Empowering Strategies: How to Deal with Hurt Feelings

Hurt feelings are an inevitable part of life. Whether it is a failed relationship, a hurtful comment from a colleague, or a betrayal from a friend, we all have to deal with the pain of hurt feelings at some point in our lives. However, it is not the hurt feelings themselves that define our lives, it is the way we deal with them. Empowering strategies can help us turn our hurt feelings into positive experiences of growth and learning. Here are some empowering strategies on how to deal with hurt feelings.

Understand the cause of your hurt feelings

Before we can start dealing with our hurt feelings, it is important to understand what is causing them. Sometimes, our hurt feelings are the result of something someone else has done, but sometimes they may be a reflection of our own insecurities or fears. Take some time to reflect on what may be causing your hurt feelings. Is it something someone said or did? Is it a past experience that still haunts you? Identifying the root cause of your hurt feelings can help you find more effective ways to deal with them.

Take responsibility for your feelings

When someone else has hurt us, it can be tempting to blame them for our hurt feelings. However, it is important to remember that our feelings are our own responsibility. No one can make us feel anything without our permission. Instead of blaming others for your hurt feelings, take ownership of your emotions. This will empower you to find more constructive ways of dealing with them.

Express your feelings

Suppressing your hurt feelings will only make them fester and grow stronger. It is important to express your feelings to the person who hurt you or someone you trust. Expressing your feelings doesn’t mean attacking the other person or blaming them for your feelings. Instead, try using “I” statements to express how you feel. For example, you could say “I feel hurt when you speak to me in that tone of voice” rather than “You always speak to me like that and it’s really hurtful”.

Validate your feelings

It is important to validate your feelings and acknowledge the pain they are causing you. Sometimes we criticize ourselves for being oversensitive or for making a big deal out of nothing. However, our feelings are real and valid regardless of what anyone else thinks. Acknowledge your feelings and give yourself permission to feel them.

Create a self-care plan

Dealing with hurt feelings can be emotionally draining. It is important to take care of yourself during this time. Create a self-care plan that includes activities that make you feel good, such as exercise, meditation, or spending time with friends. Taking care of yourself will help you feel stronger and more resilient.

Practice gratitude

When we are feeling hurt, it can be easy to focus on the negative and dwell on our pain. However, cultivating an attitude of gratitude can help shift our focus to the positive. Take some time each day to think about the things you are grateful for in your life. This can be anything from a supportive friend to a beautiful sunset. Focusing on the positive can help improve your mood and create a sense of wellbeing.

Learn from the experience

Hurt feelings can be a valuable learning experience. Take some time to reflect on what you can learn from the experience. Is there something you can do differently in the future to prevent a similar situation from happening again? Can you grow from this experience and become a stronger person? By reframing your hurt feelings as a learning experience, you can turn a negative situation into something positive.


Forgiveness is a powerful tool for letting go of hurt feelings. Forgiving doesn’t mean condoning the hurtful behavior or forgetting what happened. It simply means releasing the anger and resentment you may be holding onto. Forgiveness can be difficult, but it is often the key to healing and moving on.


Dealing with hurt feelings can be challenging, but it is also an opportunity for growth and learning. By understanding the cause of your feelings, taking responsibility for them, and using empowering strategies like expressing your feelings, practicing gratitude, and learning from the experience, you can turn your hurt feelings into something positive. Remember, your feelings are valid, and you have the power to turn them into something that can empower you.


  • Q: How do I stop feeling hurt?
  • A: Acknowledge your hurt feelings and give yourself permission to feel them. Seek support from friends or a therapist. Practice self-care and engage in activities that make you feel good.
  • Q: What if the person who hurt me won’t apologize?
  • A: It can be difficult when the person who hurt you won’t apologize. Remember that you don’t need their apology to heal. Focus on your own healing and find ways to express your feelings and take care of yourself.
  • Q: How do I forgive someone who hurt me?
  • A: Forgiveness is a process that takes time. It can be helpful to speak to a therapist about your feelings and to focus on understanding the reasons behind the hurtful behavior. Cultivate an attitude of empathy and compassion towards the person who hurt you, and remember that forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting or condoning the hurtful behavior.


Birrell, K. V. (2017). The art of self-care: A catalyst for improving counselor effectiveness. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 12(3), 313-329.

Enright, R. D. (2001). Forgiveness is a choice: A step-by-step process for resolving anger and restoring hope. American Psychological Association.

Giddens, J. L., & Cole, D. A. (2015). Jumping to unfounded conclusions: Associations between ambiguous content interpretation, negative intrusive thoughts, and increased negative affect in youth. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 43(7), 1381-1392.

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