When someone you care about hurts your feelings, it’s difficult to drop your guard. The one who has struck the first blow might not have intended to be hurtful or may simply have underestimated how painful the experience might feel to the recipient.
When you feel hurt by a person whom you count on to treat you well, it’s easy to imagine that the injury was inflicted deliberately and to be tempted to either fight back or withdraw.
An alternative that we often avoid is an open show of vulnerability. It takes trust and courage to risk simply saying, “When you talk to me that way, I fell hurt,” especially if you say it without whining or being irritable. If we can begin by simply trying to be open and vulnerable, many hurtful experiences can avoid being repeated.
Revealing your vulnerability can have a powerful impact on others.