Intention vs. Delivery When does it cross the line?

Hello! Welcome Back! Last weeks post was a deeper post which you guys seemed to really enjoy! That made me really happy because not only do I want to create content that you guys enjoy, that post was really therapeutic for me.

Today, I want to talk about Intention vs. Delivery and when does it cross the line? I’m sure we’ve all had someone say something to us that was intended to be helpful, but the way they said was hurtful. How can you tell when they’ve cross a line? Should we perceive it differently depending on who said it? How do you tell them they’re in the wrong without being hurtful back?

For me, this is a topic I really struggle with because I have someone close to me who always seems to miss the mark in their delivery. Their delivery is really hurtful to me, but I know their intention comes from a good place. They’ll make comments about my weight or comments about where i’m at in my life, and while they are trying to motivate me and light a fire under me it does the exact opposite. Simply because of how they delivered their message. Has that ever happened to you? If their delivery makes you feel smaller, doesn’t that mean they’ve crossed the line? I think it does. While we shouldn’t ever allow a person the power to make us feel smaller, it can be really hard not too. Especially if that person is toxic to us. That’s part of the reason why they are toxic because they have this power over us which changes how we feel. Telling if someone crossed the line is a very personal thing, because that “line” is unique to you. Something that crosses the line for me, could be something you are okay with and vice versa.

Should we perceive the message differently if a family member or close friend says it too us? Again, this post is here for me to hopefully help you guys and for you to help me. I give people so many chances, probably too many chances because I see the good in people. I think that’s one of my greatest qualities, but sometimes it’s to a fault. I’ll give these people who are close to me so many chances even though they’ve said something hurtful to me, because I know it wasn’t their intention. Sometimes though, I don’t think who said it should matter. I feel that sometimes close friends and family get this idea that they have a free pass to say whatever they want to us, and I don’t really agree with that. Yes, I do think they can tell us some hard truths that we need to hear but it still needs to be delivered with kindness and respect. I have a friend whose sibling has said some really hurtful things to her and I feel she believes she can say these things this way, because they are related. She would never talk to a classmate or a friend this way but since it’s her sister, she thinks it’s okay and it’s not. We have to remember that we’re all human beings. We all have feelings, and we all deserve to be spoken to in a respectful manner. Basically, being family or close friends does not give you a free pass to be a jerk.

It’s human nature to get defensive and go into attack mode when you feel like someone is belittling you. So, how do we tell someone their delivery is hurtful without being hurtful back to them? Personally, I need to work on this because I just sweep it under the rug and carry on like nothing happened. I’d never want to hurt one of my loved ones…sometimes even when i’m having a deep conversation with my best friend I’ll stop mid-sentence to think about how I can deliver my message in the kindest way possible. I think time is the best way to handle those situations, maybe you don’t tell them right away that they hurt you. Take you’re time to figure out how to explain that you understand their intention and you appreciate their concerns, but the way they delivered it was unacceptable. Taking time will allow you the time to process what they said, figure out why it hurt you and explain that to them without getting defensive.

Something I think that’s really important to remember is, the delivery of someone’s message doesn’t have anything to do with how much they love you. That’s advice that I need to take myself, it’s something my friends tell me all the time so trust me I understand how hard it can be to believe. Majority of the time your loved one has good intentions and that’s because they DO love you, with everything inside of them. They just suck at delivering their message. When you talk to them about how they have hurt you, try suggesting ways they could deliver their message that you would be more accepting of. It’s okay for someone close to us to say that we need to get it together if they believe we aren’t living up to our full potential. That’s flattering, but the way they get their message across can sometimes change the whole message.

I will always encourage trying to help a loved one be the best they can be, just remember to do it with kindness. I truly believe if we all remember to be kinder to one another we will all grow into the best versions of ourselves. I hope you found this post helpful. Where do you draw your line? Does that line move if the message is delivered by a family member? How do you go about telling them they hurt you? Leave me a comment down below so that we can all learn and grow from one another. Thank you for stopping by. Until next time…

Be Nice. Be Good.

Mich. x

Simply Michelle

Hi! I’m Mich. I’m a 26 year old young woman trying to navigate adulthood and all the challenges it brings. On Simply Michelle you will find genuine posts about a wide range of topics from mental health & faith to makeup & baking. This is my safe place to be vulnerable and hopefully you'll feel that you can do the same. I hope you stick around!

Be Nice. Be Good. x

You may also like...


  1. Fantastic post- such a different idea, in my opinion. And so relatable at the same time! I completely agree in that if someone has upset you with their delivery of how they say something, it’s not cool. I struggle with this type of thing too, really, and so it was really refreshing to get a new perspective!

    1. thank you! i’m glad you enjoyed and that i could help out even just a little bit! xx

  2. Michelle I’m so glad you discussed this in a blog post. Delivery does matter. A lot of times I hear people say, I’m just passionate that’s why I’m yelling but fussing at me won’t make me listen to you, does the exact opposite. Even if someone is giving you tough love, maybe it won’t work on someone who prefers a hug. I say people need to tailor their delivery to the person in need and stop giving messages the way they feel because it’s about the one who needs to hear the message. Yes, most of the time people aren’t trying to hurt you, they just want to help but all that gets lost with light-heart insults intended to motivate.

    Natonya |

    1. Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed! and i could not agree more! I personally don’t do well with tough love, im very sensitive so they way someone delivers their message could potentially hurt me even more!

      1. There’s nothing wrong with being sensitive either. I hate it when people use sensitivity as a weapon. We were all made to think differently. People just need to learn how to adjust accordingly. Great post Michelle!

  3. Louisa says:

    I think when something is delivered harshly from those you don’t know it can be really intimidating and makes you feel really uncomfortable. I think that fear of being judged and criticised kicks in because we don’t know them or their intentions. At the same time, a family member or close friend can say things that still shock you because their delivery is all wrong. Whether someones intentions are good or not, some things have to be handled delicately and can really hurt someone if they’re not. Sensitivity is key.

    This is a really good post that brings up some great points/issues. Thanks for sharing.

    Louisa |

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed! I completely agree with you that sensitivity is key! we could all use a little more kindness for sure! xx

  4. This was such a lovely post and so unique I’ve never read anything like this before! I completely agree that some people can say things which they don’t mean to be hurtful but can really upset us, my problem is I hate confrontation so I’d rather sit there pretending I’m fine with what they’ve said rather than telling them they’ve crossed a line! I don’t think anyone has the right to comment on your weight or fashion or makeup choices whether they’re family, friends or complete strangers and people need to realise how hurtful these comments can be!

    Jess //

    1. Thank you! I really appreciate that! Im the exact same way i avoid confrontation like it’s the Black plague! lol

  5. Lisa's Notebook says:

    I think close friends and family are often the worst offenders TBH! Maybe it’s because they think they know us so well that we won’t take offence. But I think they should know what’s most likely to be hurtful and think before speaking and acting. Great post, very insightful. Xx

    Lisa |

    1. thank you! i completely agree with you! xx

  6. Another amazing post! This is such a tricky issue. I think intention does matter. If it’s coming from a place of love and their words hurt,
    I’d be more inclined to address them directly about their delivery. You shouldn’t let them hurt you but at the same time I think they should be aware of what they’re doing. Although, I know that’s easier said than done! x


    1. Thank you so much! I do agree that intention does also matter. with you knowing that it comes from a place of love it helps allow them the opportunity to explain where they are coming from xx

  7. This is perfection! I have a large portion of my family that always manage to hurt me when they are trying to advice me. For a very long time I bottled it up, as they were family, I couldn’t possibly be hurt by family. But the truth is I was. Now I have spoke to the individuals that would do it, and one has worked super hard to change the ways we discuss things. Another felt insulted by me saying I was hurt so now I have put distance between. No one should put up with being hurt even if it wasn’t intentional. Help people to change how they say things so that it doesn’t have to happen again.xx

    1. Thank you!! I’m very glad your one family member is working hard to change how you guys discuss things, we all make mistakes and say the wrong thing sometimes we’re only human but it’s really nice that they are working on changing. As for the other one, im sorry you’ve had to distance yourself. hopefully they come around one day xx

  8. Great post and definitely a lot to think about. Some people just don’t naturally have a compassionate way of saying things even though their intention is good. So it’s difficult whether we just try and look past it or not. I definitely know some people who’s intention is fine but their delivery is just awful and it irks me something rotten!

    1. Thank You! i totally agree, i know some people who need to take a compassion 101 class! lol xx

  9. This is such a great post Mich! It’s often those closest to us that have good intentions but the way they deliver is so hurtful. Maybe because they are close, we care about what they think and that’s why we feel upset. I used to think I was just being over sensitive so it’s nice to know others feel the same. This is such a well written and thoughtful post, thank you for sharing 💖 xx

    Bexa |

    1. Thank you so much! I have always thought i was being over sensitive because i’m naturally a sensitive person so i completely agree that it’s nice to not feel alone in my thought process! xx

  10. This is something I struggle with every single day! I can’t tell you how many times I am told “it’s not what you said it’s the way you said it! ” It is so hard not to let your emotion show on your sleeve. I have found something that helps me is really waiting and listening before I respond. Take the time to process! For example, if you are giving someone advice take the time to think “would I want this to be something someone tells me if I was having this problem” If it is, go ahead and offer a response but be sure not to use a harsh or tone of judgement. If it’s not, take a moment to ask yourself why and tailor your answer accordingly. We live in such a fast paced world and this is something that we can truly reduce by taking the time to think about our tone!

  11. Polkadotblonde says:

    Good post! Sometimes I don’t think people even have an intention, they just blurt out what’s in their brain without fear of consequence. I try to talk to people after I cool off to let them know what they said is hurtful. Usually they’ll be more considerate in the future.

  12. […] say to me, mostly the negative things. This can kind of go hand in hand with my previous post on Intention vs. Delivery. Since I take things so personally, the delivery of a message is crucial to how I perceive it. For […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.