Why Do We Hurt Each Other?

My dear friends,

People hurt each other in relationships because they do. They do it because they do. There is no larger reason for it, such as “working out karma from past lives,” etc. It’s just something that happens. It’s part of life. Nobody hurts another out of villainous intent.

Remember these two important teachings:

  • No one acts inappropriately, given their model of the world.
  • All attack is a call for help.

People hurt each other because they want something they think they can’t have, or have something they don’t want. They are in one of the above two conditions, and they don’t know what to do about it. They think that the only method of getting their way, having their desires met, etc., is to hurt another.

They do not have to do this, but they do not know that. They do not understand how to “have what they want,” or “not have what they don’t want,” without hurting one another.

The problem is education, not intent.

Greet each instance of hurt with compassion and love. Compassion for others’ lack of understanding (we have all been there at one time or another), love for others’ humanness, and their attempts - however apparently misguided—to solve their dilemmas and keep on trying to make their lives work.

We are engaged here in a process of becoming. Of creating. Of being. Some of us are “being” more than others. That’s just how it Is. That’s what I call “Isness.” It’s just what’s true.

Accept that with a smile. Embrace that with love in your heart. Understand, deeply, that no one wants to hurt you. They simply do it inadvertently, or perhaps, indeed, on purpose, because they know no other way to have the experience they desire.

The next time someone hurts you, ignore the hurt and go to the only question which matters:

What do you want or need so badly that you feel you have to hurt me to get it?

You can ask this question silently, in your heart, or, if you have a particularly open and honest relationship with the other person, you can actually address the question verbally.

Try it sometime. It is a terrific argument stopper. It is a terrific abuse ender.

What do you want or need so badly that you feel you have to hurt me to get it?
What is it you want to have, or feel, right now?
Is there a way I can help you to have that without giving up who I am?

Even asked silently, in your own heart, these questions can change the moment so dramatically, so immediately, so powerfully, that you won’t even know what happened. And your “partner” in the dance will wonder what new level of mastery you’ve gone to!

With Love,




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Author Information

Neale Donald Walsch

Neale Donald Walsch is a modern day spiritual messenger whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways. With an early interest in religion and a deeply felt connection to spirituality, Neale spent the majority of his life thriving professionally, yet searching for spiritual meaning before beginning his now famous conversation with God.


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