Hurting someone is not the same as harming someone.  Sometimes we hurt someone by saying “no”, taking care of our self or telling them the truth about what we think, believe or feel.  We cannot always be nice and pleasant if we want to have honest, full relationships.  In a relationship based on love (even friendships are based on love) we sometimes say hurtful things.  We disagree, we argue, we set limits, we are honest about what we like or don’t like and someone we care about may, indeed, get their feelings hurt.  People don’t always like it when we say “no” or take care of our self by setting limits.  Sometimes we hurt people’s feelings either by accident or in the process of taking care of our own needs.  That is not the same as harming someone.  We don’t harm someone by hurting their feelings or offending them in some way.  The true test of a relationship–to know if the foundation is solid–is to say “no” some of the time or to disagree with the other person.  If the result is anger, a guilt trip, punishment or abandonment, then the relationship was not real in the first place and it’s best you find out as soon as possible.  To invest years into a relationship only to find out that one disagreement or hurtful conversation ends it completely is a bitter disappointment.  Setting boundaries as soon as possible will save you some “hurt” (not harm) down the road.  It’s better to have 1 or 2 true relationships than to have many false ones.  I learned about this concept from a book by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend on Setting Boundaries.  It’s a great read and I highly recommend it.

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