Why We Hurt Those We Love

Want more actionable ideas every week?

Join millions of readers and subscribe to Your Next Breakthrough newsletter below.

    91 people had breakthroughs this week. Will the next one be you?

    Two things for you to think about

    “People cling to their hates so stubbornly because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.” – James Baldwin

    You have a responsibility to heal yourself so that you don’t unintentionally harm others.

    Reflect: Then consider sharing this thought with others.

    Two things for you to ask yourself

    In what ways have your traumas and baggage harmed those around you? How would your relationships be different if you got a handle on those issues?

    Recommended: Use these as journaling prompts for the week.

    One thing for you to try this week

    Think of one person you’ve hurt because of your own issues. Talk to them about it. Don’t do it looking for forgiveness or validation or understanding. Simply show an awareness of your own issues. This alone should help the healing process.

    Remember: Small changes lead to lasting breakthroughs. Reply to this email and let me know how it went for you.

    Last week’s breakthroughs

    In last week’s email, I asked you to develop better self-awareness by meditating, journaling, and having a deep discussion with a loved one or trying out therapy. Elena does all three, and had some surprising insights about journaling:

    This will be super weird, but my journaling habit got me through a crime. I was scammed of money. And because I journal what I do and how I feel about it, I was able to restore all the information for the police with dates and actions. It is not the first time that journaling helps me in mundane situations like that.

    Another time I needed to tell the accountant when I bought a painting directly from the artist and the cheque was handwritten and didn’t have a date on it. Journaling—my love—saved me.

    Mistakes I make—I calculate through journaling how long it took to recover from it. And next time I plan to recover faster—plan through knowing what helped me the first time, which is also journaled.

    And certainly it enhances my memory and self-awareness 200%.

    I also do meditation and therapy, and I find they are very different from journaling. They all need to exist in parallel ways in my life.

    High school student Joseph is discovering the benefits of meditation early:

    This email is so relevant to me right now. With just two months before my exams I need to focus and be self-aware. I found that meditation is helping me be more calm and that I am able to better focus on revision and I am taking more in. I have also found it has helped with anxiety and I’m learning not to give a f*ck more. I used to hate walking down the street on my own but now I find it much more manageable. So yeah meditation definitely helps if you do it right and I highly recommend it.

    Anna was surprised by how much therapy could help:

    It took me years before I decided to start therapy. I used to think that I was good at “watching my mind” and able to analyze the causes of my issues. However, I had to acknowledge that being able to analyze my mind did not allow me to solve my problems any more than that. I was often macerating in my thoughts and emotions, which then took on exaggerated proportions compared to the facts that had provoked them.

    We’ll give everyone a minute to Google the word “macerate”…

    …and we’re back. Steve was kind enough to share how self-awareness helped him overcome two addictions:

    Your email this week highlights a very significant change in my life. I was addicted to both alcohol and porn for decades. After a binge, I would fight through the shame, make a new “promise,” and move on. But the roller coaster between sobriety and dysfunction held me a prisoner for most of my adult life.

    Learning to identify the triggers is a game changer. Now before I douse myself with dopamine or alcohol, I ask myself what is going on inside. I ask what triggered the way I feel. Once the real reason I want to check out and numb myself becomes apparent, learning to avoid those triggers becomes much more manageable. The best way to win a war is to identify the enemy clearly. Changing from a defensive and correctional mindset to one that is much more offensive is leading me to a healthier and more victorious life.

    As always, send your breakthroughs by simply replying to this email. Let me know if you’d prefer to remain anonymous.

    Until next week,

    Mark Manson

    #1 New York Times Bestselling Author
    My WebsiteMy BooksMy YouTube Channel