What to say to someone who has hurt you deeply? (10 Tips with example conversation starters)

Conflict is inevitable in close relationships.

Even the most loving, supportive couples disagree and argue from time to time. Knowing what to say to someone who has hurt you deeply is a crucial skill that can help you grow closer as a pair. 

If someone has hurt you deeply, it might be difficult to know how to approach that person without seeming like an over-reactor or angling for a confrontation.

Allowing yourself to be vulnerable enough to express your true feelings can be uncomfortable, but once you do, it will open the door for healing and resolution. When you’ve been hurt by someone close to you.

In this guide let’s discuss What to do when someone hurts you emotionally and also hurts your feelings deeply?

We’re going to look at some common examples of how you can respond effectively when someone hurts your feelings and discuss the reasons behind why they work so well and some tips on what to say to someone who has hurt you deeply

Recommended reading for you: 15 Situations when someone you love hurts you deeply. (Your guide to dealing with them)

What to do when someone hurts you emotionally and also hurts your feelings deeply?


When someone hurts you deeply, it can be difficult to know what to do and how to communicate with them. It’s important to be clear and direct about how you’re feeling.

Once you have worked through the immediate shock of being hurt, you should begin by having a conversation in person or over the phone, if possible. If distance makes that impossible, try a video call.

This is not something that you should discuss over a text message. It’s more useful to talk in person so that you can listen for any tone of voice that lets you know what the other person is thinking and feeling.

Once you have decided on how and when to talk to the other person, practice what you’re going to say ahead of time if possible.

Think about what it is that bothers you most and put it into your own words as clearly as possible.

Also read: Can you ever stop loving someone who hurt you? 4 Steps

Be prepared for an emotional response from the other party, whether it’s anger, sadness, or regret. Try not to respond emotionally until they’ve had a chance to hear everything you want to say.

You’ll probably need to take a break during this conversation; that’s okay! It’s normal to feel upset or overwhelmed when talking about something that has caused so much hurt.

Give yourself time and space as needed, but also make sure that both parties.

Here are 25 things to do when someone has hurt you deeply.

1. Ask yourself if you’re safe talking to them.

2. Ask yourself what you’re scared of.

3. Decide if you want a guarantee of change from the other person.

4. Consider your emotional state and well-being.

5. Don’t make that person your focus.

7. Rehearse for the conversation with someone else.

8. Establish boundaries for the conversation.

9. Don’t bring up everything all at once.

10. Don’t bring up other people’s names or faults during your conversation.

11. When one side seems to be getting different things out of the exchange, stop and check in with each party to see if you are both on the same page.

12. You can take steps to heal hurt feelings after being betrayed by someone close to you

13. Explain how you feel and what they did.

14. Be assertive and state how you are feeling so that the other person can respond to you in an appropriate way

15. Describe what you need and why.

16. Don’t place blame, but instead share responsibility.

17. Give them an opportunity to respond.

18. Be patient.

19. End the conversation with a focus on the future.

20. Follow up either in person or in writing after the conversation has ended.

If you can communicate about a tough issue without attacking or being attacked, you’ll clear the air and come out ahead.

Also read: How to let go of someone who hurt you? (15 Tips to move on)

But there are strategies you can use that will help you say what needs to be said.

For example, if someone has hurt you and it seems like they have no intention of apologizing or making amends for their actions, it may be necessary to cut off all contact with them.

Sometimes this is the only way to protect yourself from further emotional damage.

In other situations, however, the best way to start a conversation with someone who has hurt you is by talking about how their behavior made you feel.

This approach is especially effective when dealing with a loved one whose actions were clearly unintentional—like a spouse who forgot your birthday or a friend who invited everyone else in your group but not you to go out on Saturday night.

There are also times when direct confrontation is necessary.

If someone has done something truly terrible and caused irreparable damage to your life or well-being, then plainly stating how they’ve violated your trust might be the first step toward rebuilding that bond—or severing it for good.

There are some ways to structure your communication and make it effective from the start.

1. Be clear about what you want

2. Work on solutions together

3. Rehearse what you want to say

4. Write down your feelings instead of texting

5. Don’t escalate the situation by resorting to ultimatums or threats as they are likely to get aggressive at that point.

The bottom line: Only you know what’s best for you in any given situation. But there are ways to prepare yourself for difficult conversations so that you’ll be ready to handle them head-on when the time comes.

Also read: How to get over someone who hurt you and used you? (23 tips)

What to say to someone who has hurt you deeply?

What- to-say-to-someone-who-has-hurt-you-deeply

Whether it’s a friend, a family member, or a partner when someone hurts you deeply, it can take a long time to heal—and even longer to trust that person again.

It’s natural to hold them accountable for the damage they’ve caused and to make them understand how their words or actions have affected you. But doing so is also tricky.

The truth is, it can be really hard to know what to say to someone who has hurt you deeply. And the reason for this is simple: There’s no one-size-fits-all approach that will work for every situation.

How you respond should depend on your relationship with the person and the nature of their transgression.

If the person who hurt you is someone close, by all means, tell him or her how you feel. If it’s a co-worker or a casual acquaintance, however, you don’t need to go into detail about the depth of your pain.

People who are emotionally intelligent are able to manage their emotional reactions and interact effectively with others. They are often direct about their feelings, but also considerate of others’ feelings.

The thing to remember is that not everyone will feel sorry for hurting you; some people are just too self-absorbed to care.

So in order not to waste your time and energy, it’s best to concentrate on those who do have empathy and who do care about your feelings. And if they don’t? Then they’re not worth your time and energy anyway.

The first step is to identify the feelings that are coming up. It may be helpful to write these down as they come up. It’s important to recognize how you feel, it’s also important not to get stuck on one particular emotion, like anger or sadness.

Next, I find it can be helpful to try and empathize with the other person—to think about why they may have said or done whatever hurtful thing they did.

This exercise of trying to understand why someone might have acted in a certain way can help you respond more calmly and without placing all of the blame on the other person.

You should tell your partner that his/her actions have hurt you. The problem with this is that people who hurt others usually don’t care how their actions made the person they hurt feel.

They don’t consider that what they do may affect someone else. So, telling someone you’re in a relationship with that they hurt you is probably not going to help.

At best, they will hear what you say and make an effort to change their behavior.

At worst, they will tell you that you are being overly sensitive or tell you that what they did wasn’t really such a big deal and then continue to do whatever it is that bothers you.

It is much more effective to focus on your feelings instead of what your partner did wrong.

Once you’re starting from a place of empathy and are aware of what emotions are fueling your response, use “I” statements.

According to experts, a good way to start the conversation is by saying something like “I feel…” For example, “I feel angry when…” or “I feel sad when…” Using these words will make it clear that this is about what YOU are feeling instead of focusing on their bad behavior.

Things to keep in mind while communicating

It’s important to remember that the other person might not have realized the impact their actions have had on you, so it’s best to make it clear in a calm and reasonable way.

In some situations, you might be tempted to say things to get back at the other person for hurting you, but this can make you look bad as well.

Instead, focus on making them understand how their actions have made you feel, and why they should stop.

It’s also important to remember that while someone might be very hurtful or mean-spirited, they are still human beings who deserve respect.

You don’t want to stoop down to their level—you want to rise above it. While you might feel like nothing is ever going to change, there is always hope that the situation will improve.

It’s crucial to remember that people don’t always mean to hurt you, and it’s possible they might not even realize they’re doing it.

But if they do, it’s not unreasonable to want to tell them how you feel. In fact, it’s a good idea to bring up your feelings when you can, because that’s one of the best ways to start a conversation about finding a solution and making changes.

In order to have that conversation, though, you need to figure out what you want to say first. It can be hard for some people to find the words in the moment, so if you plan ahead and think about what you want to say before talking to them, it will make it easier for both of you.

Try starting off with something like “When you said ‘you look tired,’ I felt really hurt.” It’ll help them understand where your feelings are coming from and give them a chance to explain what they meant.

If they aren’t sure why you’re upset, ask questions about their background so that you can come up with some answers together.

If they do understand why you’re upset but don’t seem interested in changing their behavior, try saying something like “I feel like we’re not on the same page here.” This will help.

There is a certain order of words and phrases you should say to someone who has hurt you, and it’s important to follow that order in order to get through to them.

You want to make sure your message is heard, understood, and acted upon.

1. Tell them exactly what they did that hurt you—the more specific the better, so they understand exactly what they did wrong.

2. Tell them how it made you feel

3. Ask why they did it

4. Listen carefully when they answer—don’t interrupt them or try to talk over them!

5. Tell them what you need from them to move forward—do you need a sincere apology? Do you need an explanation? Do you need space? Make sure they know what they can do to help make things right again.

6. Ask if there is anything you can do for them—it is important that the person who hurt you feels like their needs are being heard as well, even if those needs don’t matter as much as yours at the moment. It will help them to tell you what their needs are and feel like part of the healing process.

7. Say goodbye with no hard feelings (but only if you mean it.

Also read: How to tell someone they hurt your feelings? (7 Tips with examples)

8 best ways to communicate with someone who has hurt you deeply.


1. Figure out what you want to say

In order to say something that empowers you, it’s important to know exactly what you want to say—and why—before opening up your mouth. It is very challenging when we feel vulnerable.

When we feel hurt, we often react by putting up walls or shutting down. Instead of reacting this way, ask yourself: 

1. What do I really want to convey?

2. What outcome am I trying to achieve by saying this? What do I hope will happen?

3. What happened?

4. Why did it happen?

5. What is the character of the person who did it?

6. How do I feel about what happened?

7. How do I want this person to respond?

8. How will I respond if they refuse to respond the way I want them to?

9. Do I need to address this with anyone else affected by what happened (like my friends or professional experts)?

 Answering these questions ahead of time will help you approach the situation from a place of clarity and strength—instead of from a place of defensiveness or blame.

Also read: How to tell someone they are hurting you emotionally? (7 ways)

2. Express your hurt feelings authentically and genuinely to make them realize their toxic behavior

“I thought you were someone I could trust.”

This is a simple statement of fact. It expresses the hurt feelings you have without accusing the other person of anything. You’re reminding them of what they once were, and letting them know they no longer live up to that standard.

“I considered you my best friend or partner.”

It’s a reminder that the actions of the other person led to this situation, not yours.

People can be influenced by their surroundings, so it might not always be their fault that they were led astray, but regardless of how it happened, it’s still painful when someone close to you hurts you deeply.

This phrase also makes it clear that their betrayal caused you to reevaluate your relationship with them and determine they’re no longer worth your trust or affection.

“Why did you do this?”

Your intentions in asking this question may be clear in your mind, but it’s best to leave them for the other person to realize on their own.

This question clearly indicates that you are open to hearing their side of the story, but doesn’t give them any openings to weasel out of what they did.

If they deserve an explanation from you, why shouldn’t you get one from them?

Instead of saying: “How could you do this to me? You always do this kind of thing! You never think about anyone but yourself! I can’t believe you did this to me after all we’ve been through!”

“I felt sad when…because…”

Instead of saying: “You always do this kind of thing! You never think about anyone but yourself! I can’t believe you did this to me after all we’ve been through!”

3. Say the right thing

There’s no perfect way to respond to a situation in which you’ve hurt or disappointed someone. But at the very least, make sure you’re saying the right thing.

Sometimes that’s as simple as showing some remorse for how your behavior affected another person.

But other times, you may discover that the person who’s hurt you is suffering from some deeper psychological issues. In that case, you’ll need to address more than just your words.

It’s tough when someone you love has hurt you deeply. When a friend who used to be close suddenly turns on you, it’s easy to feel hurt and betrayed. And you can accidentally hurt people without even realizing it.

“You’ve hurt my feelings.” “You’re so thoughtless.” “I can’t believe you said that.” These phrases may sound gentle, but they can be unsettling or even insulting.

“Why did you hurt me?” is a good place to start. Many people don’t like this question or the implied accusation that they’re doing something to hurt others. But it’s important to be able to express your hurt feelings to someone who hurt you.

“What you want to accomplish by hurting me?” is even more important. If you understand the motivation behind a hurtful action, you’re in a better position to respond appropriately.

For example, if you understand why your friend is suddenly angry, you may be able to calm her down with a gentle explanation. “I can see you’re upset with me right now,” you might say. “What’s going on? Did you say something I shouldn’t have?”

“I just told you the truth. It was a simple statement of fact. It hurt me when you made it, and I’m sorry. But I can’t change the truth.”

No one is perfect, and it’s normal for friends to disagree from time to time. But it’s important to be able to express your feelings without insulting the other person. It makes you a better person.

Also read: How to tell someone they hurt you? (5 Steps with examples)

4. Avoid Arguments. Instead, choose compassion.

Chances are, this person isn’t looking for advice. Many people who hurt others do so out of their own pain — not because they want to be punished.

That said, don’t be surprised if they try to turn the conversation into a lesson.

When someone hurts you emotionally, you really want to hurt them back, and you desperately want them to change. But all too often, you’re handed an “I don’t care” response.

You end up feeling like you’re wasting your time arguing with them, because no matter what you say, they won’t listen. But that’s the worst thing you can do.

When you give up on someone, you give up hope. You give up caring. You give up trying to win them back. But you don’t have to give up.
Here are 25 things you can say to someone who hurt you deeply:

1. “I feel _____ when you _____.”

2. “I’m not sure what happened but I would like to work it out.”

3. “It’s not okay that you _____, but I would like to talk about how we can move forward.”

4. “I understand how you might have seen it that way.”

5. “You might not be aware of this, but when you do _____, I feel _____.”

6. “I know we don’t always see eye to eye on this but I would like to hear your point of view.”

7. “This is hard for me to say, but I really need to tell you something that’s been bothering me for a while now.”

8. “I know I’m wrong in this situation and I just wanted to say I’m sorry.”

9. “I am willing to talk about what happened and how we can move forward.”

10. “I feel [emotion] when you [action]. I need [solution].”

11. “I need some time to process what you said and did to me.”

12. “I’m confused, hurt and would like to talk this through.”

13. “I understand why you did that but I am disappointed and deeply hurt.”

14. “I don’t know what happened between us, but I wish things were different.”

15. “When you said [something hurtful], I felt [emotion] because [reason].”

16. “Tell me what happened from your perspective and I’ll listen without interruption before I share my thoughts.”

17. “Please respect my boundaries.”

18. “This is the last time I’m bringing this up. If it doesn’t change, we can’t keep going like this.”

19. “I don’t want to lose you in my life, but I need you to reconsider your behavior with me”

20. “I’m tired of feeling like this.”

21. “I’d like to talk about what happened because I’m still feeling upset.”

22. “I’m not OK with how that went down.”

23. “What happened doesn’t sit well with me.”

24. “I think we need to talk about what happened so we can both be clearer about what’s going on.”

25. “What happened made me feel _____ (sad, angry, etc.).”

Now, compassion doesn’t mean you have to jump into every relationship, but you must be willing to put yourself in the other person’s shoes.

Also read: How can someone say they love you and then hurt you?

5. Be direct. Express how you feel, and state what you’ve lost.

Taking the time to say something to someone who has hurt your feelings can be difficult. However, expressing your hurt feelings can be one of the most important things you can do.

While everyone’s hurt feelings are different, here are some tips, if you don’t know what to say to someone who has hurt you deeply:

Be direct – When you show your pain, you show that you care. This can make it less likely that they’ll hurt your feelings again.

Say “sorry.” Apologizing lets them know that what they did hurt your feelings, and that it’s wrong. Even “I’m sorry you feel that way” works, because it doesn’t indicate anger, and shows respect for their feelings.

Be specific – Instead of saying “you hurt my feelings,” say exactly what they did that caused you to hurt feelings.

Be real – Don’t make up stories or try to justify what happened. Apologize for things you actually said or did, and show that you understand how they hurt you.

Show remorse – If they’ve hurt your feelings, let them know that you understand why. Sometimes a simple “I’m sorry” isn’t enough — you may need to say, “I’m sorry you feel that way” more than once.

Be supportive – Offer to give them a second chance if they change.

Don’t make promises you can’t keep – If you say they can change, and then don’t follow through, they’ll think you can’t keep them.

Don’t get defensive – Showing that you understand their feelings doesn’t mean agreeing with them.

Don’t try to justify your actions – If you’ve hurt their feelings, then you’ve acknowledged that what you did was hurtful, and there’s nothing more you can say.

Don’t criticize – Saying “you shouldn’t feel that way” is an attack, and they’re not likely to listen.

Also read: What to do when someone hurts you emotionally?

6. Don’t jump to conclusions.

Before you respond to a text or call from someone who hurt you, consider if they actually meant what they wrote or said.

Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, people can say things that cause hurt feelings. They may have meant well, but in the heat of the moment, they couldn’t control their tone or words.

7. Listen. Let the other person talk

Don’t try to make the other person feel better, and don’t offer advice that you think will solve the other person’s problems.

Be sensitive. Listen to what the other person has to say. Don’t interrupt, and try not to defend yourself.

If someone hurts you and you feel angry, frustrated, or hurt, it can be tempting to lash out. But it’s far better to let the other person vent first.

Once you’ve heard them out, you can respond in kind.

8. Don’t blame yourself

One of the most painful experiences in life is having a relationship with someone who hurts you, and you want that person to go away.

Perhaps you don’t believe all the accusations, and you’re also hurt because you believe the person truly cares about you.

It can be easy to blame yourself when someone hurts you, especially if it happened to you repeatedly. But you’re not responsible for someone who is not responsible for their actions.

9. Don’t bring up the past

It’s tempting, especially when you’re in a bad mood, to bring up some ancient history and remind the other person of all the ways they’ve hurt you, but this isn’t helpful.

Even if the other person does something awful, you can’t expect to never be hurt by them again. You may never get

Though you may want to get right to the nitty-gritty, research shows that bringing up the past only strengthens negative feelings.

Focus on the future instead. Rather than dwelling on what happened, think about what you’d like to happen instead.

What new relationship do you want to build? What do you want to achieve? What changes do you want to make in your life?

If you keep your head pointed toward the future, you can work toward making those things happen. Though the person won’t be part of your life forever, that doesn’t mean that you’ll be alone forever.

10. Forgive.

When you’ve forgiven someone, you’re letting them off the hook for their behavior, and you’re also giving them permission to move on.

This doesn’t mean you’re excusing bad behavior. It means you no longer hold a grudge.

Image credits: People vector created by stories – www.freepik.com

Relationships Guide

Join newsletter to receive intuitive & life-changing insights on dating, relationships, human behavior, psychology, philosophy of life, love and everything in between.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for info.

This page may uses affiliate links. When you click an affiliate link, we get a small compensation at no cost to you. See Our affiliate policy for more info.
Photo of author
Naveen Bommakanti

Naveen is Experienced Psychology and philosophy Writer, self-help and relationship Coach and thought influencer. He has 7 years of experience in Personal development industry.

Naveen’s expertise as a self-help and relationship Coach has been highlighted through his articles in medium and substack to name a few.

To be updated with Naveen's work, connect with him by following his social media accounts.

Leave a Comment