Have you ever had someone be very hurtful to you when you didn’t feel you did anything to deserve it?
It can be a total stranger or close friend or even a loved one. More than likely we have all experienced this at some point. Our natural response is to feel anger. We don’t understand how someone can be mean when we didn’t do anything to deserve it. Often this feeling causes us to respond in a similar fashion: with meanness
We all know this only makes the situation worse and has the potential to escalate in a negative way often times killing relationships.
John Maxwell in one of his books teaches a principle that helps us in these situations. He says, “hurting people, hurt people.” Often times when people are hurtful towards us, it is because they are hurting themselves.
This is an important principle for us to remember. It doesn’t mean that we won’t feel hurt when people are hurtful towards us. But it can help us to slow down and have a little empathy. Maybe the person is hurting and we have no idea about it. Maybe that stranger has been dealing with some major stress in their life and filled with pain. We don’t know, but it helps to remember the principle that hurting people hurt people.
Let’s not forget that this applies to us as well. Are we hurting others because we are hurting?