How to Forgive Someone (Even When They’re Not Sorry)

How to Forgive Someone Who Hurt You (Even When They're Not Sorry)

How to Forgive Someone Who Hurt You Pin

When someone hurts you, it can be difficult to forgive them.

Especially when they’re not even sorry!

But focusing on the pain they caused and the wrongness of their actions only keeps us from healing.

You don’t have to continue hurting due to someone else’s behavior. You can choose to forgive them even if they haven’t apologized or shown remorse for what they did.

Through forgiveness, you can obtain peace of mind and freedom from the pain.

This is something I am currently working on so I wanted to share these 7 tips with you. They’ve been working for me - I hope they also help you to forgive someone who has hurt you (even if they’re not sorry).

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1. Look for the deeper meaning.

Do you believe that things happen for a reason?

I do!

I believe that some people are in your life to test you, to teach you a life lesson, to make you a better person, to ultimately help you advance in your spiritual journey.

What seems like an unbearable hardship at the time can often turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Sometimes, we don’t realize until much later that we are actually glad that the “bad” thing happened.

So, be grateful for your trials and tribulations – they are helping you to become the person you need to be in order to deal with something that’s going to happen later.

Every obstacle presents you with an opportunity to shape your character, to become a stronger, wiser, better person.

So, ask yourself - what is the underlying lesson this is all trying to teach you?

How will it help you to grow and advance in your spiritual/personal development?

2. Change your thoughts.

When something bad happens, do you sadistically torture yourself even further by replaying the event over and over in your mind?

That’s called rumination … don’t do it!

Ruminating does not help you to heal, it only keeps you stuck in a loop of pain. In fact, replaying past hurtful events makes your brain experience them as if they were happening all over again.

So, allow yourself to feel the hurt, anger, etc. but don’t allow yourself to wallow.

More and more, try to distance yourself from the emotional pain of those feelings. Try to heal the trauma, not feed it.

We can control our thoughts – which shape our beliefs, guide our actions, and ultimately create our reality.

Shift your perspective. Recognize the fleeting nature of all things in life, including the pain that the person caused you.

Once you’ve learned the lesson from what happened, allow yourself to become increasingly detached from the emotional effects of it, as they no longer serve a purpose for you.

Aside from time some things that help with forgiveness are meditation, mindfulness, mantras, breathing exercises and yoga.


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How to Forgive Someone Who Hurt You (Even When They're Not Sorry)
3. Remember what’s in your control.

You can’t control others’ behavior; you can only control your own.

In our core, we all know this to be true, but sometimes (especially when you don’t understand why someone did what they did) we can lose sight of it.

What that person did is already done and there is absolutely nothing you can do to change it.

You can’t change what happened and you can’t change them.

What you can do is minimize the damage. Mitigate the effect that it has on you.

Decide how you want to react, what kind of person you want to be … that puts the power back in your hands.

Don’t allow yourself to be a passive victim of the situation. Take charge of the things you can control and write your own story.

Related article: How to Deal with Negative People

4. Understand that it’s not your job to administer justice/retribution.

Let go of the concept of “fair”.

It’s not fair what they did, it’s not fair that you have to go through this, etc.

At some point, everyone feels that life can be extremely unfair. Things don’t always go the way we think we should and people don’t always act the way we would.

We can’t right all the wrongs and all the unfairness and injustice in the world. That’s not our job (and it’s not even possible!).

It is not your responsibility to right the scales of justice or to exact retribution … and if there’s a voice telling you that it is your responsibility, recognize that it’s your ego talking, not your higher self.

Remember, you are not without fault. As humans, none of us are perfect and we all make mistakes. Wouldn’t you like to be forgiven if the tables were turned?

If so, try to forgive someone who hurt you - even if all you can do at first is not act out in anger or seek revenge.

It is far more important to be kind than to be right.

“Someone must risk returning injury with kindness or hostility will never return to goodwill. So, the wise always give without expecting gratitude.” -Lao Tzu

Kindness and goodwill Dalai Lama Quote Pin

5. Live in the present.

Recognize that what happened is in the past. You can’t change it any more than you can change any historical atrocity.

So, keep things in perspective.

Those events have already come and gone. Lamenting what happened will do nothing to change them.

But, you can change the present through your own thoughts and actions.

So, how do you want things to be? Do you want to drag all those hurt feelings and all that negativity into the present with you?

If not, don’t allow resentment and anger to flourish. Choose and create your own reality – one that is filled with unconditional love.

How to Forgive Someone Who Hurt You (Even When They're Not Sorry)

6. Maintain your character. 

You can know that what someone else did was wrong, yet still respond with kindness.

You can do so because that’s who you are and who you are doesn’t fluctuate according to the whims and wills of others.

Allow the person who wronged you to be who they are.

That person is serving their purpose in your life. They are facing their own challenges and opportunities.

Whether they are learning the lessons they are supposed to learn and growing spiritually is not within your control.

Don’t pour negativity on top of negativity. That will not resolve anything; in fact, it will only make things worse for you.

Rather, focus on yourself and how you want to behave. Who are you? What do your actions say about your character? What kind of person do you want to be?

By focusing on yourself, you can forgive someone even if they’re not sorry.

Forgiving doesn’t mean that what they did was right or that their violation of you was justified. It simply means that you are doing what’s best for you.

7. Be compassionate.

When you think about the place that person must have been coming from in order to do what they did, you can feel pity for them instead of anger.

How they must be suffering! And how they will continue to suffer if they haven’t gleaned their life lesson from the situation.

Their actions are a reflection upon them – something is amiss in their life.

If you find it difficult to feel compassion for someone who has wronged you, imagine them as a child, someone who deep down wants to be loved and understood and accepted just like anyone else.

It helps me to remember that (in the words of Maya Angelou), we are much more alike than we are unalike.

Whether they did what they did due to a limiting belief, a deeply rooted hurt, a lack of self-confidence, self-awareness or connection to their higher self …

Whatever the underlying reason behind their actions, they were just doing the best they could with the skills and level of awareness they had at the time.

They can’t do better until they know better. And they alone will have to suffer for their actions.

The answer is always compassion, kindness, love, forgiveness and love … never selfishness, hatred, contempt and resentment.

I’ve found that an effective way to cultivate feelings of compassion in spite of someone else’s wrong or hurtful actions is to practice lovingkindness meditation.

While meditating and doing breathwork, send love to those whom you dislike, to your enemies and those who have hurt you.

Extend love and kindness not only to them, but also to yourself, and to anyone else going through similar pain – because whatever you are going through, you are certainly not alone.


Over to you … do you believe that forgiveness is always the answer? Tell me in the comments!


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About the Author

Kalliope Archondis, JD, LLM. 👋Hi! I'm Kalli, lawyer turned freelance writer and founder of 3dsuccess.org, a personal development blog dedicated to helping you reach your goals and achieve your definition of success - without all the stress & anxiety. You can read more about me & 3D Success here.

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