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

181 Answers
Last Updated: 04/09/2020 at 5:02pm
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
May 30th, 2018 12:10am
people cope in different ways, and most of the time it won't be in a nice way. personally, before i knew i had depression, i would lash out at people and instantly regret it. ill always regret it... maybe they do, too.
May 31st, 2018 11:35am
Because I care for him/her Because I am concerned about him/her And most importantly I love to think about him/her
June 9th, 2018 6:40pm
Sometimes, people who are in pain want others to feel what they feel. It's like they don't want to go through it alone.
June 15th, 2018 7:41am
I think a lot of people that are already in pain lash out because they feel this pain. It is a way to forget their own pain and hurt someone else.
June 16th, 2018 6:25pm
It's a coping mechanism. Their minds go to thinking maybe "venting" it like that onto others, without realizing it'll hurt them too.
June 20th, 2018 5:55am
It could be that they would like to feel like they're not alone in their suffering. So knowing that others experience it too may just make them feel better about themselves.
June 21st, 2018 12:12am
They have experienced pain enough to want others to experience what they have. They want others to feel the pain they felt through the experiences they have.
June 23rd, 2018 10:55pm
Some people have cruel intentions - that's unfortunately just how the world is. Some people get a kick out of seeing others in pain. Maybe this person just wants someone else to feel how they do because they feel they dont deserve it (which doesn't justify it).
June 27th, 2018 4:11pm
Perhaps that person wants others to know the pain he’s going through, to feel understood. That person may also feel wronged and seeks justice by hurting others
June 27th, 2018 11:26pm
This is like bully. Often times the bully is feeling pain and they don't have anyone to put it out on, so they see people who are easy to target, then they usually go for those people.
June 29th, 2018 10:20am
Someone in pain would want to inflict pain upon others because they want others to feel their pain and understand them.
June 30th, 2018 8:36am
Individuals who are in pain often times spread their pain. They want others to suffer the way they are suffering because sometimes in their mind if they have to suffer, others do too. It can make them angry or feel left out when they see happy individuals.
July 5th, 2018 12:56am
So that other people would get to feel the that they are going through so they feel less alone or like no one understands them
July 5th, 2018 3:19pm
When people are hurt they wanna take it out on others to make them feel better about themselves. Not all bullys are mean most of them are just scared
July 7th, 2018 6:33pm
Sometimes when people aren’t getting the support they need and can’t find ways to cope they usually put up a barrier that makes them seem very harsh that way instead of feeling pain they shut themselves out and put it on others so no one can hurt them.
July 11th, 2018 5:05pm
because they feel the need to drag others down with them. Don't let them do it, instead ask if they want to talk and just be their friend
July 14th, 2018 2:37pm
Because they don´t know how else to cope, I think. When you are in a lot of pain, some of the time you do end up inflicting it on others. That can be a reaction of feeling jealous that someone might have it better than you emotionally or just generally not knowing what to do with all of the pain that you feel.
July 14th, 2018 3:20pm
as an act of revenge...or...simply the same way an injured elephant flings itself around and hurts everyone else...the elephant is only trying to fling the pain away. Not understanding that flinging does ..nothing.
July 18th, 2018 2:18am
because they are full of pain and want others to feel how they feel
July 18th, 2018 6:22am
I honestly think as humans we don't wish to do this however sometime we have to be aware of the impact if our actions. Honesty is always best and listening to each other is the only way forward. I remember a girl friend asking me what a guy meant by his behaviour and he stopped calling. He stopped calling as he had lost interest! He just isn't into you. We gave to be honest and listen to each other.
July 19th, 2018 8:02am
To make themselves feel better, as if they aren't alone in their pain, and need somewhere to put out their energy and frustrations.
July 25th, 2018 10:11am
Maybe that person feels as though no one around them understands what they are going through and makes threats to inflict pain on others to make them feel what they feel.
July 30th, 2018 12:38am
When people are in pain sometimes they look for an outlet to deal with that pain, and for them, it may mean hurting others. Some people have low self-esteem or feel powerless and being horrible to others may make them feel better about themselves.
August 1st, 2018 7:30pm
Because they have repressed the anger and frustration within them for a long, long time and haven't taken any steps towards getting out of the pain. Inflicting pain would become second nature if not addressed in time.
August 8th, 2018 2:45am
Unfortunatley they may deem it as their only way to make themselves feel better. To know that someone else is feeling their pain to some degree and that they are not alone. Which is not the best way to go about their situation.
August 15th, 2018 7:15pm
Remember hurting other people is wrong, but some people believe that if they make other people the same way they felt they may be nicer to the other person or have someone else to relate to.
August 24th, 2018 4:07pm
Maybe they are jealous by other people's happiness so they inflict pain upon others out of spite and jealously and in an attempt to cause them to be unhappy. Perhaps they inflict pain thinking that other peoples misery will cause them to feel better about themselves. This act could also be a cry for help, they could be doing this to get attention if they feel alone and isolated. Speak to them and tell them how hurtful their actions are and perhaps having an open conversation with them may help you understand their thoughts and feels on such matter.
September 20th, 2018 6:14pm
Many people who are in pain are in a place where they handle things out of emotion instead of rationality, which causes them to do things they wouldn't usually have done. I feel like in most cases, it is not someone's wish to inflict it upon others, but an unconscious to react to what has been happening to someone. Many people reflect what has been done to them onto other people. For some, they also see the infliction of pain onto others as the last way out of their own misery. Though some people hurt others on purpose, many people who have suffered don't do so.
October 7th, 2018 2:07pm
I would say that the person themselves are suffering and maybe that they don't know they need help, but their actions speak otherwise. To give an example, In the film It's Complicated, there's a scene when the kids find out that their parents might be getting back together, and one of them makes the comment, "We still haven't gotten used to the divorce yet." Then, when things don't work out for the parents, the kids are all in bed together, teary-eyed from the confusion. Another example is that If your life or a relationship is going badly, revenge is not your last hope for renewal. In fact, it takes away much more than it gives. Trying to figure out how to get back at someone uses up time that could be spent in many more positive ways to heal your self.
October 10th, 2018 6:47pm
Someone who is already in pain might want to inflict pain upon other because they feel like they are alone and they want people to feel the exact same way. I have experienced people like this in many different places. They feel lonely and want someone to talk to them, to them it doesn't matter about the reasons why the person is talking to them. They just do not wish to be all alone. They wish for someone to be there just for them. They want people to listen to what they have to say, no matter how toxic it is.