We have all experienced it: pain. We know pain like the dull edge of a knife: it is around us everyday. We are almost always suffering with some sort of pain, whether it is prevalent or not. When we feel pain, we have a desperate urge to unload it, to get rid of it somewhere else. Now, think of a time where you had been suffering. Think about the relief you felt lashing out on somebody, simply because you were suffering, and especially if they were the cause of your suffering. Why do we feel justified when we place our hurt on other people?

Because hurting people, hurt people.

We act thoughtlessly at times. We lash out, we say things we don’t mean, and we take the people we love down in our wake. Most of the time, we don’t mean what we say, but we say it anyways because of the relief that we experience when we say it. We don’t want to hurt each other, but we simply do not know how to let go of our own hurt without projecting it onto others.

A prevalent example of this is when you begin a relationship with somebody new. We are still learning the in’s and out’s of the other person, and it can be tough. Especially when you are piecing back together the remnants of the last person who loved them. When they lash out, be mindful that it is not always reflective of the kind of person they are, but perhaps how they have been treated before. Try to find the root of their suffering before casting judgement. Be patient, and trust the process. Recognize how you have both been hurt, and learn from it.

Along the same lines, are couples who have been together for any amount of time and will experience this too. They get into a vicious cycle of only recognizing the pain that their partner places on them, and not the pain that they cast back. In time, this creates a mutual wounding, and not being able to recognize this dynamic can be detrimental. Rather than taking each other in your wake, consider seeking solutions, rather than harboring resentment.

We are all on a journey, each one of us very different from our peers. Therefore, we will not always be able to understand somebody else's journey. However, even if we do not understand, we can still empathize. That means, when we can recognize that when people lash out at us, it is because they are hurting, not because of the type of person that they are. Take a moment to reflect, and ask somebody; “I can see you are hurting, how can I help you?”. If we all can exhibit kindness when we are faced with adversity, we will see a difference in how others respond.

So, the next time that somebody hurts you, don’t assume it is because of the kind of person they are. Look at the situation from a different point of view, and see that perhaps the person who has been hurting you is only doing so because they have been hurt before. When there are people you just cannot get along with, and they seem to be impossible to reach out to, remember that hurting people hurt people, and by taking ownership, and expressing kindness and love, we can stop the cycle.