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Ranimi23's avatar

How do you forgive someone that hurt or disappointed you so much in the past?

Asked by Ranimi23 (1914points) August 24th, 2010

I’m trying to convince my heart to forget and let go of something that really heart my feelings, but it is like the disappointment and sadness are more powerful than my desire to forget and leave it behind and open a new page with this person.

This person never said sorry, but he does trying to talk with me again while I don’t want to talk with him, I’m just being nice and nothing more than that. Maybe we should talk, but I am not feeling it will erase everything.

How you do that wholeheartedly?

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21 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Forgiving them doesn’t mean that you have to open the door to a relationship again. You don’t have to let them back into your life just because you’ve let go of the pain. Forgiveness is good for YOU, because you don’t have to carry that around anymore.

Not allowing a toxic person back into your life doesn’t mean that you can’t forgive them, it just means that you value yourself.

Marva's avatar

fully agree with @TheOnlyNeffie !
And also add this: Sometimes, talking about our emotions, explaining to the other person what happened on our side, how it felt and so, can help a lot!
If the person is trying to talk to you, maybe you can take the opportunity to tell him what sort of an experience what happened had put you through. And, who knows, might even find out once you hear his perspective, that it makes things alot easier to forgive…

RareDenver's avatar

There is nothing to say you have to forgive, if it doesn’t sit well with you then just move on and put it behind you.

muppetish's avatar

I’ve been a similar position. One of my best friends from high school said (and did) something I took deep offense to and cannot forgive him for. We stopped speaking for months and then he decided that to try and fix our friendship. I can’t do that. He meant what he said, does not regret what he did – it’s not something I can just brush off. It’s actually made it easy for me to let go of the friendship. I appreciate what we had in the past, and won’t speak ill about him to other friends, but I just don’t want him around now.

I can tell you, though, that it feels good to tell them how you feel. I never felt lighter than when I explained to someone – in calm, open discussion – how what they had done hurt me, how they weren’t around when that hurt dissipated, and how I didn’t want them to be around in the future. Reading that now seems a little bizarre. But it just felt good.

You shouldn’t feel bad about letting friendships go. It happens.

And @Marva has a wonderful point – hearing their perspective is an essential step. I didn’t experience this with the friendship I mentioned before, but I have had friends change their mind about me for my perspective. They didn’t realize where I was coming from on certain issues. I wish more people would communicate.

flutherother's avatar

You can’t do anything wholeheartedly while your heart is still broken. Perhaps you should tell him how he hurt you and see how he responds.

philosopher's avatar

I agree with you.
I have forgiven people in the past and found out later that it was a mistake.
Forgiving does not mean forgetting. It should never mean completely letting your guard down.
Some people are by nature greedy opportunist and I have no use for them.

Smashley's avatar

Give it time. You’re still hurting, and so is he, most likely. There is rarely one “bad person” and one “good” in a broken relationship. Chances are that whatever happened, happened because of multiple factors. Let him know how you feel, and that you don’t think you can separate your thoughts of him from the thoughts of how you were hurt. Indicate that you are moving on, and that this is not the time to try to become friends again, but be open to it in the future.

Time will pass, things will be put in better perspective for both of you, and if there’s any kind of relationship, as partners, friends, or something else, you feel is worth trying to pursue, you can start it from there.

Good luck!

marinelife's avatar

Who do you want to forgive this person and move on? Perhaps the best thing is to each go your separate ways.

Have you told him how you feel? That he hurt and disappointed you?

Tell him.

Ranimi23's avatar

@muppetish , @flutherother any all others: This person knows how he hurt my feelings, because another person told him that. They talked about me and it popped up during the conversation. That person tried to mediate between us again.

What happened after that is that he tried to talk with me, just asking how I’m doing and my answer was shourt “Just Living” and he said to the mediator that he was nice to me but I wasn’t, while I think I did my best at that time and I answered politely and briefly. Now as @Smashley said I’m the “bad guy” from his point of view :-/

flutherother's avatar

If he knows he has hurt your feelings and he can’t say sorry that tells you quite a lot. To say to the mediator that he was nice to you and you weren’t nice back to him is itself not a nice thing to do. Your feelings are most important and you must be careful not to be hurt any more.


I have come to realize that my feelings are very subjective. So when someone has “hurt my feelings” I try to look at it objectively. I have to take my “feelings” out of the picture. Evaluate what and why that person might have done that. I take a real hard look at the event itself and make a decision of a scale of 1 to 10, just how important it is to my life in general. With 1 being not important at all, I generally come to the conclusion it is a “1”. So I give what was said back to the individual that is the owner of those words, and move on. If I remain friends with that person, it will be on a lesser scale. I have been practicing this for quite a few years now, and I have become quite efficient at it. Basically, now I just say to that person ” You say it, you do it, you own it.” Nothing more needs to be said.

shadling21's avatar

Yes, let him know your feelings. Getting everything out in the open is the first step. I hope you can reconcile your feelings – for your own sake, not his.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Having a third party conversation will not bring things to right. You need to sit down with him and say, THIS is how I perceive what you did to me, this is how your actions made me feel. Did you mean to do that? Relying on another person to do your talking for you will only create a lot of additional drama and spin. Sometimes it can help to have a disinterested party arbitrate. Meaning a person who has no involvement with either of you will listen to what you are both saying, and either say, Ranimi, you have a good point there. Or, Ranimi, you are being to sensitive? Or to your friend, when you realized you hurt Ranimi’s feelings, why didn’t you apologize?

This is what’s known as “clearing the air.” Problems and disagreements only get bigger and blown out of proportion if you cannot talk about them. It’s only when you’ve had your say to your friend’s face, and he’s had to answer you looking at you, that you will know whether or not the relationship is worth saving, and if you can forgive him.

daytonamisticrip's avatar

I follow a motto, Forgive but never Forget
I forgave one of my buddies and what she did was complete betrayal. What she did would tear almost anyone to pieces emotionally.

ramblinjack's avatar

I agree with most of your prior responses. The important thing in my opinion is to never forget this fact of Life: forgiveness is EARNED. Obviously your party hasn’t done squat to earn forgiveness, let alone, respect. Giving both to the undeserving is counter-productive to your own well-being. Unless you have a one-sided emotional connection to this person which would overrule your commonsense, I vote to move on. And if it is a relative we are discussing, I suggest you also remember; we pick our Friends, not our “relatives”.

daytonamisticrip's avatar

Ah my second favorite quote.
Only forgive those that wish to be forgiven.

philosopher's avatar

I agree with what you have said. I can tell that your words come from experience.

MissA's avatar

I think that it’s possible to forgive, but how can anyone simply forget? You can forgive and move forward…and, if the other person exhibits behavior that would never allow them to do whatever they did in the first place…then, that’s the best you can hope for.

I think the hardest equation of forgiving is when you live with that person. There’s no space to move through it naturally. You have to put on a happy face and chew your tongue off, lest you start something that you don’t want to finish.

It’s a tough one, no doubt about it.

Battousai87's avatar

This is a very difficult spot, wanting to forgive and forget, but not being able to do either. I’m going to say, that you may need to sit down with the person and talk about it. Explain to them why you want to talk to them, and that you want to forgive and forget what they did to you, but that you can’t seem to bring yourself to forgive and forget on your own. During a talk like this it’s amazing what may come out, you may actually get the apology that you haven’t gotten yet, who knows.

i’ve been in this situation before, sometimes i can pull myself out of it over time, but sometimes i never forgive someone for what they did. It’s easier if someone apologizes but that isn’t always he end all solution for it either. I think that it’s best, if you two can at least be civil towards one another, then you should sit down and talk about it. You may find that just talking about it with him may clear everything up, but also brace yourself just in case it doesn’t. Some wounds the only way for them to heal is to allow enough time to pass that it truly is forgotten


If you must speak with this person, the first thing I would not do is tell them how they made you feel. I personally would say, ” when you said that, it made me think less of you as a quality friend, and if our relationship is to survive, this cannot continue.” Then don’t say another word, it is their turn to redeem themselves or not.

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