How To Tell Your Partner They Hurt Your Feelings — Without Pointing Fingers
My feelings have been hurt many times. Sometimes, I thought I was being too sensitive, but other times, I felt like my partner (or another person) wasn't being considerate enough. Hurt feelings don't have to be anyone's fault — sometimes, they just happen. If your partner has made you feel bad, it doesn't mean the relationship is doomed, but it might mean it's time to communicate with them about how you feel. This can be a tough subject to broach, so if you're wondering how to tell your partner they hurt your feelings, I spoke with an expert to get the tips for you.
It can be helpful to give it some time before bringing it up with your partner. "Sometimes you’re so hurt and flustered, that you’re not focused and composed and you can’t bring it up in the moment," relationship and etiquette expert April Masini tells Elite Daily. "Don’t worry. Later is often better because it gives you time to compose your feelings and what you want to say." If you feel hurt by something your partner has said, it's OK to let it sit for a few hours or even days. You'll remember what hurt you, and you'll be able to remind them of the interaction. It can be useful to give yourself a bit of emotional distance before having a collected conversation about it.
Make sure you keep the attention on yourself when you're bringing up hurt feelings, Masini says. "Explain how you feel when something your partner does or did, happens. Tell them what you feel, why you feel it, and what you’d like them to say or not say or do, instead. This doesn’t just give your partner information about your feelings — it gives them a flow chart to modify behavior." If you focus on how you feel, your partner is less likely to feel attacked. They may have hurt your feelings by accident, and it could put them on the defensive if you focus on their behavior. Keeping the focus on yourself can help you communicate hurt feelings to your partner.
It can be useful to try to stay calm when you're speaking to your partner about something that upset you. While it's difficult to not get angry when you feel upset, it can ultimately be helpful for the relationship if you try your best to stay collected. "If they’re laughing and making a joke out of something that hurt your feelings, don’t use the opportunity to lash out and [get aggressive] on them," Masini says. "This will just fast track a fight. What you want to do is explain your feelings, but if you get upset and get angry, you’ll lose that opportunity to segue into a conversation." Be specific: Try explaining the exact words they used that hurt you, but by calmly expressing this hurt feeling, rather than yelling. It's totally OK to be angry, but when communicating with your partner, it might be easier to get your message across if you can avoid lashing out at them.
Even though your partner hurt your feelings, it can sometimes be useful to avoid pointing fingers. Your partner might be more willing to have an open conversation about what happened if they're not feeling attacked. "If you point fingers, it puts them on the defensive and that isn’t a great place from which to get to a productive solution," Masini says. "Remember, it takes two to form a relationship dynamic, and your sensitivity plays a part in this. Instead of having one person be wrong and one be right, explain that you’re sensitive and so when this happened, it made you feel hurt." You're not being overly sensitive by having hurt feelings, but your partner also might not know exactly what upset you. Instead of blaming them (even if you feel like it's their fault), try to speak openly about the way you feel. Your feelings are always valid.
Hurt feelings happen in relationships, but it doesn't mean the partnership isn't working out. By opening up a dialogue, you and your partner can work through hurt feelings. After all, you deserve to feel good in your relationship, and your partner should know what upsets you. Additionally, it's always OK to reconsider a relationship you're not happy in, too. The most important thing is that you find the amazing relationship you deserve. And you will!