By: Marilyn L. Davis
That Hurt My Feelings
How many times have you heard someone say or said, “That hurt my feelings.”
People say this when they feel criticized, rejected, or thought that people were disapproving. We’ll say if if people say unkind things about us. And we’re quick to tell people that they hurt our feelings.
What Are the Five Types of Feelings?
Let’s make this simple. There are five general categories of feelings:
- Bad: emotions like jealousy, guilt, or envy
So, if it was your feelings that got hurt, should you say which feeling got hurt? It wouldn’t make sense to say, “That hurt my mad, or sad, or glad, or bad, or scared,” now would it; but that’s what you’re implying when you say, “That hurt my feelings.”
As of today, drop this line of thinking because you can’t pinpoint which feeling got hurt.
The reality is that no one can define which of the five feelings categories were hurt, because feelings, by themselves cannot be hurt. Click To Tweet
Can Feelings Really Be Hurt?
Working with families over the years, I see many men that do not think about feelings. It is not a question of not having them. However, many men got conditioned in childhood not to discuss their feelings.
Often they seem perplexed and baffled when they hear that they hurt someone’s feelings. It just doesn’t compute.Hurt feelings make no sense to some men, and I cannot fault their logic on this one. Without stereotyping men, can you see how it would be difficult to understand an accusation of hurt feelings; how this would not make sense to them? So what is hurt in these exchanges?
“If someone corrects you, and you feel offended, then you have an ego problem.”― Nouman Ali Khan
Do you see when you look at a long list of feelings that none of them can be hurt?
Enter the Ego: That’s What Gets Hurt
It is not feelings that are hurt, but ego. Ego is, for general purposes, a sense of how you view yourself.
Egos get bruised when it is:
- Laughed at and did not tell a joke
- Not selected for a job, given a good grade, not picked for the team
- Undervalued, under-appreciated, under-rated
Umpteenth Life Lesson
I watched a mother at a soccer game the other day. She made homemade cupcakes and decorated them, mimicking soccer balls nestled in green icing grass.
She mentioned how long it had taken her to make the decorations and how much it cost her. When she bragged that they were much more than the typical juice and store-bought snacks that other mothers brought, I knew she was setting herself up for ‘hurt feelings.
I knew that a simple “Thank you” would not be enough; her feelings were going to be hurt.
I remained in the stands when she asked me to watch her belongings. Yes, I was helpful; however, it was also about confirming my assumption that she would come back to the stands and complain about the boy’s response to her special cupcakes.
Sure enough, she returned to the stands and said to me, “Those kids hurt my feelings. Don’t they realize how much time I spent making their cupcakes? It’s like they did not appreciate my efforts.”
I refrained from telling her that it was her ego.
I have learned over the years not to do counseling with someone who has not hired me for this purpose; however, it did help me remember how many people mistake hurt feelings for a bruised ego. Click To Tweet
Personal Life Lesson
When I was in therapy, I learned that I needed to take responsibility for my feelings by saying, “I feel ___,” and then define my feeling, or claim, “When you did or didn’t do, I felt ___,” and then name the feeling, not “You made me feel.”
Therefore, I will publish this article, hoping that someone likes it, does not criticize it too much, leaves glowing comments, or at least a helpful critique on how to improve it while trying to remember not to get my feelings, oh sorry, my ego hurt.
Humor me in your comments. Do you ever say, “That hurt my feelings,” and what are your thoughts about it after reading this post?
- Yes, I say it, and now I see where it is not a logical statement.
- No, I don’t say it because I don’t discuss my feelings.
- No, I don’t say it because it sounds wimpy.
- Yes, I say it, and people should understand what I mean.
Writing and recovery heal the heart.
Marilyn L. Davis is the Editor-in-Chief at Two Drops of Ink and From Addict 2 Advocate. She is also the author of Finding North: A Journey from Addict to Advocate and Memories into Memoir: The Mindsets and Mechanics Workbook, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indie Books, and Books A Million.