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When It Hurts, Say “Ouch!”

Ouch!

That's Gotta Hurt!

Dear Friend,

I recently had a Twitter friend ask me to post some uplifting quotes related to “taking kindness as weakness” and “being pushed too far.”

Of course I did my best to find a few that might assuage her pain.  At least I hope they helped a little.

This reminded me of a common bumper sticker I see around my home.  It is published by the local women’s shelter.  “Love is not abuse,” it says.

Abuse comes in many forms.  And generally it does not involve obvious physical battering.  Verbal and psychological abuse, even when subtle, can hurt.  These do not communicate love.

I have no idea what this woman’s true experience was.  But I do know that her comment about “being pushed too far” indicates that she is not saying “ouch” when her partner’s actions cause pain.  And that is her first mistake.

Each of us has a right to be respected.  We cannot make others love us.  But we can and must require others to respect us – to respect our boundaries, and our feelings.

I hope that the next time this woman encounters an experience where another, who she probably loves, does or says something hurtful, she will say so, and not just “take it.”

Acknowledging pain does not require a fight, either.  If you think you have to fight someone simply to express your true feelings, then you are emotionally submitting yourself, like a slave, to that person.  And unless you truly fear for your safety, this is your fault, not the other person’s.

So, if you find yourself feeling like my Twitter friend, remember – when something hurts, you need to say “ouch,”  and the person causing the hurt needs to hear it.  Their reaction to this experience should be all you need to decide if it’s time to move on or not.

I hope this helps you, friend!

All the best,

Hugh

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