How Hurting Emotionally Can Lead to Hatred
Hurt is something that every one has experienced. People experience both emotional hurt and physical hurt. Although physical hurt can be very painful, it is emotional hurt that is harder to get over, and, because it is an 'unseen' hurt, sometimes emotional hurt goes unrecognized or is altogether denied.
Physical Hurt and Emotional Hurt
Physical hurt occurs when the body experiences pain. To hurt physically means that some part of the body is damaged. The pain is the signal the body sends to the brain to let the brain know that something is wrong and to wait for sometime so that the injury can be healed.
Suppose you burn your hand on the stove. The resulting pain you feel causes hurt and lets you know that you need to move your hand away from the stove and do something to stop the pain.
Emotional hurt has to do with the feelings of a person. When faced with a great loss, an embarrassing moment, or a gigantic adversary, you feel emotional hurt. Some people say that emotional hurt can be so strong that it feels just as bad or worse than physical hurt.
A simple burn may cause physical hurt but a terrible burn can cause both physical and emotional hurt as in the case of people who are left paralyzed or have lost limbs. Getting over hurt like that is two-fold because they have to get over both the physical hurt as well as emotional hurt.
Do you admit when you are hurt?
Hurt and Hate
Because emotional hurt can cause such pain, it is our nature to lash out at those around us who may or may not be responsible for the pain that we are in. Although it is something everyone feels, emotional pain is not something that everyone readily admits to.
In a world where men have to be macho and women have to prove that they are just as strong as men, the word 'hurt' when it comes to emotional hurt is rarely used.
How many times when someone has been hurt, do you hear them confess that they are hurt?
Personally, I have never heard it nor have I said it often myself.
It is this denial of hurt that can lead to hate. It is also this denial that can cause us to say that we hate when, in truth, we really hurt.
Denial Leading to Hate
Denial of hurt, such as in the case of a husband and wife, can lead to hate especially during a divorce. It is easier to say, "I hate you" instead of saying, "I hurt and you caused me to hurt". Most people do not like to express their hurt because they think that saying their hurt makes them look weak. This goes for both men and women. Men avoid saying that they are hurt because they believe that saying it will make them look weak and women avoid saying it for the same reason.
Regardless of gender, I believe, people do not say that they hurt because they believe that saying it will make them seem like less of a person or it may convince those who care that they are unable to cope with the troubles that occur in life.
When someone tries to face the hurt, and is unable to do so because they do not first acknowledge that the pain they feel is hurt, it can make them feel angry. This anger fosters hate because it cannot be appeased.
Hurt turns to hatred and the hate only gets stronger, because the hurt, instead of being tended to as a wound that is infected is tended to, has been left to fester and turn into something that is toxic and that can numb the soul.
Do you have some emotional walls?
Voicing Hate When We Really Hurt
Although hating is a very easy thing to do and some people do let their hurt cause them to hate, there are some, very many in fact, who say that they hate when they really hurt.
This message of hatred is used to protect themselves from further hurt but it does not heal the hurt that has already been done to them. Instead, they keep the hurt inside of them and because of this, issues concerning trust emerge.
Most people who hurt, but claim hatred, find it very hard to trust other people who may take the place of the person who caused them the emotional pain. They may not be able to express the reason why they have trouble trusting, but they put up emotional walls that keep people from getting too close.
Telling the Difference Between the Two
It is very hard to tell the difference between a person who hates and a person who hurts but there are some signs that you can look for.
- A person who hurts will try to avoid conflict and although they may get involved when it arises, they will get very upset when it occurs.
- A person who hates will be colder and more bent on seeking revenge. They will tell lies about the incident that caused the hurt so that the one who caused the pain will look guilty in everyone's eyes.
Forgiveness and Hurt
It is obvious that forgiveness is the healing balm that hurt needs. But forgiveness does not necessarily mean building bridges and fixing relationships.
Sometimes, with forgiveness, there comes a renewal of broken relationships but other times it does not. This happens when one side forgives and the other is unrepentant. An unrepentant person who has hurt someone will not care that the other has forgiven them and so you must be very careful when pushing a person who has forgiven towards the cause of pain, for if the cause of pain is not sorry, you are certainly leading them towards more hurt!
A person who has forgiven does not:
- Seek revenge
- Wish harm
- Hold grudges
- Ask for compensation (Matthew 18: 23-35)
He will not demand pay for the hurt that was taken from him. However, if he has forgiven without the person's repentance, he may not be willing to trust that person in the same way again. If the person is repentant then he will trust him with the incident that caused hurt as well as with everything else.
Do you know someone who may be hurting?
I have found that there are very many people who have emotional hurt and do not feel comfortable expressing it. We may not feel comfortable with these people because we truly do not know what to say to them to get them back to a place before the hurt happened. Sometimes speaking about a hurt that you experienced and confessing to them how much it hurt you, can help them to speak about it and let it go so that the healing process can begin. Other times the hurt is so terrible that only God can help the person to get over it.
© 2013 North Wind