When someone hurts you, it can leave noticeable scars that will plague the rest of your life. There are some things you can recover from. But there are other ways a person causes pain that is difficult to release. The following are 6 ways to be able to forgive that person. harmful person and let it go.
6 ways to forgive a hurtful person so you can move on
You may want to move on with the pain you feel. Forgiveness can be a great way to start, but not in the way you think! Here are six ways to forgive bad people who have hurt us so that we can move on.
1. Think about the benefits
It sounds a little selfish, but sometimes the best way to do something difficult is to remember that it will benefit you. There is nothing wrong with using that as a motivating factor, especially when you are just beginning your forgiveness journey. Here are some important effects of forgiveness to be aware of:
Forgiving a hurtful person helps heal
Resentment is a powerful and dangerous emotion, and it is capable of completely paralyzing your journey and preventing you from finding peace and moving forward. Your emotional wounds cannot heal while you hold on to the pain, and sometimes those wounds can become “infected” by anger seeping into other areas of your life.
It is good for health
Studies have long indicated positive links between health and forgiveness. This is because the act of forgiving someone relieves stress, which provides many benefits for your physical well-being. This includes reduced blood pressure, improved immunity, and better pain management. On the other hand, unhealthy resentment and anger can lead to heart problems, anxiety, and lowered self-esteem.
can improve your relationships
Resentment towards a person changes the way you see people and human nature in the world. That negativity towards a single being that hurt you can infiltrate relationships that you share with everyone, even without you knowing it. Being compassionate towards yourself and those you hold a grudge against can shift your perspective from the positive, fostering healthier and happier relationships with others in your life who are good to you.
It can lead to a positive reconciliation, if you wish.
Resentment can prevent you from reconciling with that person who hurt you. In some cases, this is not a problem, and you are within your rights not to want to “be nice” face-to-face with someone who has wronged you. But in others, you may want that reconciliation but don’t know how to go about it. Starting with forgiveness is a fantastic way to do this, as it gives you and the other party the opportunity to learn, grow, and recover.
2. Reconsider your perspective on forgiveness
Many people believe that forgiveness involves giving in to someone’s hostile treatment, actively forgiving them, or even downplaying their toxicity. This is not the case at all. Forgiveness is a complex subject and does not mean:
- turn the other cheek
- approve of someone’s actions
- Admit fault or invalidate your emotions
- Pretend something didn’t happen
- Open yourself up to future harm from the same person
- let someone walk over you
In fact, it’s the opposite! Forgiveness is not about letting someone off the hook. It’s about finding the courage and strength to use your energy on something more productive and allowing this act of toxicity to remain in the past as it progresses. For example, forgiveness may involve:
- Decide to be happy instead of being angry.
- Refusing to be tied down by past negativity that keeps you upset and hurting you.
- Freeing up your energy for more productive endeavors.
- Decide that resentment no longer serves you.
- Have a clean slate for future interactions with other people or with new people.
- Choosing to move on instead of being held back.
When you realize that forgiveness is more about your personal healing than someone else’s, it’s easier to understand that it’s good for you.
3. Take responsibility
Taking responsibility does not necessarily mean blaming yourself for the damage caused by an injured person. Instead, it means remembering that your current actions and the actions you take for the rest of your life depend on you.
Here are some ways to do it:
Understand your emotions and rule out those who caused them
The feelings that come from being hurt are ones that you need to take some time to reflect on and understand. Focusing too much on blaming those who caused these emotions can ruin your chances of working on self-reflection.
Choose not to take it personally
This sounds hard to do, and to be fair, it is. But there are terrible people all over the world, and if someone did something horrible to you, it’s not a reflection of yourself. In fact, it probably had almost nothing to do with you. You were the unfortunate victim of that person’s problems exploding, and nothing they said or hinted about you reflected back on you, it was a projection of him, and you don’t need to be offended by that.
If you contributed, accept it
There are many people who do hurtful things, and it is really only in them that you were affected. But there are also times when pain is born of pain, or when two people hurt each other, and one person gets overwhelmed first. If you contributed in any way to the circumstances in which someone hurt you, admit it and accept that fact.
4. Ask yourself questions that change your perspective about your relationship with the person you suffer
Changing your perspective is often key to finding forgiveness in yourself. This is because gaining a proper understanding of something or someone that hurt you can drastically change the way you have thought about that pain.
Here are some questions to start a paradigm shift in how do you think about a harmful person:
- How would someone from the outside looking at the situation see the situation?
- Is there a pattern here? Have I been hurt this way before, maybe even many times?
- Have I inflicted this damage on other people before?
- What was the perspective, right or wrong or neither, of the person who hurt me?
- Does the person who hurt me have low emotional intelligence?
- Does the person who hurt me have significant personal issues or baggage that was unfairly taken out on me, thus not reflecting my character at all?
- Is there anything positive I can get out of this?
- How have I grown because of this pain?
- Have I let this pain steal things from me in my life?
- Do resentment and unforgiveness benefit me, or is it holding me back?
- What can I learn from this situation?
- Does my decision to hold on to this resentment keep the pain alive?
5. Let go of the victim mentality
The victim mentality is a mentality in which you excuse everything that happens to you and everything that you do because you were a victim. You may even believe that you are continually being victimized to this day whenever something bad happens to you. You can say things like:
- “If that person hadn’t ruined my confidence, I would have gotten over that speech!”
- “I would have gone much further in life if I hadn’t held back.”
- “I’m just suffering all the time because of the things that were done to me.”
The pain inflicted by a harmful person can cause deep wounds that are slow to heal. But it becomes impossible to heal when you assign all the problems in your life to that one incident. You are a different person, yes, but at some point, you need to learn who you are and take responsibility for moving your own life forward. Are you really going to let someone who hurt you hold you back forever? It’s time to create productivity, not drama.
6. Work on positivity
Positive thinking is sometimes the best way to recover when you are struggling with an issue as painful and healing as forgiveness. When you learn to see the world with a positive lens, you naturally find forgiveness easier. Here are some ways to promote positivity in your life:
work towards your happiness
Someone’s hurtful actions shouldn’t stop you from making progress toward the things you love. Find joy in life and set goals for the specific achievements you want. It is never too late to start looking for your happiness in life again or to start finding it in lesser parts of your life.
focus on good things
There are good and bad parts of life. Learning to focus on the good things, and even find them on the “bad” side, can drastically change the way you see the world. That kind of positive thinking can make you realize that resentment is not serving your life.
Do you harbor resentment towards yourself for the events that hurt you? Perhaps you played a role in the events that led you there. You may feel guilty for struggling to forgive or for not being able to move on. Regardless, it is essential to forgive yourself. Learning to begin to forgive yourself means that you know how to forgive others.
Final Thoughts on People Who Cause Harm
When considering the topic of forgiveness, it is important to keep in mind that it is a completely personal process. You owe no one your forgiveness, but you owe it to yourself. You don’t even need to tell an offensive person that you forgive them if you don’t want to. But you need to tell yourself that you are moving on and letting go of the resentment that held you back. That, honestly, is more than enough.