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How to forgive someone who has hurt you


"Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me." -Anonymous


There are countless times where we have been let down and hurt by someone we love. What we choose to do when we experience pain, determines our future. Is it possible to forgive really? Why is it easier to hold a grudge?





Mahatma Gandhi, once said, “Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong”. It’s easy to begrudge someone and be bitter. However, it takes courage to truly forgive and move on. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean we accept the behaviour or action taken by them, it means you choose not to harbour any resentment of that particular behaviour.


Here are some practical steps, that can help you practice forgiveness effectively:

1. Recognise

2. Feel

3. Re-experience

4. Understand

5. Repeat


1. Recognise-Logic

When we are hurt, the most natural thing to do is to act emotionally. However, before you react, if you consider a few things logically, it can help you deal with your emotions.

What exactly are you trying to forgive? Getting clear about what it is that you trying to get past is a critical step.

How have you been hurt?

What has caused you this pain that’s unbearable?

Is it truly unbearable?

Was it an expectation that wasn’t met or

Was it the cold betrayal of trust?

The person who caused you this pain, how’s your relationship with them, prior to this?

Is this a one-off incident or a pattern?

Ask yourself all these relevant questions. Rationalising the events leading up to the painful experience, will give you clarity about the incident- facts vs emotions. Consider the facts before acting emotionally.


2. Feel-Emotion

Ask yourself how does this make you feel? How sad/upset/ hurt? If you need to cry to your friends about it, or shout/scream to the person concerned, go all out. Don’t hold back. Express your emotions. It’s critical to let it all out (well, within reason off-course). It may be argued that everyone has their own way of dealing with their emotions. And that’s great! The point really is to express your emotions. Be in touch and recognise how you feeling. Don’t avoid or try to escape it. The key is to avoid resentment rather expressing all that you feel, in your own way.

Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it’ll kill your enemies-Nelson Mandela


3. Re-experience

After your emotional outburst, this step will be difficult but essential for the healing process. Muster the courage to re-experience the hurt all over again. This is the only way to rip off the band-aid. You’ve rationalised and even had an emotional outburst about the incident. Now, it’s time to rethink the incident. This will be one of the hardest things you do, but it’ll also be the most important things you do to truly overcome this hurtful experience.

So, if a friend betrayed your trust or a partner who cheated on you, re-experience how you found out and how you felt at that moment. It sounds immensely scary and nuts to even want to re-experience the horrible incident, but the truth is it happened! You not thinking about it won’t undo it. If you want to get over this horrible feeling of hurt, pain and ager this step is necessary.

Guided meditation on forgiveness


4. Understand

They say time heals everything. In your own experience, have you noticed that after a good amount of time has passed, you may feel less disturbed about an upsetting experience? This step requires you to understand that ‘it’ happened! No matter how painful and disturbing event it was, it happened and it happened to you. You have to acknowledge it happened, without blaming yourself. This incident, doesn’t define who you are, neither does it mean it should or will happen again.

Understanding someone wronged you, means, it happened but choosing not to be consumed with anger and regret.

Forgiving someone is not about the other person, it’s about you. To live blissfully you will need to let go of the pain for yourself.

Sadhguru on how to forgive someone who hurt you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrpPUZy11CI


5. Repeat,

True forgiveness is without any sense of resentment and bitterness. The road to true forgiveness is difficult. But, it doesn’t have to be. The only way for you to be rid of the pain and anger is to let go. And the hard thing in life to do is just that.

Jay Shetty on letting go


Remember, if you need to forgive someone for the pain they’ve caused you, first, acknowledge that feeling. Second, deal with the pain in the best and healthiest way possible. Lastly, forgiveness and healing will take time. Continue the process of accepting the pain with the knowledge that it happened, but you want to forgive and move past it.

Marie Forleo on How to forgive someone


What did you think of these tips to true forgiveness. Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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