HOW DO YOU CONFRONT SOMEONE WHO HAS HURT YOU? | The #AskNick Show Ep. 25
How to Confront Someone Who Has Hurt You
When someone has hurt us, we will carry that pain until we can find a way to forgive the other person. We may think we are retaliating for wrongs done to us if we refused to forgive, but holding that grudge hurts us far more than the other person. Forgiveness is a process, though, and not an easy one. An important step toward forgiveness can be to confront someone who’s hurt you. This is never easy—and there’s no guarantee confrontation will lead to restoration. But sometimes we need to take this step for our own healing.
In their excellent book Break Through: When to Give In, How to Push Back, Dr. Tim Clinton and Pat Springle offer advice based on experience of counseling people in unhealthy, codependent relationships. “Confronting someone who has hurt us is a very difficult and threatening task. When we actually walk into the room and see the person’s face, we may become confused, shut down emotionally, or become violently angry,” they write. Follow the steps below that Clinton and Springle recommend when confronting someone who has hurt you (this process comes from the pages of their book Break Through).
Be prepared:Write out what you want to say before you sit down with the person, so that you won’t get taken off track, do it. Don’t blame, just state your feelings. Use “I feel …” statements, not “you did …” statements.
Pick one or two most important issues for first conversation.You don’t have to resolve every argument you ever had with this person.
Set the agenda.Since you’re the one who’s called this meeting, you get to decide what topics will be discussed. Again, writing down what you want to talk about might help. Stay in control, stay calm, stick to your agenda, don’t get pulled down rabbit trails. If the other person starts blaming you (and they likely will do so) just acknowledge their feelings, which leads to the next point:
Clarify what is said.While it may seem counter-intuitive, listen as much as you talk. When the person responds, repeat what they've said to make sure you understand. One of the most effective ways to confront someone is to “hold up a mirror” by repeating what he has said or describing what she has done. You might say, “This is what I hear you saying...” Repeat or rephrase what the person has just said to you. Quite often, they’ll feel understood and gratified that someone else can articulate what they are feeling or thinking.
Stay in control.Don’t get sucked into old patterns. Your job here is not to fix the other person or make them feel better. It is to have an honest conversation.
Accept appropriate responsibility.Own what is yours, but don’t accept blame for what is not.
Don’t expect instant repentance.Your freedom is not dependent on their apology, but on your own decision to confront and set boundaries. “More commonly, a person’s first response is a fierce defensive reaction to being confronted,” Clinton and Springle write.
“Forgiving doesn’t mean we have to give in to manipulation.It doesn’t mean we have to blindly trust again. It doesn’t mean the hurt is magically erased. Reconciliation is based on trust, and trust must be proven over time.”
QuestionHow do I cope with my parents telling me to die because I told them that I was feeling suicidal?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThis behavior from your parents is not okay! Tell another adult you trust about your feelings and your parents' response.Thanks!
QuestionI've heard from a relative that my closest cousin said that she hates me because I love Korea (I'm a big fan of K-pop). I want to confront her but I don't want things to get awkward. What do I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDon't let her hate you for what you love! You can have great relationships with other people, even if you are interested in different things than they are. Maybe you can show her just how great K-pop is, or even just ask her what she has against it. Don't get angry, try to have a calm conversation about it.Thanks!
QuestionMy friend went to the beach for Easter break, and invited everybody in our group but me to go with her. What should I say to her?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerJust tell her how you feel, and if she doesn't understand, she is not a true friend.Thanks!
QuestionI told my friend whom I have blind trust in something that he had to keep to himself. But he broke down under pressure and talked. He doesn't know that I know; how do I confront him without losing him?Top AnswererLet him know how you feel, let him know you know, let him know you are hurt but still don't want to lose him. Ask him how he feels and what he thinks he should do next. Talk about this, come up with an answer you can live with. Finally, remember that a secret is only truly safe if of all people in the world exactly one person knows it and all others don't even know it exists. It follows that if that person tells someone, they really actually want the secret to be known.Thanks!
QuestionMy adult daughter calls me names and refuses to pay back the money she borrowed from me. Should I confront her?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerI would say it depends on your daughter's personality. You should consider the consequences and outcomes of the reaction she may have if you confront her and decide whether or not you're willing to endure them. If you want to take the legal route to get your money back, then you should contact a lawyer to discuss it.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if the person I am trying to forgive is mean again and purposely does the same thing just to be mean?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAlways get help from someone older than you and someone you trust. Try to avoid this person.Thanks!
QuestionMy friend keeps teasing me about my crush, and it really hurts my feelings, how do I tell her without bursting into tears?Community AnswerJust tell her that you don't appreciate her teasing you. If you start to tear up, it's okay. If she's a real friend, she'll see it's really bugging you and stop.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I deal with everyone in my school ignoring me and saying they hate me?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerFirst, tell yourself, "This too shall pass." It's a temporary situation -- eventually, these people will move on to other victim and forget whatever supposed offense made them turn on you. Secondly, be determined not to allow the opinions of others to define you. Find at least one loyal friend who will stick by you, if you can. Most of all, pray for God to be your comforter, companion, and source of strength. Jesus suffered the same torment you are now going through, and much worse, so he understands exactly how you feel.Thanks!
QuestionI'm 28 years old. I live with a parents and teen brother who abused me verbally and psycially because I refused to submit to their ideas. Now I'm depressed and helpless. What can I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou could try to stand up to them and fight fire with fire, or you can inform someone close to you, and if it is serious you can call the police or the hospital.Thanks!
QuestionMy friend talked behind my back over and over again. I kept forgiving her, but I'm tired of it. I told her to stop but she kept going, what do I do?Top AnswererThe more times you forgive her, the less meaningful it becomes. She'll expect you to forgive her and breaking your trust becomes trivial to her. I would consider how much this friendship is truly worth to you, if this is such a big part of it. Alternatively, pick a number, any number. That's the total number of times you think you can forgive anyone for hurting you. Promise yourself you'll take action as soon as it hits that number. Say she's at 14 times now, if you picked 17, there you go. Remember you could pick 11, or 1, or 0. It's up to you to let her know beforehand or not.Thanks!
- Seek out healthy relationships with people who will encourage and support you as you set boundaries with difficult people in your life.
- Forgiveness is not dependent on the other person. The reason you forgive someone is to rid yourself of the burden, not let them off the hook.
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