words. However, doing so will likely only make the situation worse. Instead of saying the first thing that occurs to you in the heat of the moment, stop and think if what you want to say is necessary, true, or useful. If not, don't say it!
- Resist the urge to yell, cry, or insult the other person. Try gently biting your tongue or bringing your finger to your lips if you are tempted to answer or speak before you think.
- If you want to respond, but need time to calm down and choose your words first, try saying, "Excuse me, I need a moment." Get out of the room so you can calm down.
If you have a hard time thinking about what to say after someone is rude to you, go for a walk. Not only will it give you time to calm down, but moving your body literally helps you think better!
Step 3. Walk away if the other person is intentionally hurtful
If you're pretty sure the other person is intentionally bullying you or trying to hurt your feelings, simply walking away may be the best way to deal with the situation. This will let them know that you are not interested in getting involved with their hurtful and inappropriate behavior.
- If you feel comfortable doing it, calmly say something like "stop doing it" or "the way you are behaving is out of line. I'm leaving."
- If you can't just walk away, use your actions to show the other person that you are unwilling to interact. For example, you can take out your phone and start playing the game, put your headphones on, or turn around and talk to someone else who is with you.
Step 4. Answer if the person is someone you know
Sometimes ignoring someone is not the best reaction to hurtful behavior. For example, if the person who hurt you is a family member, friend, or coworker, it may be best to confront them calmly and let them know how their behavior affects you. Ignoring them will likely lead to deep resentments and will not solve the problem.
- For example, you can say something like: “When you call me that, I feel very hurt and disrespected. Stop treating me that way. "
- If a stranger is rude to you or you feel like the situation is a one-time incident, it may be best to just ignore what happened and move on.
Step 5. Set clear boundaries with the person if the behavior is a pattern
If you are dealing with someone who is regularly behaving in a hurtful way, it can help to set and enforce some limits with her. Let him know that you will no longer respond to hurtful behavior. Make sure you go all the way with the consequences you set.
- Sometimes it helps to offer an alternative to hurtful behavior. That way, you can ignore the bad behavior but reinforce the best alternative.
- For example, say something like: “I will not have a conversation with you if you laugh at me or insult me. We can talk when you're ready to be respectful and really listen to what I have to say. "
Step 6. Escape and seek help if you feel you are in danger
If you feel physically threatened, don't try to confront the person. Get away from her as quickly as possible and find someone who can help you or call emergency services as soon as it is safe to do so.
- If someone is threatening or physically abusing you, don't ignore it! Even if you withdraw from the situation, it may continue the behavior later or hurt someone else. Report the abusive behavior to someone in authority.
- If you have to be around the person again, try taking someone with you. They can act as witnesses to any more abusive behavior or help keep the bully under control.
Method 2 of 2: move on after someone hurt you
Step 1. Allow yourself to be upset by what happened
If someone has done something really painful, it is natural to feel bad about it. Trying to ignore or deny your feelings will not make them go away, and it may even make you feel worse. Instead, name what you feel and allow yourself to experience your emotions without judgment.
When you have a moment, sit in a quiet place and just breathe and think about how you feel. For example, you might think, “I feel tense and embarrassed. I'm really upset about how Allie acted at my birthday party. "
Mindfulness meditation is a great way to get in touch and overcome difficult emotions. Take a few minutes each day to meditate on how you feel in the moment, physically and emotionally.
Step 2. Try to understand the person's motives
Consider what may have happened in the other person's mind to trigger their behavior. Maybe he had a bad day and attacked everyone around him, or maybe he just didn't realize how damaging his behavior was. Even if it is clear that the other person misbehaved on purpose, remember that people often behave that way because of their own insecurities.
Understanding or empathizing with the other person's motives doesn't mean you have to excuse their behavior. However, it can help you understand his behavior and feel less hurt and confused by him
Step 3. Recognize that the hurtful behavior of the other person is not your fault
Remember that it doesn't matter what led you to the painful encounter with the other person, as you made the decision to act as you did. His behavior says more about him than it does about you.
On the other hand, recognize that the other person does not control your feelings or behaviors either. It's okay to feel hurt, but acknowledge that hurt feelings are yours
Step 4. Work on solving the problem instead of ignoring the other person
Ignoring someone is not always a helpful or healthy way to deal with conflict. In fact, intentionally ignoring someone or stopping talking to them can be very painful. If the person who hurt you is a friend, loved one, important person, or coworker, communicating with them about how you feel and discussing ways to deal with the problem is often a better option.
For example, you can say, “I really feel hurt when you call me immature during an argument. Can we work to find better ways to express our frustration with each other, instead of using insults?
Step 5. Minimize contact with the person if necessary
If you deal with someone who regularly hurts you or doesn't respect your boundaries, your best option may be to avoid them as much as possible or even cut ties altogether. If you feel that you owe the person an explanation for why you are avoiding them, calmly let them know that they have hurt you over and over again with their behavior and that you will cut ties for your own well-being.