"a sore spot"
a sensitive subject that will upset, anger or embarrass someone
Related words and phrases:
Two colleagues are talking ...
Colleague 1: I don't understand why the boss got so upset with me during the staff meeting.
Colleague 2: You kept talking about the second quarter losses and that is a sore spot for the boss. He was so determined to go ahead with that new product even though it had not been fully tested and when it failed miserably, he looked really incompetent. So when you kept bringing up the second quarter, you kept reminding everyone of the boss's failure.
Colleague 1: I suppose that was embarrassing for him. I will be more careful in the future.
Three friends are talking ...
Friend 1: You are looking very healthy.
Friend 2: What a terrible thing to say. You know I have always struggled with my weight. I can't help it if I am overweight. I've tried so many diets and have always failed miserably. Now if you will excuse me, I need to leave.
Friend 1: What did I say to upset Julia so much?
Friend 3: Nothing really. It is just that you touched a sore spot. Julia has always been overly sensitive about her weight.
There is no gerund form for a sore spot.
1) ... spirits bring out the worst in him. Especially when someone's hit a sore spot. Noah was slumping lower and lower in his chair, ...
2) ... if not dropped entirely. The lack of printing capabilities has been a sore spot for many iOS device owners.
3) The midfield was a sore spot in 2011 - not physical enough and not enough attacking ability. The left-footed ...
4) ... production of their own videos - from their earnings. That's long been a sore spot among artists, but it's still standard practice. You have to pay ...
5) ... my husband and I have this discussion quite often and it has been quite a sore spot between us so maybe thats why I over reacted over this question.
6) We can see that this topic has touched a sore spot from the extreme reactions it's generated in some Twitter circles.
7) This is where the name calling hit a sore spot.
8) I recently criticized Processing's lack of object orientation. I seemed to have hit a sore spot. The majority of the responses have emotionally defended.
9) Apparently, this article hit a sore spot with many folks as evidenced by the numerous comments in such a short period.
10) ... as blindsiding and hurtful as this, but once it becomes needless dwelling/picking at a sore spot that's the time to give it up and start concentrating on the positives.
11) The tax is so competitive that it has become a sore spot for some European nations, ...
12) ... or you wish to disregard historical facts period when they rub a sore spot.
13) Medicaid payments are a sore spot for providers, since they are lower than the cost of coverage.
14) ... a sensitive topic they said has always been a bit of a sore spot for him.
15) His grip on the wheel tightened, and I knew I'd hit a sore spot.
16) ... tirades, but I would like to disavow one point since you touched on a sore spot. I am not now and have never been a libertarian.
17) Within the conservative movement, the United Nations has been a sore spot. We pay millions of dollars, billions if you count foreign aid, ...
18) ... personal responsibility to pay for. I do think the abortion pill drugs are a sore spot for a lot of people.
19) Even today, this point remains a sore spot and source of some discord within parts of the disabled community.
20) Just know that there's a high chance this subject can be a sore spot for him if he comes from a broken home.