Some people say that “hurting other people’s feelings” is not their culture. They will not want to hurt anyone’s feelings. They don’t really appreciate straightforwardness, honesty and truthfulness. They prefer not to express how they feel or what they think (especially it’s some negative comments, thinking and feelings,) in front of people, and they will always say nice things like, “You’re very good. Thank you.” even when they don’t think or feel like that at all, but they will complain behind people’s backs about they are not good.
They think and believe that by that way, they are free from hurting anyone’s feelings at all.
The point is, if we truly don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, we should not have any negative or bad thinking, feelings, actions and speech at all (even behind other people’s back or knowledge). Then we won’t need to be untruthful or dishonest, nor have to be hypocrite and tell lies in front of anyone, nor will we say or do anything that will hurt anyone, whether directly or indirectly, whether in front of people or behind people’s back.
Unless our mind is completely be free from impurities such like craving and aversion, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, pride, arrogance, animosity and fear that arise from egoism and attachment towards certain personal beliefs and cultural practice, or attachment towards the qualities of names and forms that we like and dislike, agree and disagree with. Or else we won’t be free from hurting somebody’s feelings at some points.
If we are aware of our mind is not pure and is being over-powered by some bad and negative thoughts or feelings about other people, but we can have self-control not to do or say anything that will hurt them whether directly or indirectly, whether in front of them or behind their backs, then we can say that we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings even though there are some negative thoughts and feelings arising and passing away in our mind. We observe these thoughts and let them go, without attachment nor judgment, without reaction nor expression through actions and speech.
How can we say “I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings… Hurting other living beings is not my culture.” when we are over-powered by anger and hatred towards certain people’s personality, behavior and actions that we strongly disagree with, and we criticize them and condemn these people to hell, and wish that they will suffer for what they have done?
As well as whether what kind of actions and speech that will hurt other people’s feelings or not, has no particular standards that fit all. It depends on individual personality, perception about things, and how they react towards what they perceive. Some people easily get offended and feel hurt by what they perceive as ‘not right’, ‘not nice’, ‘not good’, offensive, or insult, even though nobody say or do anything that seems to be offensive or hurtful.
Those who have transcended egoism and names and forms will not be hurt by any forms of thoughts, actions and speech.
It depends on ourselves, our perception of things, our reactions towards what we perceive, the purity of our mind, to determine whether our feelings will be hurt by anybody’s actions or speech. Usually when our feeling is hurt by certain actions or speech, is because those actions and speech is something that we (the ego) dislike and disagree with. Those actions and speech has no quality or power to hurt us unless we perceive them as something ‘hurtful’, and give them the quality and power to hurt us.