No matter what your position in life, reality star, politician, or one of us normal people, the actions of others can sometimes hurt you. Some people try to tough it out and will pretend the words roll right off them, but there is always a little something that gets into our heads and rattles our emotional cages.

When that happens, the first thing to do is to consider the source. If it is someone who is drunk, disgruntled, or disgusting, you can more easily disregard what was said or done. If the person is someone you work with or have a relationship with, then things become a little more complicated.

Letting someone know that they have hurt you may not be easy. Guys can have a harder time with this, beacuse they’ve been told not to give into their feelings, and like most of us, may try to ignore idiotic comments. Sometimes that just isn’t possible, however, so before you react, check in with yourself and see if it’s worth the effort. In most cases, you’ll want to mention the offense before the offending party forgets it ever happened.

Confronting someone who has hurt you can be a difficult and daunting task for a lot of people. We become frightened that our intention (to end the hurt) will be misunderstood, and we will look like a fool. We may also fear that even a gentle confrontation may push our friend away or turn a coworker into an enemy. Hesitation is understandable, but something needs to be said, or the problem may continue.

Saying to another person, man or woman, “What you said hurt my feelings, please don’t do that again,” is absolutely appropriate. It’s just hard to get it out sometimes. Fear of being hurt further, or being embarrassed that you are feeling emotional, can keep you from protecting yourself. However, protecting yourself is necessary, especially if the problem persists.

After you have expressed your feelings, what you need is for the other person to acknowledge what you’ve said and agree to honor your wishes. Once you’ve received that acknowledgment, then you have to wait and see what happens.

Avoidance is another strategy, but if you are involved in a business or personal relationship with the person who has offended you, avoiding him or her will be difficult. Ending the relationship is always an option, but it may well be an overreaction.

Most people understand when they have crossed the line and are willing to pull back once they understand their transgression. If that doesn’t happen, you may need to be the one who withdraws, so you don’t have to deal with the negativity.

The less you feed the bully, the less often he or she will try and take your lunch. The other person is going to need your help at some point, and this is where you get to illustrate what being a kind and giving person is all about. As always, example is our best teacher.

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