How to forgive and forget someone who hurt you can seem too difficult; you know what it feels like to be hurt.

You know the pain and the anger and the sadness, and, sometimes, you want to lash out at someone who wronged you.

But lashing out is only going to make things worse-so; how do you get over your hurt? How do you find peace? The answer might surprise you: forgiveness.

Forgiveness doesn't mean that it's ok with what happened or that this person doesn't matter anymore-rather; it's a way of taking back your power from them.

It may feel tough at first, but forgiveness is a necessary step in healing from a situation where someone has wronged us.

In this article, we will explore exactly what forgiveness is, why it's important, how to know if you're ready, and a five-step process for forgiving someone who's hurt us.

What is forgiveness?

Forgiveness is letting go of negative emotions towards a person or situation, allowing yourself to move on from something that has caused you pain.

But bear in mind that forgiveness doesn’t mean ignoring the damaging effects of an offender’s actions. More so, you can forgive and still hold those who hurt you accountable. 

There are instances where people forgive criminals who murdered a loved one. Yet, it doesn’t mean the offender gets a get-out-of-jail-free card. They still serve time for their crime. So forgiveness doesn’t mean downplaying the seriousness of an offence. 

I want to highlight that forgiveness is about letting go of deep-seated negative feelings towards an offender. It releases toxic emotions like hatred, rage, vengeance, and so on.

Forgiveness helps you recognise the pain the other person caused without letting that pain control and define you.


Different aspects of the process of forgiving someone

Five points that detail different aspects of the process of forgiving someone who hurt you: 1) Recognise the depth of your feelings 2) Forgive yourself for feeling this way 3) Understand why you're hurting 4) Realise that you are not your feelings 5) Find peace with the situation.


1. Recognise the depth of your feelings

When you were hurt, you had every right to be upset and feel what you felt.

You can't change or revamp those feelings, but they will lose their power over you by understanding them. 

When we acknowledge our feelings and think about why they're there, it deepens our understanding of ourselves and the situation.


2. Forgive yourself for feeling this way

When you were hurt, you might not have been able to see the other side of the story at; first, that's ok. But now that you've had time to process what happened try looking at the situation from another perspective.

Put yourself in their shoes, understand what they felt at the time, and see if you can't bring yourself to forgive them.

Forgiveness doesn't mean that it's ok with what happened or that this person doesn't matter anymore-rather; it's a way of taking back your power from them.


3. Understand why you're hurting

Think about how you've been hurt and by who-and then think about the circumstances of your relationship with them before, after, and during the incident.

What has changed? How has your view shifted? What is it about this person that makes them capable of hurting you?

And if they are capable of hurting you, are they capable of hurting other people?


4. Realise that you are not your feelings

When we've been hurt or betrayed by someone, it's easy to fall into the mindset that the only thing we should be feeling is anger and pain.

But this isn't helpful-and it makes forgiving harder than it needs to be. You are not your feelings. If you were, you would be stuck in the same hurtful situation forever!


5. Find peace with the situation

When we're hurt, it's easy to cry out for revenge and justice-but these don't change what's happened, nor do they help us move on from a traumatic experience. Instead of


How to forgive someone who has hurt you

Let’s take a look at how we can forgive someone who has done us wrong.

1) Deciding to forgive

You know that point in a movie where the protagonist experiences the biggest loss imaginable but then realises that life has to go on?

That's exactly what forgiving someone feels like - you have to accept that it happened and figure out how you still want your story to end.

You may be angry, or you may be sad, or you may need time to understand what happened fully. When it's clear that you're ready to put this behind you, then move on to the next step.


2) Understanding why they did it

It might seem counter-intuitive, but understanding why someone hurt us is critical for determining whether or not we can forgive them.

Maybe you were a casualty of their mistake, or maybe they didn't even recognise that what they did was wrong, but figuring out where exactly your anger is coming from makes it easier to move forward.


3) Acknowledging how it made you feel

It's so easy in the heat of the moment to shout every swear word we know at someone who hurt us, but that doesn't actually help anything.

Let yourself sit with your feelings and really acknowledge how this situation has affected you-then thank them for giving you a chance to work on that pain or anger.


4) Expressing your feelings with them

This might be tough, but expressing your honest feelings towards the person who wronged you can move you forward faster than just holding it in.

Be honest about how their words or actions have made you feel, and remember that this is an opportunity to work on something together.


5) Letting go of the hurt

When you hurt someone, you feel like you'll never forget it.

But there comes the point when your anger starts to affect you more than the person who hurt your feelings in the first place, and that's the exact moment when you need to let go of what happened and forgive them. 

Forgive yourself for holding onto this so tightly, and forgive them for hurting your feelings.


6) Moving forward

Forgiving someone requires effort, and it doesn't happen overnight-it's something you'll continue to work on every day.

But if the time is right, then letting go of your past can give you closure so that you can move forward in peace.


10 Importance of Forgiveness

1. Forgiveness leads to satisfaction and fulfilment 

According to some studies, some people are more forgiving than others. To these people, forgiveness comes easy becomes it’s a part of their natural makeup.

As a result, they live more satisfied and fulfilled lives. Why? Because it’s difficult to be depressed or experience negative emotions when you’re full of compassion.

Forgiveness takes a lot of weight off your shoulders and enables you to live to the fullest.


2. Forgiveness leaves room for productivity and creativity 

Unforgiveness releases toxic emotions that cloud your thinking. As a business owner, you don’t want to bottle up emotions that will mess up your judgment or inhibit your productivity.

When you’re offended by someone, you feel anger towards them, and anger is anti-creativity and productivity. Also, inspiration and innovation come to a peaceful mind. So, if you want to function at the highest level possible, you must make forgiveness a lifestyle. 


3. Forgiveness improves your relationships 

You must understand that you can’t feel emotions in isolation. So, this means that you can’t harbour anger in your heart and think it’s only toward the person who hurt you. 

Emotions tend to spread, so if you’re bitter over an offence, it can sip into your other relationships. Forgiveness teaches you to make room for people’s faults. Such a mindset will help you relate with others better.

Also, it will affect your business relationships. Your clients will see that you’re empathetic and compassionate. You learn how to interact with people without holding anything against them. 


4. Forgiveness is good for your mental health 

Imagine focusing all your attention on someone who hurt you. Maybe this offender was a close friend, and their betrayal hurt so much.

Is it worth it to spend every waking moment thinking of how best to hurt them back? This is what happens when you hold a grudge. 

Unforgiveness introduces negative emotions into your system that are hazardous to your mental health. Emotions such as anxiety, rage, bitterness, and depression can lead to mental stress and fatigue.

Holding a grudge traps your mind and makes it difficult for you to recover from your pain.


5. Unforgiveness is harmful to your physical health 

When you refuse to forgive someone who has wronged you, you put yourself under undue stress. Your body experiences tension whenever you remember the unsavoury incident, and you keep revealing the offence.

Researchers reveal that forgiveness affects your immune system, leading to severe medical conditions.


6. Forgiveness helps you see the good in people 

It’s easy to see only negative qualities when someone offends you. Sometimes, an offence can make you go from loving a person to hating them in the twinkle of an eye.

Now, you don’t feel that way because you truly hate them. Your hurt blurs the good qualities you love and amplifies the negative ones. The solution for this blurred vision is forgiveness. 

It’s similar to clearing away cobwebs. When you forgive, you understand that people’s mistakes don’t define them, and everyone deserves another chance.

 Forgiveness opens your eyes to the possibility of restoring your relationship with an offender and accepting them back into your life. 


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7. Forgiveness reduces your stress levels

Bypsychologists at Hope College, Michigan, carried out a study that shows how unforgiveness can increase your stress levels.

Participants in the study were asked to focus on grudges they held against people who hurt them. 

As they did so, their blood pressure and heart rates increased, and they began to sweat profusely. When they were asked to explain how they felt emotionally, each participant said they felt out of control and anxious.

Those carrying out the study asked the participants to imagine forgiving those who wronged them, and immediately, their stress levels, which had increased, began to drop.

Imagine how much good a lifestyle of forgiveness will do. Reduced stress means a healthier and more productive you. 


8. Forgiveness gives you your power back 

So many people don’t know that unforgiveness takes away their power. By holding a grudge, someone else controls your emotions and negatively affects your performance.

Your regret, resentment, anger, and hatred do not directly affect the person who hurt you. However, it alters your personality and casts a shadow on your relationships.

Choosing to stay hurt when offended is giving up your peace, joy, creativity, and dreams to someone else. Today, choose to get your power back. Decide to be in complete control of your life by letting go of that grudge.

You need to understand that you’re responsible for your happiness, and no one should have that kind of power over you. 


9. Forgiveness is for your freedom 

Tyler Perry said, “It’s not an easy journey, to get to a place where you forgive people. But it is such a powerful place because it frees you.” If you’ve ever held a grudge, you’ll agree that it feels like you’re carrying a heavy weight on your shoulders.

It keeps you in bondage to one incident that threatens to define your whole life. Unforgiveness makes you feel like a victim and keeps you in a prison of self-pity.

 Letting go of offences will set you free from the emotions that tend to limit you. Nelson Mandela is popular for forgiving those who put him in prison when he became President of South Africa.

He said, “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”


10. Forgiveness helps you develop compassion 

Every human being has the potential to be compassionate. But it doesn’t come easy, especially when others hurt us. Compassion helps us look beyond our pain to what the other person is going through.

It makes us question why they acted out of character and desire to help them. When you let go of your pain, it empowers you to help others release negative emotions they’re holding on to.

Forgiveness enables you to connect with others and see their fault the same way you’d see yours. 

how to forgive and forget

Final Thought on how to forgive and forget

Even though knowing how to forgive and forget can seem difficult, forgiveness isn’t a one-time thing; it’s a lifestyle. Letting go of offences and cutting people some slack in your daily interactions will help you function at a higher capacity.

Indeed, neither you nor your business can grow if you’re holding on to toxic emotions. Live a happier and more fulfilled life by being intentional about forgiving those who hurt you. 

Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you're condoning the other person's behaviour or that it doesn't matter to you anymore-rather; it's a way of taking your power back and owning the effects of what happened.

It may be tough at first, but forgiveness is a necessary step in healing from a hurtful situation.

In this article on how to forgive and forget, we discussed many benefits to forgiveness, from being a healthier and more productive you to developing compassion. Don't forget if you have a blog post you'd like to see featured on this page, leave a comment below! Thanks for reading.



More Resources

Research on the Science of Forgiveness

Psychology of Forgiveness: 10+ Fascinating Research Findings

Final Thought

Forgiveness isn’t a one-time thing; it’s a lifestyle. Letting go of offenses and cutting people some slack in your daily interactions will help you function at a higher capacity.

Indeed, neither you nor your business can grow if you’re holding on to toxic emotions. Live a happier and more fulfilled life by being intentional about forgiving those who hurt you.  


More Resources

Research on the Science of Forgiveness

Psychology of Forgiveness: 10+ Fascinating Research Findings

About the Author Funmi

Funmi is a Certified Functional Health Coach. She is passionate about helping female entrepreneurs transform from Stress and burnout so they can begin to thrive in their body and, by extension, their businesses. 

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