Let's Get Psyched: Hurt Feelings are Always a Big Deal

August 1, 2022

Column by Deacon Randy Kiel

Let's Get Psyched: Hurt Feelings are Always a Big Deal

By Deacon Randy Kiel

Personal emotional make-up is as unique within us as our fingerprints.

We feel emotions similarly, yet uniquely.  While differing emotional reactions may be the source of entertainment for some in a reality TV show, it also may be the source of conflict for others.

When I hear someone say that they are not an emotional person, I wonder what might have happened to this person to produce such thinking. Then I become worried. Worried that this person might contain an internal rage which may be unleashed at any moment. This would be due to what is called suppression of emotion which is not a healthy way to process emotion.

Yet, at times we all can minimize our feelings as though they are simply a small matter in life. “Am I hurt, you ask?” “Oh, no big deal. I’m fine!” Who hasn’t said that a couple of thousand times over the years? We all have. Learning what to do with hurt feelings is a life skill that can be learned at any point of a person’s life.

Words can hurt.  Words can injure. It is quite painful to have unhealthy communication with loved ones, family, friends, and work colleagues. It is through communication that we connect and our spirits touch. When injurious words offend someone, feelings are hurt, thus an important need arises; the need to be validated. If not validated by others, we must at least validate ourselves. Being hurt matters a lot. Hurt feelings need to be felt and expressed as appropriately warranted. If we don’t think that emotions are important, then we are at risk of having them inappropriately express themselves, sometimes at inopportune moments. Yikes! That can be so embarrassing! I might ask myself, “What’s wrong with me?”  

Painful emotions are sometimes sadness and loneliness, and at other times, love and affection. It hurts to love. With painful emotions, we often try to hide, minimize, justify, rationalize, deny, and pretend our emotional self away as though it is wrong, weak or not supposed to be a part of us, but it is. We were created to be emotional. It is part of what contributes to us being a rational being.  

In today’s culture, we hear some refer to people as an animal. What a degradation! We are neither animals, nor creatures; we are human beings, full of spirit, thought, and emotion. God allowed man to give names to all the animals, but God himself gave names to his most special creations: man and woman, the human being. After the fall of man, new emotion came to mankind, that being pain, suffering, toil, and labor.

There are some laborious jobs that are quite difficult to do, but that is how all our work goes. Work is a labor which causes our brow to sweat, in one form or another. Most often, the hardest thing to do in life isn’t the work of our jobs and careers, but rather it is the other people. The human element, thus, the relational aspect to almost any job is usually the most difficult part of our work. And why is this? It is because our feelings can get hurt by people more often than any other work-related circumstance. Hurt feelings are never a small matter.             Some people have quit their jobs over hurt feelings.

Couples divorce mostly over hurt feelings.

Neighbors have feuded over hurt feelings.

Churches have divided over hurt feelings.

Countries have gone to war over hurt feelings.

Finding resolution for hurt feelings is sometimes an arduous task. Just because we might find resolution, doesn’t necessarily mean that the hurt goes away. Many times, we must come to terms with our feelings so as to attain peace within and with others. So therefore, may we pray:

 “Lord, give me the wisdom of your compassionate heart to comfort the hearts of those who are hurting, even when it may be me that is hurting.”