Most people find the idea of helping yourself in the process of helping others palpable. At least after they’ve had some time to reflect upon how they have changed as a person as a result of helping others in the past.
But, what’s often not so obvious is the inverse of this principle. And people often disagree rather stubbornly. Here it is:
When you hurt someone else, you hurt yourself. You never walk away unscathed. Often, you hurt yourself more than you hurt the other person.
Think about this:
– If you engage in hurtful acts, are others more or less likely to respond with subsequent hurtful acts? If you call someone a jerk, how are they likely to respond?
– Even if you’re defending yourself, do you not walk away emotionally traumatized?
– Are hurtful responses in proportion to the antecedent? If someone pushes you, are you likely to push back with equal force, or slug them?
– How do you feel about someone that’s said something hurtful? Do you feel love, hatred or neutral?
Most of us get caught up in the moment, in placing blame. But what we fail to realize when we do this is that regardless why we lash out, lashing out causes further harm to ourself. So, you should consider the harm that you inevitably cause to yourself in hurting someone else.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t defend yourself if you cannot escape a life threatening situation. But it does mean there’s more to consider than who started it for just about every other hurtful situation.