to hurt (someone’s) feelings
Used as a verb
Larry: Hi, Emma! How have you been? I haven’t seen you in a long time!
Emma: Hey, Larry! Yeah, it’s been a while, but I’ve been well. How about you?
Larry: I’ve been all right. Hey, what have you done with your hair? It looks different from the last time I saw you.
Emma: Oh, it’s a lot shorter now. The last time you saw me, it was much longer. Do you like it this way?
Larry: Actually, no. I think you looked much prettier when your hair was longer. The short hair makes your face look fat.
Emma: Larry! How can you say such a thing?!? You really hurt my feelings! My face doesn’t look fat!
Larry: I’m sorry, but I’m just telling the truth.
Emma (crying): You’re a jerk! Never speak to me again! You’ve really hurt my feelings! (sobbing)
“To hurt (someone’s) feelings” means to cause someone to feel bad or sad about themselves. It is usually considered rude, because the words can easily make someone feel upset. Hurting someone’s feelings is generally an insensitive and mean thing to do.
Posted by Paul Grosfield