They feel HURT

Written by Violaine Guéritault, Ph.D.

What is it?

The feeling of hurt is a form of emotional pain not caused by physical sources. Hurt usually is the result of the actions or words of others that cause emotional distress, such as feeling unhappy, sad, or betrayed. Emotional pain should be taken seriously because it can have a significant impact on mental health (e.g., deep sorrow, depression, grief, negative emotions, shame, worthlessness) and physical health (e.g., headaches, muscle pain, nausea, dizziness, stomachache, or gastrointestinal upset).

What is feeling emotionally hurt telling them?

Emotional pain/hurt invites them to explore its meaning and causes. These are often associated with the actions or the words of people around them. Finding the meaning of their emotional hurt will give them the motivation to consider or reconsider their relationship to certain people, to improve or let go of those relationships, and to heal so they can move towards a happier future.

Suggestions for your young person on how to manage emotional hurt?
  • Stop denying or fighting feelings of hurt. Encourage them to face it and explore it. That’s how it will lose its power over them.
  • Practice mindfulness. This will give your young person the tools to develop their awareness so they can have better insight into the causes of their emotional pain.
  • Help your young person talk to someone they trust and they know will understand them and support them.
  • Find a form of physical exercise they enjoy. It will improve their mood and help them deal with the feelings of emotional pain/hurt.