How to Forgive Those Who Have Wronged YouHave you ever felt wronged or abused by someone?

Everyone at some point or another has felt disappointed in and disillusioned by others’ words or actions. We all create images of specific roles we desire certain people to play in our lives. We long for the comfort of family, friends, and colleagues. We look up to teachers and mentors for inspiration.

18 Comments to
How to Forgive Those Who Have Wronged You

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  1. Good article. I agree that holding onto a resentment is like taking poison and hoping the other person gets sick. But what’s the process for forgiving someone who has done harm and refuses to acknowledge? There’s no contact, and I don’t understand the concept of forgiveness in this context. Who are we supposed to forgive? I can see accepting life as it is and moving on. But forgiveness seems like a form of self-abuse.

    • Forgiveness is the fragance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it. I love that quote by Mark Twain. Understand that people who cannot integrate the experience of another’s pain into their own are incapable of looking at themselves because it’s unbearable for them. This is usually caused by early childhood wounding. Just knowing that hurt people hurt people can at least give you the feeling of compassion for their inability to connect on a genuine level. Compassion is the way to forgiveness. This doesn’t mean you expose yourself to more of the same, it just gives you closure so you can move on in peace and not carry it with you. People who hurt us are our teachers.

  2. I don’t agree that TIME HEALS. I find that many people get ‘stuck’ and don’t know how to move on. I didn’t find this article beneficial at all.

    • You are correct that time does not heal. Being allowed to grieve properly does. If you don’t, then time does nothing but cause it to fester deep within.

  3. Write a letter and ask them to forgive you when you were the one wronged?? How is that helpful? Isn’t that the enabling behavior that gets you treated like a doormat in the first place. Abuse is very hard to forgive. So is backstabbing. I’ve had had both forms of betrayal inflicted upon me, and I’ve learned to say in my head that I do forgive, even without apologies. But my heart has a more difficult time dealing with the hurt. Saying not to have expectations for people, even of the most basic terms, just doesn’t seem right. People should just be decent to one another, especially someone who claims to love you.

  4. If someone has hurt you, forgiveness is easier. But if you have hurt someone else, then forgiveness is a more difficult problem.

  5. Yes, people fall between the 2 categories , refuse to accept any blame/responsibility and refuse to apologize and then the other extreme, but they also fall in between those extremes, right?

    People are not black and white, and their situations aren’t either. And their personalities and histories can be long and complex.

    Lots of grey.

    But very good advice in this article. Not all of it easy that is for sure, and not all easily accomplished perhaps with out help from a counsellor

  6. I prefer the word acceptance in most cases. What it means is that my anger, my strong sense of injustice unpunished, my ruminating about why…any of those thoughts and feelings rob me of energy and give the abuser continuing power to hurt me.
    Forgiveness should be reserved for those who ask for it, and whose future behavior demonstrates that they have earned it.
    I like the article, and hope those who were put off by it will give it another chance. I don’t think that the author means that all the advice should apply to all situations.

  7. I think to forgive someone isn’t coloured with an expectation that the other person change. It’s not worrying whether or not they fully understand you. It’s to release them, for our own spiritual/emotional well being & happiness. It doesn’t mean we have to accept any type of abuse or perhaps engaging in shady dynamics. Also sometimes we have to have firm boundaries & in certain circumstances a no contact policy, for healthy boundaries & safety. In the end, life has a way of feeding back truth to people in its own way & time.

  8. Perfectly Said Very Nice…Thanks

  9. Why is your religion important to the public? And to other professional’s?
    I see it as self-disclosure. If YOU went to a doctor to be healed for a pneumonia or a mental health practitioner for anxiety or depression, would the person’s religion be on their biography?

    No!

    Susan, LCSW

  10. Forgiveness is for you, not the other person (s ). Hanging on to all that angst is poisonous and will take its toll on you.

  11. This is a wonderfully well thought out article. It is so important
    that clinicians remain effective in their clinical pursuits by minimizing their personal baggage. Several of the clients that I serve are burdened with both forgiveness and self-forgiveness challenges, which often play out in certain personality disorders. Thanks for taking the time to compose this wonderful article.

  12. If a person fails to forgive then they have created their own prison of bitterness. This article was helpful and I can agree on some of the concepts. When people don’t let go of things and hang on to the resentment then there is no room for better things to come. It is like putting all the clutter in the closet, next thing you know it is so full of old stuff there is no room for the new things life has to offer. Forgiveness in of itself is an individual process and people have the personal choice whether or not to let go, to be bitter or not, to heal or hold on to hurt.

  13. Thank you for this interesting post. Forgiveness is in my humble opinion an essential component in healing abuse or trauma and this may be a case where it’s not possible to reconcile with the person for their actions. So how does the victim move forward in this type of situation where reconciliation with the abuser is not possible? One possible way is to forgive the person but not the crime. In this context, I can agree with the original poster and leave it to God or divine intervention that justice or karma will catch up with the abuser and the therapeutic process can continue with whatever modality the therapist is using to help the client with his/her story.

  14. Blessings Kristin,
    I am happy that you have found God. Myself have been a spiritual reverend minister and although I no longer follow a specific religion, I am a very religious person who relies on the three most important factors of any beliefs. 1. I believe in God. 2. I trust in God. 3. I have faith in God. Only God can provide the love and devotion that we need in life. Whatever He gives us, is always something that we can handle with. His help. God is always with us, and despite some beliefs that He deserts us at a time in need is quite the opposite.
    John 3. 16. Romans. 12.2 and Gen 1.1 not forgetting Matt 11.28.
    Bless you.
    Jack

  15. Hello . I wanted some advice my husband is addicted to the net he hides screens from me we had a lot of arguments but no use . He does not agrer whethet he chats w some one does not give his passwords .what should i do. Ifi try. to keep quiet i feel angry if i speak up he fights .while blame comes on me .what to do . Tou can pls mail me too .
    Thanks mini

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