I Feel I Need to Hurt My Friends

17 March, 2020
Q Whenever I am with my friends, I sometimes get a sudden urge to hit them, punch them, bite them, etc. I mainly feel these urges when I’m alone with them and we’re just hanging out and talking or at school at lunch.

I don’t understand why this happens. I’m not in a bad mood when I feel this way, and I’m not nervous or anything. I just feel so neutral and content. I love my friends, too, and I don’t like to see them in pain. This is becoming an issue lately because I find that I can’t hold myself back from hurting them. I don’t know what to do, and it’s been making my friends really upset too.

Answer


In this counseling answer:

• You might also look into your own life and see if there are any possible explanations for your behavior.

• It might be that there is something in particular that is triggering your behavior; identify the triggers.

• Remembering Allah (swt) in all you do, even when you are with your friends and family, can help prevent such whispers that cause you to behave in this way.


As-Salamu ‘Alaikum wa Rahmatulahi wa Barakatuh sister,

This must be very distressing to you that you cannot help but hurt the people that you love very much.

On the positive side, the fact that you recognize this is a problem and you are seeking assistance to overcome the matter is a good sign.

What makes it most difficult to treat is that you are performing these actions despite being in a content mood and not feeling any sense of animosity towards them.

I Feel I Need to Hurt My Friends - About Islam

If it was a result of an anger management issue, then this is more easily addressed by treating the underlying problem of anger.

In your case, there does not seem to be an underlying problem as you say you are in good spirits.

However, you know yourself and your own history, so you might also look into your own life and see if there are any possible explanations for your behavior.

Perhaps this is a type of behavior you have witnessed in your childhood or adult life and therefore it has become a learned behavior that needs to be unlearned and replaced with positive behaviors.

Or perhaps you have been overexposed to aggressive media, in the form of movies, TV shows or even in the books you might read.

In this case, reducing the amount of time engaged in such activities could go a long way towards your aggressive tendencies.

If you don’t feel like it is any of these things, you might pay attention to the types of thoughts you are having before you hurt them.

Notice if it’s happening at any particular time, in any particular environment or during any particular topic of conversation.

It might be that there is something in particular that is triggering your behavior; either being in a certain environment or when talking about something in particular.

Identifying triggers like this can help you to figure out ways to manage when these particular situations arise.

For example, maybe have a stress ball to hand to squeeze on when you have these urges, giving you an alternative and healthier target to direct your urges towards. Or you might avoid getting into situations that trigger your urges at all.

From an Islamic perspective, it might be that your behavior is a result of Shaytaan’s whispers (waswas) in directing you to cause harm to your friends and family in order to create discord between you.

“And whoever is blinded from remembrance of the Most Merciful – We appoint for him a devil, and he is to him a companion.” (43:36)

“And I will mislead them, and I will arouse in them [sinful] desires, and I will command them so they will slit the ears of cattle, and I will command them so they will change the creation of Allah .” And whoever takes Satan as an ally instead of Allah has certainly sustained a clear loss.” (4:119)

If this is the case, then the solution is to seek refuge with Allah (swt) from Shaytaan and engage in more acts of worship to keep the Shaytaan and his whispers at bay.

“And if an evil suggestion comes to you from Satan, then seek refuge in Allah . Indeed, He is Hearing and Knowing, Indeed, those who fear Allah – when an impulse touches them from Satan, they remember [Him] and at once they have insight.” (7:200-201)

“And say, “My Lord, I seek refuge in You from the incitements of the devils” (23:97)

“’Imran bin Husain (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Prophet () taught my father two statements to recite in his Du’a. These are: “Allahumma al-himni rushdi, wa a’idhni min sharri nafsi (O Allah! Inspire in me guidance and deliver me from the evils within myself).” (At-Tirmidhi)

Remembering Allah (swt) in all you do, even when you are with your friends and family, can help prevent such whispers that cause you to behave in this way.

Keep on top of your obligations and engage in additional acts of making dhikr, praying voluntary prayers, reading the Qur’an daily and fasting voluntary fasts.

They will all help to bring you closer to Allah (swt) and push Shaytaan away.


Check out this counseling video:


The best way forward might be to incorporate the Islamic solution, alongside identifying from what you know about yourself any other potential cause for your outbursts (such as triggers, media exposure or learned behavior from others) and applying these other techniques, too.

May Allah (swt) make it easy for you to overcome your difficulties and bring happiness and contentment in your life and those of your friends and family.

Salam,

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

The Importance of Muslim Friends in Our Lives

What to Do If I Have No Friends?

How to Handle Hateful “Friends”

About Hannah Morris
Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)