This is where people in St Francis Connect
Call St Francis Connect on 0827712110

10 Traits of hurt people who hurt others

10 Traits of hurt people who hurt others

Do you ever wonder why some people continuously go out of their way to hurt others? It is quite simply because they are hurting.

Here are 10 traits that will help you to identify someone who is close to you that may be really hurting inside all the while you thinking that they are fine but just have a tendency to be downright nasty.

1) They are easily threatened so are quick to attack with their words.
2) They misjudge others and often assume other people are against them.
3) They don’t see or understand the pain they inflict on other people.
4) They don’t understand why others don’t understand them.
5) They won’t let down their guard, so they are always on the defensive.
6) They don’t take responsibility for their behaviour.
7) They are easily offended.
8) They are quick to react in anger.
9) If they feel backed into a corner regarding an issue, they’ll come out fighting.
10) They rarely have close, intimate friendships.

As I started listening to the list I thought to myself that this is describing a very close family member of mine. I will call her Anne. She ticked absolutely every box.

Lots of questions and thoughts started going through my mind. Had I misunderstood her for so long? For as long as I could remember she was mostly nasty. I feared her. I feared her harsh words. They stung and they stung hard. I walked around on eggshells with her terrified that I might say something that will trigger an outburst. I learned to keep quiet because I knew I could and would never win an argument. I learned to keep quiet because the months and months of no communication was not worth it. What made her hurts, which were mostly the same as mine, make her hurt other people and I not? Did she experience different degrees of the same hurt than I did? Had I worked through my hurts differently and came out the other end better for it?

So let’s delve a little deeper at these negative behaviours of hurt people:

  • Hurt people usually transfer their inner anger onto their family and close friends. We are all guilty of this at some point in our lives. We choose people who are close to us as they will be the first to forgive us. I remember my mother saying to me, “You would not dare talk to your teacher like that.” And she was right. I said the same to my daughter, many times. Hurt people transfer their rage to others.


  • They transfer their hurtful experiences onto others. Many people who have experienced abuse as a child often becomes an abuser. Pain inflicted on one must be inflicted on someone else. It is a bizarre concept, but one that is very common, too common in fact and one that is hard to understand. Why would someone who knows the suffering of abuse choose to do the same to one of their own knowing full well the pain that it is going to inflict on the abused. The answer to this is so deeply imbedded into ones psyche.


  • Hurt people interpret every word that is spoken to them through the prism of their pain. The painful experiences act as filters when interpreting conversations. The hurt person will hear something so completely different that will leave you wondering whether you were listening to the same conversation. They misinterpret words to mean something negative and as they continuously operate in this mode become extremely sensitive and are always on the defensive before they have even finished listening to a conversation. And with this defence mechanism often comes aggression.


  • In the same way hurt people tend to interpret every action through the filters of their pain. They often jump to incorrect conclusions about other people’s motives and see evil intent behind their actions towards them. And as hard as you might try to get the hurt person to see another more positive possibility the less they want to know. The idea that the action may have been one of a positive nature is far too hard to comprehend.


  • Hurt people often have a ‘victim mentality’ where they believe that they are ‘victim’ to the circumstances and situations life throws their way. Things would be happening to the people in and around Anne’s life and she would say to me, “Why is this happening to me?” and I would respond, “But Anne, this is not happening to you, it is happening to June.” And this statement and the idea was completely foreign to her.


  • Hurt people often find it very difficult entering into a trusting relationship. This is very common and I think that we have all been victim or privy to this. Now the hurt person would identify better to my use of the word “victim” as opposed to privy. I have been on the receiving end of a few failed relationships where trust ended up being an issue and I was not about to enter into another relationship with any sort of ease. I, for one, had become incredibly cynical about relationships.


  • Hurt people often carry around a suspicious spirit. They are constantly seeking out an ulterior motive.


  • Hurt people often alienate other people and wonder why there is no one there for them. They are often so focused on their own hurt that they disregard and disrespect others without even realising it. They continually hurt the people they love and need the most as a result of their self-destructive behaviours. In Anne’s case this was more the norm than not. She could be so nasty to the people around her that she could not understand why they were not there for her in a crisis. And when I carefully pointed out the facts she would look at me in absolute disbelief. And I would stare back at her in disbelief that she was just not getting it.


  • Hurt people are often depressed or frustrated because they allow past pain to continually spill over into their present. Most of the time, if not all of the time, they are not even aware of this. To them this is life and it is all normal.


  • Hurt people tend to feel really sorry for themselves. Oh woe is me is the daily lament. They ask themselves why this life is happening to them. What have they done wrong to deserve this. Life was not meant to be like this. They compare themselves to other people who in their eyes got off scot-free.


  • Hurt people display jealous and envious behaviour. They are never happy for other peoples successes in any form. They tend to revel in other peoples failure. In some bizarre way they want to bring others down to their level of hurt and pain.


So here I come back to the fact that both Anne and I experienced the same traumas and hurts growing up and in our adult lives and yet we behave in a completely different manner. She ticks all the “hurt people hurt people” boxes and I don’t.

The answer is quite a simple one. I had the opportunity through attending various courses in the behavioural fields that allowed me to work through my own hurts, negative belief systems and behaviours whilst learning at the same time. My keen interest in the behavioural sciences afforded me a better understanding of myself, my thoughts and emotions and to how better to live life in a positive realm than rather the opposite. Later on I learned about Mindfulness and Meditation which gave me further techniques with which to improve my attitude towards life.

So with this understanding, what about Anne? I now know that her negative behaviour comes from a place of deep hurt and that in that same place of deep down she really does not mean to hurt anyone else, especially not those that are close to her. This does not mean to say that I have to accept her negative behaviour towards me but rather understand it with compassion and forgiveness.

“People hurt others as a result of their own inner strife and pain. Avoid the reactive response of believing they are bad; they already think so and are acting that way. They aren’t bad; they are damaged and they deserve compassion. Note that compassion is an internal process, an understanding of the painful and troubled road trod by another. It is not trying to change or fix that person.”

― Will Bowen. Beautifully said!

I wish you well in your endeavour to unravel your past hurts so that you too may live a life free of pain.

Cover photograph:
Vincent Van Gogh – A Stranger to Myself

Leave a Reply


Join us in the fastest developing industry in the world. We need you to be computer literate and a strong social networker (Facebook) Your enthusiasm and drive together with your energy and personality will make a success of this venture. If you are looking for an opportunity to earn money socialising and loving what you are doing,then this is for you. Take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity, contact us!


Postal Address
P.O. Box 68, St Francis Bay, 6312

Physical Address
Beach Front, Jeffrey's Bay

Phone: 0827712110

Our Mission to be the 1st source for local information - we want to be the local Radio Station of old - If you want to do something... or say something... or know something...Let us help you get the message out there!
We want to provide a service that proves to be valuable and tangible for the residents and business people of the Greater Jeffrey's Bay area.