How to Approach Forgiving People You Believe Are Unforgivable
We all have that one person who just grinds our gears. It seems as though all their actions are fueled by malice, and you just cannot stand to be around them. But the problem with holding grudges is that it weighs heavier on you than it does on them. Try thinking about someone who has hurt you. Now, notice how your body reacts. If you haven’t forgiven this person, your muscles probably tensed up and your teeth clenched. You are experiencing physical symptoms of stress because of the ill will you carry in your heart. It’s not a good situation, so try these tips for forgiving people you believe are unforgivable.
1. Make it about you
If your palms get sweaty and your heart starts racing whenever you see this person, you’re the one who is suffering.
Acknowledge the hurt that they imposed upon you, but remember that it’s in the past. Every time you think about this hurt, you’re bringing it into your present. You’re actively letting that person hurt you again and again.
It’s not easy to let things go, but the first step is to acknowledge that the best decision is forgiveness for your health.
2. Practice empathy
Sometimes, people do things and they don’t care about who they hurt. Imagine what it must be like to go through life like that? In a way, it sounds like blissful ignorance, but it’s not a great way to make friends. If your unforgivable person has a habit of making selfish decisions that hurt others, consider that they may have a problem.
People with certain personality disorders, such as narcissism and borderline personality disorder, often make selfish choices that hurt others. Just remember that empathy doesn’t mean trying to help. If you know someone who may have a personality disorder, they will need professional counseling. But you can imagine what it’s like going through life without ever making a lasting, loving connection?
Whatever the problem, try to find an empathetic view, forgive the person, and then move on.
3. Know when to walk away
If you’re maintaining a relationship with someone who is continually hurting you, it’s time to reevaluate. Whether this is your spouse, parent or friend, toxic relationships will take a toll on your mental health.
Take a step back and think about the relationship. Is there more bad than good? Is the relationship-damaging to your life in any way? If so, it’s time to cut ties.
It may also be time to cut ties with friends and casual acquaintances who have deeply hurt you in one fell swoop. Who you allow in your life is a very personal choice. There aren’t any right or wrong answers. But if you’re on the fence, remember that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can distance yourself temporarily and reevaluate later.
Although some people may seem unforgivable, think about the toll that will take on your life. Holding grudges will hold you back from living a full and happy life.
Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting, so you don’t have to trust this person again to forgive them. Do it for yourself.
About the Author
Trevor McDonald is a freelance content writer and a recovering addict & alcoholic who’s been clean and sober for over 5 years. Since his recovery began, he has enjoyed using his talent for words to help spread treatment resources, addiction awareness, and general health knowledge. In his free time, you can find him working with recovering addicts or outside enjoying about any type of fitness activity imaginable.