Holding on to hurt feelings will only hurt you more.

How to Let Things Go When Someone Hurts Your Feelings

by Karen Kleinschmidt

Most people have been hurt by someone. Those who are more sensitive to the comments and actions of others may be hurt more easily, while those with a tougher skin may walk away unscathed. Under the hurt feelings usually lies anger or bitterness; practicing forgiveness will help you to let go of hurt feelings and move on with your life.

1. Change Your Perspective

Hurt feelings may be the result of expectations, according to Agapi Stassinopoulos, author of "Unbinding the Heart: A Dose of Greek Wisdom, Generosity and Unconditional Love." Expecting people in your life to behave in a certain manner, may lead to hurt feelings when they fail to live up to your expectations. You can change your perspective by realizing that people live their lives by what they think and feel. This realization will help you to avoid making assumptions about others, resulting in feeling less hurt says Stassinopoulos.

2. Breathe and Leave

When you find yourself faced with an insincere, hurtful comment, take several deep breaths and kindly excuse yourself. You may decide to respond to the person at a later time, or you may discover after cooling off, you can let it go without getting defensive. Also, consider your source. Is this a person who knows you well or is fully aware of the situation she is making comments about? Often people make comments without thinking or because they are misinformed. Being highly sensitive can cause you to read deeper into comments than someone else might.

3. Empathy

It can be challenging to have empathy when you've been hurt. By putting yourself in the other person's shoes, you may come to understand why he did or said what he did. For example, if your friend cancelled your plans at the last minute you might feel hurt. But if she revealed that she canceled your plans because she caught her husband having an affair, you would feel differently. Realize that you may not have such a clear understanding of every situation before you react.

4. Forgiveness

You may be unable to forget what happened if you've been hurt, but learning to forgive can lead you to focus on the positive things in your life and develop a deeper understanding and compassion. Sometimes it's easier said than done, as it requires you to step outside the situation and look at it objectively. Accumulated hurt from past transgressions keeps you stuck in a pattern of defining personal interactions and events by the injustices and hurt you've experienced. But forgiveness is for you and can help you move on.

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