"How do I stop wanting to hurt people's feelings?"

Question

I have a big problem. I am not too happy with myself these days. I don't have much self confidence and haven't hung out with anyone all summer because I don't have many friends. But I guess as a coping method I keep sending my friends and people I know from school anonymous hate on [edit: social networking site]. I send really mean things and then later on I feel so awful about myself and send nice things. How do I stop sending hate. I literally want one of my friends to stay unconfident and feel bad about herself because it takes my focus off of myself. Help I'm honestly a good person besides this. How do I stop wanting to hurt people's feelings

Answer from counsellor

I’m sorry to hear you have been feeling so isolated this summer. L I’m also hearing that you haven’t been feeling so good about yourself these days and you have noticed that-in effort to feel better-you send messages to people that you later feel badly about. I cannot tell you how much I admire your courage for sharing your experiences, thoughts and insights here. It’s not always easy to talk about concerns you might have. However, by doing so, you create an opportunity for positive change for yourself. This is something to be super proud of. When you ask “how do I stop wanting to hurt people’s feelings?” I am hearing a very specific goal here: to find alternatives to cope so that you can overcome the urges to send hurtful messages to people OR in other words to “stop sending hate.” Do I have this right? We can definitely brainstorm this together. What’s AWESOME is that you have already taken some really important first steps: acknowledging there is a problem in the first place, connecting yourself to help, and recognizing where this urge to “send hate” might stem from in the first place. This self-awareness and insight is HUGE and extremely hopeful in regards to the possibility that things can improve. Whenever you set a goal for yourself-it can be helpful to break the goal down to smaller steps that feel more achievable but help you move in the direction of the bigger goal. Does this make sense? With this in mind, what do you imagine would be some smaller steps that would have to come first in order for this goal to be accomplished? I’m happy to throw out some ideas that others have found helpful. Perhaps you could select some to try for yourself: · Removing temptation: Perhaps for now removing your account from the site altogether for now might be helpful. Instead you might create a list of sites/resources, people and activities that you could surround yourself with instead when these feelings come up. You might even put this list on a sticky note by your computer for an instant reminder. · Start the day on the right track: Remind yourself each morning what you set out to do, why, and what you will do that day to help yourself achieve it. · Connecting/Having your feelings heard: DO you think it might help to call or write into us FIRST? Before acting on the urges to send the hurtful messages. Feel free to try it sometime and see if having support in that moment makes a difference. J · LOADS of self-care: the way you talk to yourself and how you treat yourself is SUPER important. Especially when you aren’t feeling so great. What might self-care look like? Here is a link that might help you with some ideas to try: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/abuse_assault/selfcare_a_la_carte · Pull upon your strengths: Remind yourself of the times when the urge comes up but you are able to resist. What helps then? What difference would it make to do more of this? I’d like to share a really great link that might help you to stay motivated and lead you through some of the steps you are taking to improve this: http://kidshealth.org/teen/managing_weight_center/tools/making_a_change_module.html You clearly recognize that, although it might provide some immediate relief, you often feel worse afterwards. The fact that you feel bad after really speaks to your true character. It tells me that you are able to consider the feelings of those who have received the messages. Can this be a reminder that these “mistakes” do not define you and instead you are learning from them and working hard to apply yourself differently? I hope it has helped to talk this out here today! Please know we are here anytime if you’d like further support on this, ok? Bye for now