When you've had your heart broken in a relationship, it can be
difficult to open up to love again and entrust your heart to
Similarly, when your partner hurts you, it can difficult to open
up and bring trust back into your relationship. It's hard to give
your heart back to someone who has proven hurtful.
Yet, you want to love, you want to trust, you want to open
up. And so you do. Throwing caution to the wind you open up
your heart again, hoping you will not get hurt.
Still you find yourself getting hurt again and again and again.
This is a dilemma many of us face, whether we are single or in a
relationship. How do we open up to love and trust another person
while staying safe and protected from hurt? I have created
the following steps for you to do just that.
to opening up while staying safe:
Assume that any person close to you will eventually hurt you, and
continue to hurt you periodically.
Have you ever hurt the people you love? Was it intentional,
malicious? Were you sorry afterwards? Did you have trouble
admitting your remorse?
When others hurt you, realize they are just like you. They have
likely hurt you unintentionally, and are remorseful and sorry
not assume that knowing someone well or being in love is going to
prevent hurt. Regardless of circumstances, time or promises, step
#1 still holds true.
Getting to know someone well may prevent you from ending up with a
partner who will be nothing but hurt and heartache. But, it still
won't prevent you from getting hurt eventually.
he or she does hurt you, assume it is not personal, is not
directed at you and is not about you.
When your partner or potential partner does something that makes
your heart ache, think back to a time you inflicted hurt on
You did not do it intentionally, maliciously. It's just that you
were reminded of something in your past. You were
afraid. You could not help yourself, etc.
The same is likely true of your partner, who was reminded of
something in his/her past, was afraid, could not help him/her
to set boundaries.
To find out what your boundaries are, ask yourself the following
*What don't I want in my life, in my relationships?
*What type of behavior hurts me?
*How would people need to behave around me in order for me to
Make a list of your answers. Make your boundaries big enough so
that you feel very safe. Start to educate people about them.
you've been hurt, learn how to immediately take care of yourself
by removing yourself from the situation and soothing your
For example, if your partner raises his or her voice when upset
and this hurts, learn how to say "stop" and "I will
not talk about this when you raise your voice at me". Then,
do something that makes you feel good. It may be taking a long
bath, or a walk, or watching a movie.
Let's take another example. Let's say you are single and waiting
for a call from a potential partner. Let's say you have been
waiting for a call for days. Remove yourself from the situation by
ending the wait--stop waiting for the call. In fact, ignore the
phone and let the answering machine pick it up. Now do
something that makes you feel better. Treat yourself, nurture,
Realize that the key to saying safe is not in trusting the other
person but in trusting yourself.
You can never guarantee that another person will not hurt
you. In fact, you can be assured that most
people--especially those close to you--will hurt you occasionally.
But this does not mean you can never open your heart for fear of
You can learn to trust yourself to take care of you in a hurtful
situation by removing yourself from the situation and soothing
Become the kind of person who can be trusted to take care of
her/him self first and always.
As soon as you can trust yourself to always take care of you
first, your heart will become safe and you will feel free to form
or rekindle a relationship. It's that important.
Taking care of you can be anything from ending a fight the minute
it begins to immediately voicing a concern to making a request to
get what you want and need. It means you always think of
yourself and your needs first.
to communicate effectively and powerfully, yet gently.
You want to try and stop the hurtful behavior, but do so in such a
way that the person does not resent you.
For example, let's say again that your partner raises his or her
voice at you in anger, which you do not like.
You may want to stop the behavior by calmly saying something like,
"Please do not speak to me with a raised voice. I cannot hear
you when you raise your voice and I want to hear you. Can we speak
calmly now or should we have this conversation later?"
Our second example may be more appropriate for singles. Let's say
you are still waiting for that phone call. The person finally
calls several days later. If you choose to communicate about this,
you might say, "I am glad you called. It has been a while
since we last spoke and I was starting to loose interest."
There is no attack, no accusation, yet everything that needs to be
said to make an impact is said with grace and heart.
to trust your opinions about yourself, your actions and your
attributes as more important than the opinions of others.
Sometimes in relationships, hurtful things can be said in the heat
of the moment. Sometimes these things don't need to be
said--it is obvious when your partner thinks badly of you.
Believe in yourself and appreciate yourself enough to be able to
dismiss the hurtful words and the vague feeling of being judged as
Learn when it's appropriate to forgive and when it's best to end
Any partner will hurt you occasionally. The question is how much
and how often. An occasional hurt or annoyance can be forgiven or
dealt with for the benefit of the relationship. Working through
the hurt can make you grow together.
On the other hand, if you find yourself being hurt from the onset
of the relationship and it never stops, you may want to reconsider
your choice of partners.
The best news is that when you can take care of you -- first and
always -- you will attract partners who will tend to do less
hurting and much more loving.
article was originally published by Coach Rinatta Paries in
"The Relationship Coach Newsletter," a weekly e-zine for
people who want fulfilling relationships. For singles, the
newsletter will help you attract your Mr. or Ms. Right. If you're
in a relationship, you will learn to create more closeness and
intimacy with your mate. To subscribe, go to www.WhatItTakes.com