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Powerful Strategies for Emotional Healing

emotional healing

When People Hurt You, It’s Not Your Fault: A Guide to Emotional Healing

Emotional healing from pain caused by other people is a personal journey. Others may find it easy to say, “Let go of the past” and move on. But anyone who has experienced similar feelings would know that it’s a hard and complex process.

You do not deserve the adversity that was inflicted upon you. But you deserve to heal and move on from it. You are worthy of love, respect, and happiness. And you will find strength in overcoming the challenges that life throws your way. 

In this article, I will guide you through the process of emotional healing to help enhance your overall well-being. This is a result of my life experience and, more importantly, the experience of many people I have worked with.

 emotional healing

Understanding Why People Hurt Others: The First Step to Emotional Healing

“What have I done to deserve being hurt?” I know you have asked this before.

But the truth is, oftentimes, we did nothing to deserve the hurt that others inflict upon us. Some people can be cruel, thoughtless, and selfish, and their actions are often a reflection of their own insecurities and issues rather than anything we have done wrong. Other factors may contribute to this tendency, such as the finding of one study that people hurt others to project their moral superiority.

But many times, people hurt others, not out of an evil nature, but due to deeper, more complex reasons. The saying, “hurt people hurt people,” captures the cyclical nature of pain. People who have experienced trauma or emotional wounds, sometimes carried over through many generations, may project their grief onto others—perpetuating a cycle of hurt. This behaviour is frequently a misguided attempt to alleviate their own suffering or regain a sense of control.

Self-preservation is also one of the psychological factors that lead to inflicting hurt. When individuals feel threatened, whether emotionally or physically, they may lash out as a defence mechanism. This instinctive response is rooted in the desire to protect oneself from further harm. It’s important to recognise that these actions stem from vulnerability and fear rather than a fundamentally evil nature. And often indicate the lack of emotional healing in their lives.

The Different Ways People Can Hurt You

People can hurt you in different forms, each leaving a different kind of mark, sometimes even leading to various health conditions such as chronic pain. When you experience emotional hurt, such as betrayal or harsh words, it can deeply wound one’s self-esteem and sense of trust. For instance, a close friend once shared a personal secret I had confided, breaking my trust and causing emotional distress that lingered for years. This pent-up hurt can lead to feelings of isolation and distrust in future relationships.

Physical hurt, though often more visible, can also have lasting emotional repercussions. Acts of physical aggression or violence not only cause immediate harm but can also lead to long-term psychological trauma.

Psychological hurt, such as manipulation or gaslighting, is more insidious. It erodes a person’s sense of reality and self-worth over time, often leaving scars that are difficult to heal, such as depression and anxiety. Unresolved trauma can manifest in physical sensations of stress and tension, which may lead to chronic stress.

 emotional healing

How to Recognise When Someone Is Hurting You

Recognising when someone is causing you emotional blockages can be challenging, but it’s important for your health and well-being. Sorrow often manifests through subtle yet persistent sensations of discomfort, anxiety, or sadness when interacting with a particular person. Pay attention to your body’s signals. Tightness in the chest, knots in the stomach, or an overall sense of unease can be indicators that something is wrong.

It’s also important to reflect on your interactions. Do you feel belittled, dismissed, or constantly criticised? These are red flags that someone might be hurting you emotionally. Trust your instincts; if you often leave conversations feeling worse about yourself, it’s a sign to evaluate the relationship.

Many of my clients have colleagues whose constant negativity and criticism left them doubting their abilities. Recognising this pattern helped them set boundaries, seek supportive relationships and achieve emotional healing.

Being mindful of these signs empowers you to protect your emotional health and seek environments where you feel valued and respected.

Why It’s Important to Remember That It’s Not Your Fault

Emotional healing requires understanding that it’s not your fault when someone hurts you. Often, people internalise blame, thinking they somehow deserved the distress inflicted upon them. However, recognising that hurtful actions are more about the perpetrator’s issues than your worth helps you reclaim your self-esteem and sense of peace.

It’s equally important to acknowledge that we all have the potential to hurt others, sometimes unintentionally. Reflecting on your actions and recognising patterns where you might have caused turmoil enables personal growth and fosters healthier relationships. This dual awareness—accepting that you’re not to blame for others’ hurtful actions while being mindful of your own behaviours—creates a balanced, compassionate perspective.

I once realised that my stress-induced irritability and burnout were affecting my colleagues here at the Single Mama Way headquarters. Acknowledging this allowed me to apologise and make amends. The healing process involves remembering it’s not your fault and addressing your own tendencies to hurt others. These can lead to a more empathetic and supportive environment so that everyone can experience emotional healing.

More on emotional healing…

How to Heal from the Pain of Being Hurt by Others

It is important to remember that we do not have control over the actions of others. But we do have control over how we react to them. It is normal to feel hurt, angry and betrayed when someone hurts us. But it is equally important to remember that we are not defined by the actions of others.

Instead of focusing on what we may have done, it is more productive to focus on healing and moving forward. Surround yourself with people who love and support you. Engage in self-care activities that bring you joy and peace. And remember that you are strong and resilient.

Personally, I am an advocate of therapy. A trained professional has the capacity to give you a better understanding of your feelings to start healing from emotional trauma. These ten complementary techniques can help you through this process while working with a therapist:

Practical steps toward emotional healing

  • Acknowledge Your Feelings: In every self-help book or video, accepting your emotions without judgment is always the first step in healing. Allow yourself to feel the pain. Avoidance is never the solution. It’s okay to not be okay.

  • Seek Social Support: Having emotional support from someone who is willing to listen can provide comfort and perspective in our pursuit of healing. This could include friends and family, with whom you can have talk therapy.

  • Set Boundaries: Protect yourself from further harm by establishing clear boundaries with those who hurt you. Drawing a clear line demonstrates self-compassion.

  • Practice Self-Care: Engage in activities that nurture your body and soul, like moving, somatic therapy, relaxation, or hobbies to improve overall health and well-being.

  • Forgive (When Ready): Forgiveness can be liberating, but it’s a personal choice and should happen at your own pace. Also, don’t forget to forgive yourself.

  • Write It Down: Journaling can help you process your emotions and gain clarity. It can help in reducing stress so you are better able to process your negative emotions.

  • Focus on Positives: Shift your attention to positive aspects of your life and things you’re grateful for. Although I haven’t tried it yet, some of my clients also had incredible results with reiki healers.

  • Learn and Grow: Reflect on what the experience taught you and how you can use it to become stronger for your well-being.

  • Practice Mindfulness Techniques: Engaging in mindfulness meditation can help you stay in the present moment, help you feel less stressed, and help improve the quality of your life.

  • Be Patient with Yourself: Healing is not linear. Give yourself time and grace to heal at your own pace.

How to Prevent Future Pain and Hurt

Greater healing involves cultivating self-awareness, setting boundaries, and nurturing healthy relationships.

First, knowing yourself is essential in healing emotional wounds. Understanding your triggers and vulnerabilities allows you to anticipate and manage situations that may cause hurt. Communicating clear boundaries is equally important—assertively letting others know what unacceptable behaviour helps protect your emotional well-being.

Choosing healthy relationships is crucial. Surround yourself with people who respect and support you, as these relationships are based on mutual respect and understanding. Regular self-care, through activities that nurture your physical, emotional, and mental health, also fortifies you against potential hurt.

Developing coping skills, such as mindfulness, deep breathing, or journaling, can help you manage stress and emotions effectively. Staying open to learning from each interaction, whether positive or negative, offers valuable opportunities for growth and reinforces your emotional resilience.

These practices have significantly reduced my and my client’s emotional turmoil and helped us build a more fulfilling life. They can also guide you towards a more secure, resilient future and better emotional and physical health. Yes, even if it takes time, healing is possible.

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