Advanced search

You should never have to explain why obviously hurtful behaviour is hurtful

(10 Posts)
Wanderlust21 Wed 13-May-20 13:36:54

Just because it's something I've seen a lot on here and been through myself in the past i thought I'd just point it out here.

If you often find yourself explaining to someone WHY something obviously hurtful they have done or said IS hurtful, only to be met with comments about you being too sensitive or overreacting or perhaps, just a blank stare, as if they just dont get it: they DO get it.

They get it.
They just dont want you to know that.
They want you to put up and shut up.

You may find yourself thinking 'if only I could explain better' and trying other ways to do so. And yet you are still met with this 'i dont get it' stare. So you give up. You let it go. You think maybe it's not such a big deal afterall. Or maybe you are misunderstanding them. Or maybe, they didn't even say what you thought they said.

If this is going on in your relationship or with anyone in your life, I just wanted you to know this: your feelings are valid.

You are not going crazy. You are not overly sensitive. And it is never your job to explain to another adult why their obviously unacceptable behaviour, is unacceptable.

Normal, empathetic human beings get it. They know right from wrong. And they apologise for hurting people. Even if it was a misunderstanding.

Please, if you ever find yourself met with that blank stare, whether it be after they've called you a hurtful name or broken a promise or hurt you in any other obvious way - get yourself outa there! Dont waste another second explaining yourself to this empty, cold shell of a person. Because, they get it. Get it?

Anyway, just thought I'd say that. Hope it helps some ppl fer away from shitty, abusive jerks!

If anyone has personal examples of these ploys I'm sure they might help ppl too smile

OP’s posts: |
blue30 Wed 13-May-20 15:01:43

Amen. I never got why my ex would just double down on everything when I said they were hurting me. Explain to me even harder how they were right and I was silly and I was wrong because blah blah blah x 1000. That's not the way those conversations are supposed to go, or so I thought. I found it baffling and upsetting.

If someone tells you you've upset them the correct response is to feel bad and talk sensitively with them about it. If the thought of beinging it up makes you feel panicy you are already too far down a bad road.

Wanderlust21 Wed 13-May-20 15:20:01

Yeh round and round the merry go round until you just give up. Surprising how easy it is to get stuck in the cycle though.

I think we get caught up thinking 'if I were him, I would be acting this way because...' but because we are normal empathetic ppl we look for normal empathetic reasons for why they appear to be acting like a total shit. When in fact, they are acting like a total shit - because they are a total shit.

Wish they taught us this stuff in school! Never in my life have I used pythagoras theorem xD Teaching about mind games of abusers would have been far more use!

OP’s posts: |
Thelnebriati Wed 13-May-20 15:25:16

Abusers want you to JADE - justify, argue, defend, and explain. It puts you on the back foot, don't do it.

Instead insist on your boundaries - ''don't do that, I don't like it''. If they refuse to respect your boundaries then end it.

Wanderlust21 Wed 13-May-20 15:56:48

JADE is a new one to me. Makes sense!

OP’s posts: |
mochizzy Thu 14-May-20 14:19:06

So spot on. You shouldn’t have to explain why someone is making you sad. The marker of someone caring and considerate is that they should demonstrate their willingness to not continue doing whatever that thing is!

LightenUpSummer Thu 14-May-20 15:41:42

Absolutely right OP. With many people like this, the only way to win is not to play.

With my DM, if I was upset, not only had she never done anything wrong but it was evidence of my selfishness that I'd even complain. Poor her, she "could never do anything right". Toxic.

Many many years in, I cottoned on and used to test it by mentioning any problem at all. Her response was always either a - the problem doesn't exist, or b - it's my fault. Bullied at school? She took their side. Allergic reaction? Oversensitive (sign of a weak character)

Maybe she's an extreme example, but there are people out there who will exaggerate your pain for their own twisted ends. Weirdly it made me more gullible, not less.

Long story short, there are some nasty bastards out there, keep your eyes open.

And I couldn't agree more about this being taught in school! We spent (what felt like) weeks on sodding terminal moraine, not a word on people who say they love you might actually just love hurting you.

famousforwrongreason Thu 14-May-20 15:52:10

Thank you OP. I have spent so much effort and time on trying to get people to acknowledge their hurtful behaviour, just to end up feeling stupid or mad or embarrassed while they are seemingly oblivious to the hurt they caused.
I am only just starting to realise how much energy I have wasted.

Buggedandconfused Thu 14-May-20 15:56:48

Thanks OP. My ex abusive narc gaslighted me all the time. I found myself having to explain why the things he did were hurtful for him only to blame me or make me accept a proportion of the blame. Been feeling lonely in lockdown and this made me feel better. Thanks 😊

BackseatCookers Thu 14-May-20 17:42:18


I don't want to have to teach someone how to not make me feel like shit.

If their default behaviour is to make me feel like shit and they expect me to lose confidence and time to change that, it's already not worth it.

The same with huge incompatibilities on some threads on here. Sometimes it isn't a case of one partner being right and one being wrong. If you have a total polarity on views then I don't think it's always healthy to both meet in the middle on big stuff. Some things you need to be on the same page about.

Kindness and sense of humour are definitely high on that list

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in