Comforting Hurt Feelings with Self-Care


We’ve all experienced hurt feelings before. It’s no fun. In fact, it’s downright miserable.

We all get our feelings hurt from time to time. Here's how to start comforting hurt feelings and soothe yourself!

Of course, we wish we could turn it off or somehow control our feelings so we couldn’t feel the pain or hurt. Even though there’s no such thing as an emotion that’s “bad” or “wrong,” it’s natural to wish hurt would go away.

But feeling pain and hurt is an inevitable part of being human. Instead of avoiding hurt, we can learn methods for comforting hurt feelings and soothing ourselves through tough times.

The Importance of Self-Care

We hear a lot of buzz about self-care these days. People talk about self-care like a spa day, an extra dessert, or shopping. But turning to soft addictions (like eating and shopping) have the opposite effect on our emotions in the long run. While a long soak in the tub or nestling down with a good book are comforting ways to treat yourself, soothing yourself doesn’t always require a special activity.

Self-Care includes learning to soothe yourself in any situation. Treat yourself gently, with compassion, kindness, and affection. If you’re feeling hurt, it’s helpful to acknowledge and admit, “Okay, my feelings are really hurt.” Address your feelings as you experience them. You don’t need to wait until you find an hour to indulge.

Think back to when you were a child. What would your mom do to soothe you when you were a little kid? She would rock you. Maybe she would speak soft, kind words to you. She gave you a teddy bear to snuggle.

It may sound foreign to us as adults, but it’s essential we learn to soothe and comfort ourselves during trying times.

Literally rock yourself a little, hug something soft, or wrap your arms around your body in a hug. These actions are soothing to our system and help us feel safe and loved. Rocking is soothing because the gentle, back-and-forth motion helps us re-center and find balance. Sitting in a rocking chair, a swing, or floating in water produces a similar effect.

Acknowledging your hurt feelings is also a vital part of soothing yourself. I like to say, “name it to tame it” when it comes to feelings. So often, we run through emotions of the day without really thinking about them or truly feeling them. These emotions fester and build up until they feel out of control.

Researchers found when we name our emotions, we actually feel calmer, and they become more manageable. We recognize our feelings and become more mindful of the emotions we’re going through. Saying aloud (or to ourselves), “my feelings are really hurt,” or “I’m really upset,” calls out our emotions and helps us recognize the experience.

Once we speak and recognize our feelings, they become less confusing. Named emotions are easier to deal with and understand. This process holds true for all our emotions—sadness, anger, jealousy, frustration, and yes, hurt. When we name our feelings, we validate them and begin processing and working through the emotion.

Be Your Own Best Friend

When a friend is going through a difficult time, what do we do? We comfort them with kind words. We might give them a call and listen to their feelings. We’d reassure our friend everything was going to work out and tell them they’re strong. We’d empower them with positive language and kindness. We might offer our friend a hug, pat them on the back, or lean our head on their shoulder.

So often, we’re much harder on ourselves than we are on others, especially when we feel hurt. We may feel like we’re overly-sensitive, immature, or unjustified in our emotions. But feeling hurt is totally normal. Hurt feelings are something every person goes through, and it’s crucial we learn to self-soothe and comfort ourselves during painful times.

Self-soothing is about really learning to treat yourself like you would treat a friend who was hurting or a child who was struggling.

Studies have even shown talking to yourself in the third person is really helpful. So, I would say, “Judith, it’s going to be okay.”

Now, I know it may feel strange to use your own name in your self-talk, but this helps drive the message home for us. It resonates more clearly in our mind. Use your own name, give yourself a comforting thought, and treat yourself like you would treat your best friend.

Many people resort to abusive self-talk. How many times have you said, “Ugh, I’m so stupid!” or “Why do I always mess stuff up?!”

We would never say these unkind words to someone in our social circle. If a child were crying or hurting, we would never say “you’re so stupid for crying right now.” When we cry, we often beat ourselves up for being weak or vulnerable. Really, we’re human, and it’s perfectly okay.

Even if you make a mistake, don’t beat yourself up. If a friend made a mistake, we might help them see the lesson in the situation or to look on the bright side. We can do the same when we speak to ourselves. Look at mistakes as learning opportunities. When you face a setback, ask yourself how you can reframe the situation as an opportunity rather than a mess-up.

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Methods for Comforting Hurt Feelings

Our Year of More students learn many ways to comfort their hurt feelings. One of the most powerful is acknowledging those feelings, calling them out, and then using soothing self-talk (in the third person). We also encourage our students to give themselves a hug, or better yet, ask for a hug when they feel they need one.

Touch sends a comforting, soothing message to our brain. We crave the sense of touch from others and the connection it brings. But so many of us hold back when it comes to asking for comfort. Connecting with those around us is so important for helping us feel better.

Connecting with a higher power is also self-soothing. Pray or meditate when you’re feeling hurt or down. Take a few moments for a spiritual break, where you ask for divine protection. Remind yourself you’re loved and an integral part of the universe. Read an uplifting passage or listen to beautiful music that helps you feel spiritually grounded.

Take comfort in memories and thoughts of loved ones. When we vividly remember times when we felt loved and comforted, it awakens those feelings and helps us feel calm and soothed. Play through scenarios in your mind when you felt comforted and at peace. Remember happy times and moments when you felt your yearnings were met.

Find comfort in nature. Yes, even hug a tree! Never underestimate the healing power of nature. Being outdoors helps soothe and calm our feelings. Breathing in the fresh air and taking in the beauty of the natural world helps us feel connected to the earth and at peace.

There are many ways to soothe and comfort yourself when you’re feeling hurt. The most important idea is to be kind to yourself. Rather than adding to your pain by tearing yourself down or beating yourself up, find ways to rebuild and bring yourself feelings of peace and comfort.

Research shows it’s so much more empowering when we really treat ourselves with more affection, kindness, and understanding. We all make mistakes and experience painful situations. It’s important we understand these experiences are part of being human. Rather than expecting ourselves to avoid pain and hurt, we see these moments as strength.

Experiencing hurt gives us more empathy for others. Our past hurts and traumas may eventually become our gifts. It’s in these painful experiences we relate to others and feel sympathy for their circumstances. Our hurt eventually becomes a source of strength and power.

The next time you’re experiencing pain, hurt, or discomfort, treat yourself with kindness and love. Remind yourself of how strong you are. You are a gift to the world and those around you. Hug yourself, speak kindly to yourself, and treat yourself like a friend.

For more ways to empower yourself in any situation, please visit the Wright Foundation. Join us for an upcoming More Life Training, where you’ll connect with others on their journey towards transformation. We’re also proud to offer many of our great courses for download. Don’t miss this opportunity for more learning at a special introductory price!

The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Foundation performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Why Am I Jealous of Others’ Success?


We’ve all experienced feelings of envy and jealousy.

Do you feel green with envy over successes that aren’t your own? Here’s why we feel jealous of others’ success and how to address it.

Maybe you’re jealous of others’ success at work. Perhaps you’re envious of your friend’s great relationship, or their seemingly fabulous life.

In this day and age, when people share so much on social media, it’s easy to look at photos and Facebook announcements and feel a twinge of FOMO (fear of missing out) or concern that the realities of your life don’t quite measure up.

Why do we feel jealous of others’ good fortune? Why do we covet our friends’ lives? Is jealousy really so bad? And what should we do to clear up those green-with-envy moments?

The Haves and the Have-Not’s

There are a lot of ways to look at jealousy. If we view it from the perspective of psychologist Alfred Adler, jealousy stems from our inferiority complex.

Everyone has an inferiority complex. If you think someone doesn’t have one, you don’t know him or her well enough. Feelings of inferiority are embedded deep in our psyche. It’s part of growing up and navigating our world. As children, we’re fighting our siblings to get our parents’ attention. We’re fighting our way through a big world when we’re small. We’re learning about our limitations. These feelings are a natural part of being human.

When you view the success of those around you, you may interpret their accomplishment to mean you’re somehow inadequate.

Someone else was chosen over you. They’re one up, and you’re one down. Even if you tell yourself it’s not a contest or competition, you may still feel twinges of envy. You may wonder if they’re better than you are, or what they did to deserve what you didn’t receive.

These feelings are the trigger for jealousy.

Jealousy is the feeling of “I want what she’s having.” It’s an indicator you’re feeling less-than-okay about yourself. Even if you’re generally confident, jealousy still happens. Those feelings of being left out or left behind translate into jealousy. Jealousy is sparked by not feeling okay about some aspect of your self or your situation.

Jealousy is a deeply ingrained emotion in humans. We want what others have because we need resources to survive (and want comforts to thrive). If we look back through history, jealousy has always been part of us. Hera, the wife of Zeus, jealously turned his mistress Lo into a heifer in Greek mythology. Themes and teachings in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism all speak to jealousy as a damaging emotion. It seems as long as humans have existed, so has jealousy.

Why Do I Get Jealous of Others?

Growth mindset is a big buzz topic these days and for a good reason. When we shift to a growth mindset, we start to view others’ success as inspiring. We may still want what others have, but instead of seeing it as “being left out,” we look at as motivation to achieve success.

A growth mindset looks at success and says, “What would it take for me to achieve something similar? How can I do that too? What would I need to do or learn to gain the same success?” Then, we learn from the success of others and use it to propel us forward.

Inspiration is a very healthy way to look at someone else’s success (but it’s still perfectly okay to admit we’re humans who feel jealous from time to time).

Bob and I will see writers who create an instant best-seller, and although we may feel jealous for a moment, we shift it into a lesson. “What did they do right? How do we do what they’re doing to promote their book? What can we learn from their experience?” These lessons are beneficial in our future success, and we’ve both found so many takeaways from looking at what other professionals do well.

Jealousy is normal. It’s fine. Jealousy comes up. But rather than dwelling on it and beating yourself up as inadequate, learn how to tap into it and mine it as a resource. 

You may feel jealous of someone’s life (especially when you see beautiful vacation photos online, for example) but in reality, it may not even be something you want. You may discover you don’t even want what your friends have or wouldn’t want the same experiences. You may find an aspect of their achievement you value, but other pieces you don’t desire.

If you don’t truly value or covet what others have, then love that they have it and celebrate for them. If you do value what they have and want it for yourself, look at the lessons to extract from their experience. Apply them to your actions and figure out how to create more of the same success in your life.

What Are You Really Jealous Of?

I recently met with a man who said he feels intimidated and jealous of the other men in his leadership group. He told me, “They’re all big guys, earning a lot of money. I’m jealous of them.”

We started exploring where the feelings were coming from and discussing his values. He has a very service-filled life. His relationship with his wife is intimate and beautiful. He’s a good family man who serves those around him. He teaches others and gives back. He’s crafted his life toward his values and filled it with what matters to him. He doesn’t care so much about money, or he would steer his life toward it.

As we discussed his feelings about the guys in his group, he said, “Wait a minute! These aren’t even my values!” He started to realize if he wanted to earn more money, then fine, he could learn from his leadership group and follow a similar path. But feeling envious of others was denying his values. He values service, intimacy, and relationships and has done a beautiful job at building those aspects in his life. He was feeling jealous of the rich and powerful, but he wasn’t really honoring his values.

I consulted on an article in a women’s magazine on how to turn feelings of jealousy into motivation.

Jealousy rises when your own deeper yearnings aren’t being met, and you become envious of what another person has, how they are, or what they do.

Jealousy is a clue to what it is we really want, and what we’re yearning for. Jealousy helps us narrow our focus and tap into our core values.

Whether we’re jealous of a friend’s promotion, new car, or attractive partner, we should realize their situation doesn’t take away from our own. We may think we want EXACTLY what they have (this is especially true when it comes to romantic relationships) but look at the aspects of their situation causing your jealousy.

One fantastic aspect of life is there’s enough love, success, and happiness to go around. When someone else has something in his or her life you want, look at the lesson. What is it you really want? How do you achieve the same love, success, or happiness in your own life and your situation?

When harnessed correctly, jealousy is a powerful motivator to help us clarify our desires and move us toward getting what we really want in life.

For more ways to get what you want in your life, visit the Wright Foundation. Join us for an upcoming More Life Training, where you’ll connect with other growth-minded people. We’re also proud to announce that many of our courses are available online for download. Don’t miss this great opportunity and a special, introductory price.

The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Foundation performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Happiness Vs. Satisfaction: Which One Should We Seek?

How many of us would like to feel happier or wish for more happiness in our lives?

In the debate of happiness vs. satisfaction, which is more important? Is it possible to achieve happiness through satisfaction?

Maybe we think if we just had a bigger house, a new car, or a hot date, we’d feel happy. Happiness feels like something we can obtain or own.

We hear the debates on happiness vs. satisfaction, but satisfaction may seem loftier and harder to grasp. Happiness seems immediate and within our reach…but does the endless search for happiness leave us unsatisfied? Are we chasing a feeling? Are we settling for something temporary when we could actually experience more?

Happiness and satisfaction are intertwined. If you position your life trajectory toward more satisfaction, you will experience greater happiness along the way. Here’s how to steady your aim toward a life of meaning.

Why We All Long for More

When we experience a moment of happiness, we often want even more, right? Happiness feels like an itch we can’t quite scratch enough or a bucket we can never fill up.

The answer to getting more happiness is in shifting the way we look at happiness itself. Happiness is a feeling. It’s temporary. It comes and goes. While happiness is joy and pure pleasure, it’s momentary. We may experience happy and transcendent moments, but they pass. Then we shift back to our “regular” state. Some people are happier than others, and every one of us has a happiness set point.

On the other hand, satisfaction is a state of being; it’s lasting and infinite. Satisfaction comes from finding a purpose and embracing our sense of purpose in all aspects of our lives.

Satisfaction is in the here and now, whereas happiness is often something you imagine will be somewhere else.

This concept keeps people from embracing the present and living in the moment. We may miss opportunities in the present because we’re so busy trying to find something we can’t find or chasing something fleeting.

Our levels of happiness re broken down into three states:

  • Hedonic happiness
  • Happiness of engagement
  • Happiness of meaning and purpose

Hedonic happiness is a quick fix. It’s a joke, a treat, or an escape. When we experience hedonic happiness, we’re getting a momentary smile. It’s fun, we feel good, then it passes, and we’re on to the next moment. Many people settle on the concept of hedonic happiness, but it never really scratches their itch for more.

The happiness of engagement is the joy of connecting with others in genuine engagement. If we think of engagement as a continuum, we move across it, having moments of disengagement, mis-engagement, superficial engagement, and deep, intimate connections moving toward the ultimate transformative engagement. The happiness of engagement exists in the deeper end of the spectrum—where we’re genuinely connecting, listening, learning, and working with another person toward something greater than ourselves.

The happiness of meaning and purpose is where satisfaction exists. This is the more profound sense of purpose we get from a life where we’re mindful, engaged, turned on, and tuned in to the world around us. While we may not always feel hedonic happiness, if we’re living a life oriented toward purpose and meaning, our satisfaction will become a greater joy and fulfillment.

Getting in the Flow

Hungarian psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, recognized the concept of flow. The idea of flow is the state of satisfaction and purpose. Csikszentmihalyi tells us a person is capable of happiness or misery regardless of what’s going on around them, through their consciousness and mindset.

Many people think if they could obtain more, they would feel happy. If they had a bigger house, they would feel satisfied. If they got the corner office, an attractive partner, or a book deal, they’d feel fulfilled. The truth is, happiness isn’t a feeling we buy or get from others. It’s not about our achievements or checking a task off our to-do list. Happiness isn’t a promotion, the lottery, or even a hot date.

Satisfaction, or happiness from meaning and purpose, arrives when we’re in the state of flow.

Flow is the moment when nothing else matters over what we’re doing. It’s when we’re concentrating fully on our task, and there’s no room to worry or think about distractions. Flow is where we get lost in the moment. Time seems to fly by and simultaneously stop because we’re so engaged.

In his book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Csikszentmihalyi points out a lot of people feel like victims at work. They have various degrees of complaints as they go through their daily activities at the office. They think about how they’ll feel happier outside of work, once they’re off for the weekend, away on vacation, or out with friends for the evening.

But when people report on the origins of their satisfaction, it’s often correlated to their job. Work gives people their sense of purpose and meaning. This sense of purpose and meaning gives them the highest level of happiness. It’s often in their work where people experience the state of flow. Flow can also come from building our relationships and connections with others. It’s when we’re really clicking, we’re deeply engaged, and we’re fully immersed in the moment.

Now, satisfaction and flow don’t come from a state of continually doing or from immersing ourselves in busywork. Satisfaction is a state of being. The most satisfied people in the world live with a sense of purpose. They’re living in the here and now, concerning themselves with the greater good and their impact on the world around them. They aren’t busy; they’re engaged.

If you think happiness will come from somewhere else, you’re missing the mark. The idea we can “find happiness” or we should continuously move from opera to opera, seeking happiness out, keeps us from embracing the satisfaction we could discover in the here and now. The opportunities are right in front of us.

Meaning comes from the inside out. We generate meaning from what we do. We find meaning and opportunities to learn in every action we take. It’s these lessons and moments of discovery that bring us insight.

If we want more meaning and satisfaction in our lives, it doesn’t come from treating ourselves or sitting around on the couch, binging on Netflix. Satisfaction comes from challenging ourselves. It’s when we’re engaged, stimulated, and discovering. It comes from tackling the next assignment in our life, and from working toward the next mountain, and then the next.

If we want true happiness, we should seek satisfaction and a state of flow.

For more on bringing greater purpose to your life, please visit the Wright Foundation. Join us for an upcoming More Life Training, where we’ll discuss new ways to connect and engage with others. Discover more about yourself with our courses, many we now offer online at a special introductory price. Don’t miss this opportunity to ignite your world!

The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.