You hurt others by doing this, even though you actually mean well by them
Of course you don’t want to hurt anyone. It’s just that the others don’t want that either – and yet it happens. We clarify why.
Bad people and energy vampires aside, most people generally mean well by their fellow human beings. Almost nobody wants to hurt others and yet we often hurt each other – as almost everyone probably knows from their own experience.
The biggest crux of the matter: sometimes the things that hurt the most are those that we mean particularly well. To name just three examples…
3 things you do without meaning to hurt others
1. Put problems into perspective
- “You’ll be laughing about it in three weeks!”
- “Other people have much worse problems!”
- “You’ve already survived completely different things!”
Although such attempts at consolation are usually meant to be kind, they are rarely well received by those affected. Because even if there is usually something in the statements, they give those in need of comfort the feeling that their problems are not being taken seriously, that they are a drama queen or so weak that they are already burdening things that others perceive as trifles. So even if it’s true that we often overestimate our problems and get stuck in it – this knowledge only helps if we have it ourselves. Hearing it from others, on the other hand, hurts quite a bit.
2. Giving false hope
- “Was really nice, I’ll get back to you.”
- “Maybe we can do that again sometime.”
- “Thank you, hearing from us.”
Almost everyone has probably heard something like this before – and then never heard from the other person again. But giving someone false hope out of seeming kindness and consideration, or because you don’t want to be the prick who delivers bad news, is the meanest thing you can do. Whether it’s a job or a relationship. For while the hopeful waits in vain, he wastes his time and energy. He broods, may reject other options or put them off, is emotionally agitated and insecure. Then it’s better to be the ass and say “it didn’t work for me, I don’t see any point in pursuing it any further” than pulling yourself out of the affair with an angel’s face.
3. Protect from the truth
- “Of course I was faithful to you, really!”
- “With you I have an orgasm every time.”
- “Oh my god! I’m so happy for you!”
Sometimes we lie to people we love, thinking it’s better for them. But most of the time it’s better for us in the first place. Of course, if you’ve had an infidelity, for example, it’s a very individual decision whether to confess it to the other person or not, and in individual cases it can be right not to do it. But most of the time, the truth either comes to light at some point and hurts the person being lied to twice as much – because the lie also breaches trust.
Or it stands subliminally between those involved and puts a strain on the relationship. Because if, for example, you can’t honestly say to a good friend: “Wow, you succeed in everything! I’m happy for you, but I’m also a little jealous…”, the negative feelings will smolder beneath the surface. And if she doesn’t know anything about it, she can’t take it into account.
Admittedly, no person will ever be able to completely and at all times prevent themselves from hurting others. No one can think of everything all the time, after all we are all just people with our own problems and problems. But to minimize hurting others, it can help to ask yourself a simple question: If I were in the other person’s situation, what would be best for me? We often do our fellow human beings a greater favor with this alone than with most (other) of our good intentions…