Upset Teen & Hurt Feelings

In this lesson you are going to learn how to deal with an upset teenager who has hurt feelings.

In it you will discover:

  • The importance of teaching your teen about their emotions
  • Why it’s so important your child learns to not take things personally
  • How to best approach the situation
  • A sample talk you can have with your teen

Take A Moment

Take a moment and think about how you deal with your own hurt feelings. Do you internalize them? Do you allow them to make you angry? Do you take things personally and let them weigh you down? Do you know how to let them go in the moment so that you’re not taking them with you for the rest of the day?

Now ask yourself this: How do you want your teenager to grow up and deal with hurt feelings? What would you like to teach them so that they can have a healthy approach in dealing with these types of situations? Write down your goal.


While some of this is covered in the lesson on Conflict and Communication (this is available in our private members area), I want to separate this particular issue because it causes so much pain in peoples lives especially when so many don’t know how to address it. When individuals create drama in their life or are faced with certain challenges, it always tends to boil down to hurt feelings. Because so many of us lack effective communication skills, we either react and vent our emotions on someone else and hurt their feelings; or we are insensitive and have “loose lips” and say things in ways that don’t take others feelings into account.

Conflict will always be a part of our life. You can’t avoid it. Unfortunately no matter how nice a person is or how they may keep to themselves, no one can control other people’s behaviors. What we can control is “how” we respond to them. There will be many times that you will have to address your teenagers hurt feelings and it’s important that they learn now how to deal with them so they don’t internalize it. When we “respond” to someone’s behaviors, we are in control. But when we “react”, we are not in control and this is where a vicious cycle of hurt feelings can start.

Taking Things Personally

One of the most important lessons you can teach your teenager is not to take things personally. The sooner they learn to separate what others do or say from having to do specifically with them, the better they will be able to deal with communication exchanges in a healthy manner. We have a tendency to take things on as if it’s “our fault”. If another person has some sort of issue (even if they direct it towards us) it’s not ours to take on even if they’re trying to tell us it is.

Most people don’t like to accept responsibility for their own choices and actions so they direct blame toward other people. Or, people lack good communication skills so they say things in a way that can hurt our feelings. When we take this on ourselves, it can develop into issues like insecurities and self-doubt. We will fear future engagements with people because we develop a deep rooted belief that every time we get involved with someone, if it turns sour, we will be blamed or told off.

What to Do

When your teenager is faced with this issue, it’s important to sit down with them and explain what is happening and why it’s happening. Paint a clear picture as to why the other person is venting on them and although they may have had a hand in it, everyone is responsible for their own choices and actions. You need to tell your child that they should not take it upon themselves and feel that they’re at fault. Yes, you should teach them how to use this experience as a way to honestly look at their part in the matter. However, they don’t need to internalize it and let it bring them down.

You can say something like:

I know it sucks and doesn’t make you feel good when people act like this. You probably think it’s your fault but it’s not. While you do play a part in it, it is not entirely on you. The reason why this person is speaking to you in this way is because they lack proper communication skills and don’t know how to accept responsibility for their own choices and actions. They’re taking their frustration out on you. The best thing you can do is to let it go and don’t take it personally. Just know deep down you’re not to blame and that this person has their own issues that they need to deal with. If it affects you negatively go somewhere where you can be alone and shake it off or scream really loud so you do not take on their emotions. At the same time, you do need to be honest with yourself and use this as an opportunity to take a close look at your responsibility in it. Is there is something you may need to improve on with how you communicate or do things?

By doing this you are encouraging them to not argue back with the person (adding fuel to the fire), while at the same time not internalizing the other person’s emotions or taking them on which causes their own painful issues. In being fair, you are also making sure that they are being honest with themselves about the role they may have played. This is also a good opportunity to teach them self-responsibility for their own choices and actions so that they’re not blaming others for their issues.

Need Help With Your Teen?

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Want more tips?

Alcohol – How to talk to your teen about alcohol

Anger – How to help your teen address their anger issues

Being Cool & Popular – How to talk to your teen about not being cool & popular

Boredom – How to talk to your teen when they are bored

Bullying – How to talk to your teen about bullying

Career & Life Purpose  – How to talk to your teen about building their future career & life purpose

Dating & Sex – How to talk to your teen about dating and sex

Depression – How to talk to your teen when they are depressed

Drugs – How to talk to your teen about drugs

Hurt Feelings – How to talk to your teen if they have hurt feelings

Lying – How to address your teen when you catch them lying

Money – How to talk to your teen about being responsible with money

Out of Control – How to talk to your teen when they are out of control

Overweight – How to talk to your when they become overweight

Partying – How to talk to your teen about partying

Rebellion – How to address teenage rebellion

School – Tips on how to address problems at school

Stealing – What to do if your teen is stealing

Technology Addiction – What to do if your teen is addicted to technology