The true mark of maturity is when somebody tries to hurt us and instead of lashing back at them, we try to understand where they are coming from.
When someone is purposely trying to hurt us it is natural to want to protect ourselves. Often we are confused by the hurtful behavior. We can find ourselves not knowing what to do. We can find ourselves lashing back at them.
Less than loving behavior most often comes out of hurt and pain.
It helps to remember that when others (or ourselves) are acting in hurtful ways. When someone tries to hurt you, they are probably in pain themselves.
These are the times when it is not so clear that we are all doing the best we know how. But even in our painful behavior, it is true. Take a deep breath instead of lashing back at someone and try to understand where they are coming from.