Pop music standard “You Always Hurt the One You Love” has been performed by many artists over the years, each putting their own unique spin on the tone of the message. But when it comes down to it, far too often, the sentiment is unfortunately true. Many people do hurt the ones they love the most. But the question is why?

Here are several possible reasons for why the saying rings true:

  • We have much greater access to the ones we love. It’s more access than we do with our friends, neighbors, colleagues, and of course, strangers. Since we interact with them more often, and more intimately, it gives us additional opportunity—be it intentional or unintentional—to hurt them.
  • We know them well. Over time, as we’ve grown closer to them, we’ve been exposed to their strengths, weaknesses, opinions, victories, defeats, and political stances, and as such, we can say and do things we know will annoy, anger, agitate or disappoint them.
  • We know their hot buttons and how they will react when pushed. We know what words, actions, and experiences would hurt them the most, and we can decide whether or not to use that information against them.

So, how do we break the cycle?  By choosing to make purposeful decisions. By choosing to live with one heartbeat. By choosing to love, respect and admire the ones we love and care for instead inflicting pain or hurt upon them. It means we must exercise intentional self-control at the precise moment the choice faces us —to hurt, or not to hurt, and make no mistake it is a choice. The more we model this behavior for others, the more it will become the norm and possibly cause a change to the name of the song to, “We sometimes hurt the ones we love – because no one is perfect and mistakes will be made, even when we have the best of intentions.”


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