How To Forgive Someone Who Has Hurt You

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Throughout our lives, we have all met some people who may not have been the nicest to us. Some of them might have made us upset or mad, while some may have hurt us in one or numerous ways.  It is rightly said “hurt people, hurt people” we often use this phrase as a way to justify the other person’s actions and hence find a way to accept what happened so we can move on with our lives. However, that doesn’t have to be the only way. 

Have you ever considered forgiving them? Most of us have some misunderstandings regarding forgiveness. Here are a few things that forgiveness does not imply:

  • You are not pardoning or excusing the other person’s acts when you forgive them.
  • Forgiveness does not imply that you must tell the person that they have been forgiven.
  • Forgiveness does not prevent you from having more feelings regarding the issue.
  • Forgiveness does not imply that the relationship is completely resolved, or that everything is suddenly fine.
  • Forgiveness does not imply that you should forget about the situation.
  • You don’t have to keep the person in your life after you forgive them.
  • It’s not something you do for the other person to forgive you.

Now that I have hopefully cleared all the thoughts in your mind, let’s take a look at 7 ways to forgive someone who hurt you. 

1. Process how you are feeling.

How do you feel mad when someone does something to hurt you? Do you feel upset? forget what happened? Whatever you feel when hurt deserves to be felt. When someone hurts you, grief and anger are natural and healthy responses. But so is self-pity! And there’s no predetermined time limit for working through and processing the pain. Forgiveness entails allowing negative feelings of anger and sadness to enter and then letting them go because you are now at peace with your life. So take your time, you deserve it. 

2. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you are saying the offense was OK.

One of the most common misunderstandings regarding forgiveness is that it entails accepting the offender’s actions. In fact, forgiveness implies that you do not approve of the behavior. You know that what you are doing is improper or unsuitable, but you choose to cleanse your heart. You don’t make any explanations for your actions. You simply accept it and go on. That’s a significant difference.

3. Remind yourself about this person’s role in your life.

Many times the person who hurts us is close to us or someone who has been in our lives for a while. When someone you care about does something that hurts you, but you want to retain the relationship, it’s crucial to recall the good they’ve done for you. People cannot be replaced. It’s critical to remember that you only have one parent, one mother, and one best friend. This isn’t to say that people should put up with cruelty or stay in an unpleasant relationship. It means that if you’re harboring grudges, keeping score, or plotting methods to make someone pay for something they did, successful relationships are difficult to cultivate and maintain.

Almost every connection you’ve ever had involves forgiveness to survive. Everyone has flaws, even our perspectives. As a result, getting wounded is unavoidable. In order to have happy, long-term relationships, we need a system for letting go and making peace.

4. Set boundaries.

When you’ve been hurt by someone close to you, some gentle boundary setting may be in order. But that doesn’t mean that you have to call them out, blame them or disown them. Learn how to simply say, “What you just did is not OK”, “You shouldn’t do that to me again”, “I didn’t like what you did”. Setting boundaries is a crucial part of any relationship. 

5. Start by forgiving smaller things.

If you’re having trouble forgiving someone, practice self-compassion instead of giving yourself a hard time. It’s normal to struggle, but you can get more accustomed to practicing forgiveness by finding ways to forgive regularly in your daily life.

This isn’t as tough as it appears. Practice compassion and forgive the person instead of getting angry. The pent-up anger adds more to the pain that you might already be feeling. 

6. Recognize that you’re telling a story that can be changed.

Our brains keep us safe from danger, and so a lot of the stories we tell ourselves are not accurate. We simplify to emphasize the danger. To keep us secure, we generate these mental distortions. Changing the tale is the simplest way to forgive.

So, if you’ve been telling yourself that your friend didn’t invite you to her wedding five years ago, and it was a terrible thing that you’re still resenting, consider that the two of you may have been going through a hard patch at the time, and she may have made a mistake, but she did the best she could.

7. You are the hero!

Attributing your present distress to something that happened in the past is a way of making yourself a victim. 

When you tell yourself, “The only one who can solve my problems is me.” It instills a sense of heroic efficacy as if to say, “I must solve this problem.” I need to figure out how to be okay and happy in this life.’ You develop a sense of your own resilience when you can achieve it. “Being able to forgive allows one to be more effective in managing one’s life. You develop a sense of, “I know I can cope with hardship,” rather than being confined or fearful. That is most likely the most significant personal gain.


Andrea Brandt Ph.D. M.F.T. (September 2, 2014 ). How Do You Forgive Even When It Feels Impossible? (Part 1). Retrieved May 18, 2021, from

Charity Ferreira (December 12, 2019). 8 Tips for Forgiving Someone Who Hurt You. Retrieved May 18, 2021, from

Crystal Raypole (April 27, 2020). 8 Tips for Forgiving Someone Who Hurt You. Retrieved May 18, 2021, from

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