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Why would someone who is already in pain wish to inflict it upon others?

182 Answers
Last Updated: 04/23/2020 at 3:41pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Terrence Sawyer, MS Counseling Psychology

Drug & Alcohol Counselor

Social disorders counseling social psychology, substance use disorder counsel

Top Rated Answers
January 20th, 2018 4:38pm
Have you ever heard the saying 'hurt people hurt people'? By inflicting pain on other people they are projecting their own unhealthy feelings onto you because they are not in a place where they are able to communicate healthily. The hardest part is being on the receiving end of this treatment but you have to try really hard to not take it personally. Because 9 times out of 10, it's not about you, it is about how THEY are feeling. If it's someone you really care about and want in to keep in your life, try and get to the bottom of their behaviour. Maybe ask them why they feel the need to hurt others (remember to approach with sensitivity and zero judgement). If this person isn't dear to you it is best to remove yourself from the situation as you hold no responsibility to them and your mental being and happiness comes before anyone else'.
January 24th, 2018 4:45pm
"We destroy other people because we're afraid of them destroying us"-my teacher, on the question, KSB, 2018
January 25th, 2018 12:45am
The way I see it, this is a deflection technique (pushing their pain/issue onto others to avoid it themselves) that can have many different intentions behind it. Sometimes people who are in pain emotionally or physically want to inflict it onto others because they do not want to be alone in their pain, and feel that "sharing it out" so to speak will make them feel better. Much like when you have something on your mind, it often feels better to tell someone right? Another example of this is someone who is in pain purposefully hurting someone else in order to distract them from the fact that they themselves are in pain, or the source of the problem. Either way, most of the time it is not done maliciously. It is done to hide weakness and vulnerability. The best thing you can do is tell them that you understand and you are willing to help and support them through their difficult time, however you are not an emotional punching bag and you need to be treated with some respect. Support, encouragement and love!
January 25th, 2018 1:31am
People who are in pain sometimes want other people to feel how they are feeling, or they feel so much pain that it turns into anger and they don't know what to do with it.
January 25th, 2018 4:40pm
The reason people who are in pain wish inflict it on hers is all different depending on the situation and person. Some people do it subconsciously while others may not want to feel alone. There's a wise saying "Misery loves company." No one wants to feel they are the only person to experience our pain so if were unable find people similar people tend drag people to their level.
January 27th, 2018 8:39am
Misery can spread like wildfire. If they are unhappy then everyone around them shouldn’t be able to enjoy their happiness while they are suffering. Emotional and mental instabilities are common frustrations when dealing with problems. It’s good to talk to someone, the pressure will subside and they’ll feel much better.
January 31st, 2018 8:47am
Perhaps to attempt to release the pain that they're feeling. They may feel that pain upon others may help them cope with their own
February 3rd, 2018 1:35am
They feel that they are being personally wronged by the world and do not want to be the only ones. They long for others to feel their own pain.
February 3rd, 2018 8:34am
Maybe they're jealous of others who are having a much better time than themselves. They want to feel like they're not suffering alone
February 4th, 2018 12:53pm
Because that someone thinks wrongly that transferring the pain will lessen his own pain, but the transaction of pain will only further multiply the pain instead of dividing it, this is the law of nature
February 23rd, 2018 1:32pm
The person may be feeling out of control and want other to feel how they do, they figure it's something that they can control.
February 24th, 2018 2:46pm
Sometimes when someone is going through a lot, that can make them feel upset and angry. This could lead them to lash out on others or sometimes themselves. If you know someone who seems easily irritable or tactless, it could just be their way of letting out their emotions.
February 28th, 2018 4:21am
Someone who is in pain may wish to inflict others with it as they want some sympathy, and they need to know the this person has felt a pain as great as them in order to feel comfort in their words.
February 28th, 2018 8:57am
Because they want others to feel the same way they do . They don't want to be on their own. They feel vulnerable on their own
March 9th, 2018 3:02am
Sometimes people don't know how to react to their own pain. So the easiest way around that is inflicting it on other people.
March 9th, 2018 9:02am
because they want others to feel it as well. instead do what makes you happy. it helps... love something
March 14th, 2018 2:58pm
I guess to just try and make others feel what they need to go through. Or make it so someone else is in pain with them so they aren't lonely.
March 18th, 2018 4:55pm
Because they feel the need to make others feel like them, they want others to know how they feel, so they aren’t so alone
March 28th, 2018 4:09am
They're acting out instead of focusing on fixing their problems.
April 25th, 2018 2:30pm
Some people sometimes feel as if no one around them understands them. Therefore, they spread their 'sadness' with those around them to make themselves feel slightly good.
April 27th, 2018 9:55pm
Someone who is in deep pain and has friends wants to look strong when they're weak and want to look tough so they put the pain upon others to look superior and better than them or they also could want to take out the pain on someone else or to make others suffer the pain they suffered and went through to feel better about them self and feel normal and the same as others
April 28th, 2018 10:38pm
Maybe a way that he can desembocate or let out all the pain, but in a really bad way, it can be also a cry for help,
May 4th, 2018 8:29pm
This could be because they feel that it will ease their pain when in reality, it makes it worse. This is not a good method of releasing your pain/anger
May 9th, 2018 7:28am
This happens due to psychological impact. I have noticed, many people who have had their hearts break by a particular person, would often make it a point to break other people's hearts in the same manner, so that it gives them solace. In the novel, Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens, one of the main characters, was an eccentric old lady named Ms Havisham. Many years ago, her fiance had run away on the day of her wedding, and since then she had been so mentally damaged, that she adopted a girl and raised her to be cold hearted, and made the protagonist of the story, Pip, fall in love with this girl and get mentally damaged the same way as Ms Havisham was. I feel, the main reason behind all this is envy and jealousy, and triggers of the past. Pain can occur to a person, when her or she lacks something, and it is natural for them to feel bitter towards the people who have the very thing that they lack. Hence, they can't tolerate that, and they feel like causing the same kind of pain to them. The mentality here is, "I never had this. Why is he or she having this?"
May 9th, 2018 9:40pm
Maybe they feel like the whole world is already against them and that certain people don't deserve to be happier than they are. It is a bad mentality but it happens sometimes.
May 13th, 2018 9:21am
They may inflict it on others without realising and/or in desperation to show the person how they feel.
May 16th, 2018 1:51pm
Someone in pain may want to inflict it upon others because they may feel as if everyone around is happier than they are, and they feel insecure about feeling the way they do.
May 19th, 2018 5:47pm
The person choose to do this because he/she is frustrated at their lack of control in their own situation and to help relieve that stress and to make themselves feel better they respond that way.
May 23rd, 2018 12:42am
I’d say it’s due to a lack of confidence in themselves. So they feel the need to put other people down to make themselves feel better
May 26th, 2018 1:48pm
This is because the hurt person wants others to feel the way that they are feeling. This is a result of a person not wanting to feel like they are alone.