Why Do People Hurt People?

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by Polar, Aug 8, 2009.

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  1. Polar

    Polar Account Closed

    Hi Everybody,

    It appears to me there is a general consensus that many people feel hurt by the actions by others. This is not related to this forum but just people's experiences in life. This sometimes is recently or in the past.

    I would be really interested to know your thoughts on an answer to this question.

    Why do people hurt other people for?

    Any answers would be greatly appreciated.

    Take care.

    Kind regards,

  2. WildCherry

    WildCherry Staff Member ADMIN

    I wish I knew. It seems like there are so many people in the world who get pleasure out of hurting others. It's made me wonder why, for the most part, people are so cruel to each other.
  3. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    1 They are taking their pain out on someone else
    2 Get enjoyment out of seeing others suffer
    3 Misery loves company if i am in pain so will others be
    4 That is all they know because they have not been taught kindness only bullying
    5 They are ignorant and have no insight into other people feelings
    6 They think they are being kind saying mean things to help you change
    7 They are just pure and pure evil and even after being told they are hurting you they continue to attack with their words and comments just no fff logic or compassion try to prove to to others they are god.
  4. Right U R Ken

    Right U R Ken Well-Known Member

    This seems like something highly complicated that could fill volumes of books but it can be broken down quite simply really. There are 3 main reasons.

    1. They want something at the expense of others. It can be emotional things, physical things, or just sex. They want whatever it is and they don't care about the feelings of others while they get it.

    2. To protect themselves. It doesn't seem selfish to the person doing it but they will do something that hurts others in order to protect their own feelings. Many people here are guilty of this one. "Hurt them before they hurt me" and "I push people away" are two common statements I see on this forum. Very hurtful to other people.

    3. Accidental. Many people hurt others with no selfish intention. It's purely accidental. Some comments or actions that won't hurt most people can be very hurtful to some. Some people are just much more sensitive than others. Often they have valid reasons such as what they've been thru in life but others can't know that or watch what they do or say well enough to not cause the accidental hurt.
  5. Aurora Gory Alice

    Aurora Gory Alice Well-Known Member

    Whatever it is, it's usually a selfish reason.

    Most people look out for number one.

    ODIECOM Well-Known Member

    well, everyone pretty much answered your question.

    ppl are ppl. there are those that simply dont think, and there are those that are just plain jerks. nothing else i can add to the rest.
  7. itmahanh

    itmahanh Senior Member & Antiquities Friend

    I agree with most of the other posts. Those that hurt usually do it for selfish reasons or because of a complete lack of understanding or caring about others. And in the very rare case... they really dont know any better. That's why it is so important for everyone to think before they say or act to things. Once an action has been done or a word uttered, it can never be taken back. And the effects may never go away.
  8. foxwithwings13

    foxwithwings13 Well-Known Member

    I wish I knew.... That's the one thing I don't understand about people. I guess because I could never hurt somebody. I suppose alot of it is selfishness.
  9. Polar

    Polar Account Closed

    Hi Everybody,

    Thank you so much for your responses. Please feel free to add more if you think of anything else.

    Carl Rogers, a person-centered therapist believed people are intrinsically good. Interesting that 19th century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche believed that almost all higher culture is based on the premise of cruelty.

    I like you foxwithwings13 don't intentionally hurt anybody. However, I sometimes wonder about society. For example, I think of some people in society and they climb the ladder by stepping over everybody else. They seem to know it's wrong but they still do it.

    I think you're right about the reasons people hurt other people for. Selfishness, ignorance, protection, greed, pleasure, evilness, not knowing better and self wounds are all key components that cause people to hurt other people.

    I suppose all we can do is set an example of goodness and hope that other people follow.

    Kind regards,

  10. pit

    pit Well-Known Member

    Try getting through this life WITHOUT hurting people. Is it possible? No.

    I'm not talking about deliberately hurting people. You can hurt people simply by being yourself, heh. The daily grind of life is so wearing, you can't help BUT hurt people. Specifically, maybe I should say disappoint, neglect, reject or insult people. I've even gone even steven, taking my revenge on poeple.

    You can't get thru life being a passive flower all the time.
  11. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    I wonder who I may have hurt, other than my family...
  12. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    I think the reasons people hurt other people are as numerous as there are people on the planet. Undoubtedly, there are a few whose brains are irreparably miswired, and they are just not nice people - they are incapable of it.

    Most people are neither purely nasty and bad nor purely kind and good. At various times, we've all probably done and said things that are hurtful to others. There are probably circumstances, examples of times when people are entirely unaware that they are hurting anyone - they are doing it unintentionally.

    Dysfunctional relationships, abusers (sexual, emotional, physical), bullies, etc. have significant underlying problems and huge long-term impacts. So, for the more general (and less "pathological") day-to-day hurts, maybe "why" a person does hurtful things is based on what drives that individual. Is hurting someone going to help a person keep his/her job, get a better a job / higher status / more money / a sense of power, make him/her feel superior to others, force others to do what he/she wants, help him/her acquire more "things"? What lies behind all that? Insecurity, selfishness, greed, deprivation as a child? Who knows.

    Many people seem to idealize fame and fortune. Could that be the root cause? Status and belongings? More is better?

    I think if we, ourselves, rarely if ever, resort to hurting others in order to "survive" (i.e., food, clothing, shelter), it is difficult to see nasty and cruel behavior as a way to get what one needs to "survive".

    Perhaps it comes down to each individual and what each has learned will "work" in order for them to meet their survival needs at the least, and also to fulfill their wants in the best case.
  13. triggs

    triggs Account Closed

    hey polar - i don't really have an answer to your question, as i believe everyone has different reasons for hurting others. i just thought i'd let you know i'm here for you if you ever need to talk. the general consept of this thread lead me to believe that maybe you'd been hurt in some way. i hope you're okay :heart:
    triggs xx
  14. iKayla

    iKayla Chat Buddy

    either cuz they want to put others down because they r insecure themself or us, being selfish.....
    w/e :[
  15. necrodude

    necrodude Well-Known Member

    well its either because we like to, or we dont know how not to
  16. Bambi

    Bambi Well-Known Member

    I think the reasons are many but regardless of the motivations of others I take full responsibility for how I feel. I get hurt certainly but it is only because a part of me buys into what they say or do. There is one thing in this world I am good at (well two but that is adult talk) and when criticized in this area of my life I laugh because I just feel so differently and see the comments for what they are..poison arrows of their own pain or constructive criticism from colleagues...either way it does not affect me. Now if you tell me I am ugly it hurts but that is only because I believe it and I could speculate as to their motives but it does not change the fact that I need to look at me and fix things a bit.

    Also the times I have hurt others I did not mean to at all and felt really bad about it so sometimes we are just humans making mistakes and nothing more.

    BTW if you have not read the book The Four Agreements I recommend it-it covers this are very nicely in Don't Take Anything Personally - The Second Agreement. It is a quick read by Don Miguel Ruiz
  17. Polar

    Polar Account Closed

    Hi Everybody,

    Thank you very much for all your responses.

    I will openly admit that I have unintentionally hurt people. However, after reflecting on what I've done afterwards, I have always apologised or made an effort to tell that person I was wrong to do what I did.

    As for being responsible for how you feel, this has an element of truth too. It's all about how the person reacts. However, I know a lady who lost her daughter to suicide and her daughter was bullied to death. One of the reasons was because she was called "ugly" and believe me she wasn't.

    I think it is extremely cruel if you do things to hurt someone who is vulnerable without even thinking about it and then you don't try to make it right.

    You're correct triggs. I feel very hurt by how people have treated me and yes part of me thinks they don't even know the effect it has had. All I learned as a result of lost lives because of such words and actions was to at least try never to do it to anybody else and if I did to make it right afterwards.

    Kind regards,

  18. Tavil

    Tavil Well-Known Member

    Because society has raised people to be, to quote Basil Fawlty "vicious bastards".
  19. JTemplar

    JTemplar Member

    1. growing up in such an environment, learn that's the way to behave
    2. take out anger and frustration on others
    3. sometimes people just want to be hated by others, even if it means hurting them

    Unfortunately I seem to do 2 and 3, even if I don't realize what I am doing until it is too late :(, #1 is what I experienced as well, but I don't believe that's the way to go about life.
  20. Polar

    Polar Account Closed

    Hi Everybody,

    Thank you so much for all of your responses. I suppose I have a follow up question to the original one I posted.

    If we do feel hurt by the actions of another person, how should we react?

    I know this is very circumstantial but I'm curious to know how we should react. For instance, should we be passive or should we be aggressive?

    Any answers or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Take care.

    Kind regards,

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