Paper Cuts Hurt

Dear HRart Worker,

One of my first HR jobs required me to file paperwork into personnel files, not an unusual task. The personnel files were housed in a large room that was lined with metal file cabinets, each one packed with manila folders hanging in green dividers with tabs. In an effort to save time, I would routinely shove my hands into the drawer wiggling each sheet into it’s appropriate folder. It was this move that would inevitably result in papercuts. These tiny tears in my skin always seemed to be some of the most painful wounds that I couldn’t help but complain about to anyone who would listen. 

I’d like to take this concept of paper cuts and apply it to relationship management. Our society has taught us that relationships break because of massive events of betrayal and pain, which is true to an extent. However, I believe these doomsday events account for only a minor amount of relationships that fail, that’s why they make great TV. For most of us, our relationships change for the not-so-better as a result of paper cuts. Tiny hurtful tears at the surface, pain that we can’t ignore regardless of how irrational our brain tries to say it is. 

When it comes to relationships, paper cuts are unavoidable and should be expected. A world where we cause no one pain is a myth, because this dynamic fluidity of conflict and harmony is human nature. However, ignorance for the pain these paper cuts cause is where the real harm is done. When we begin to discount someone’s pain, diminishing it in value, the paper cuts begin to ache at a much deeper level. 

My call this week is less about reevaluating where you have caused pain, but more about moving forward with intention. Wake up each morning choosing the people that you love. Choosing to be present with them. Choosing to respect them and where they are and how they feel. And when you choose differently, it’s about returning, and healing the tears before they become cuts too deep to bear. 

This week, we are revisiting an episode of The HRart Rise Morning Show (below) where I start off by sharing a story about a literal tiny boo boo that hurt so much. Here’s to always recognizing how much those paper cuts really do hurt.

You can also find the video lesson here:

I hope you enjoyed this lesson as much as I did! I’ll talk to you next week!


p.s. This blog post was adapted from the Letters From the HRart fortnightly newsletter. I invite you to subscribe

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