Emotional Fitness

Harness the power of emotion to deepen your love with your partner, become more successful at work, and more

Why Do We Hurt Each Other?

Give yourself the gift of forgiveness.

The one thing I just don't get about people is why they will sometimes go out of their way to hurt one another. Spending your time, energy, and money to make someone else uncomfortable is just plain sadistic, as well as a waste of the most valuable thing you have-the precious minutes of your life.

 

Unfortunately, we see this a lot in broken love relationships. Some people make going after their ex for anything and everything a passionate hobby. I cannot count the number of people who have, years later, regretted this behavior. And there is good reason.

 

In many cases, this kind of negative energy pushes away other people, including children if they are involved. When children (adult children as well) see one parent trying to hurt the other, they not only get protective of the person under attack, but they get very confused about life, love, and the state of their "family."

 

In the film It's Complicated, there's a scene when the kids find out that their parents might be getting back together, and one of them makes the comment, "We still haven't gotten used to the divorce yet." Then, when things don't work out for the parents, the kids are all in bed together, teary-eyed from the confusion.

Find a Therapist

Search for a mental health professional near you.

 

If your life or a relationship is going badly, revenge is not your last hope for renewal. In fact, it takes away much more than it gives. Trying to figure out how to get back at someone uses up time that could be spent in many more positive ways, and most people don't realize how toxic these feelings are to our bodies and emotions. Living with anger inside you takes away from experiencing what life still has to offer.

 

In addition, while you're plotting against someone, you are creating a thought pattern that can keep you from feeling joy. If you let this go on long enough, you can become a permanently irritable person whom no one wants to be around. And you won't have a clue as to why.

 

Learning to live and let live should be a natural skill set. Unfortunately, our emotions can get pretty tweaked when we get rejected or don't get our way. But you must not give in to the desire to get even, for you will never truly win. In the end, you will regret the pain you have caused and you may well be a lot lonelier for your efforts.

 

Look, we all know that half the time relationships don't work out, and most of the time the endings are painful. Trying to hurt your ex is eventually going to backfire, and there is so much more you could be doing with your life.

 

Happiness is hard to find, but if you're distracting yourself with ways to get even with him or her, you may never find the peace of mind that comes with letting go and moving on.

 

Give yourself the gift of forgiveness  - you will only feel better for it.

 

 

 

 

Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist, columnist, and radio host. His latest book is The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time.

more...

Subscribe to Emotional Fitness

Current Issue

Love & Lust

Who says marriage is where desire goes to die?