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How to forgive yourself for hurting someone?

303 Answers
Last Updated: 11/17/2020 at 7:33pm
How to forgive yourself for hurting someone?
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Jessica McDaniel, LPC, LCPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I have been practicing cognitive behavioral psychotherapy since 2007 with a diverse group of adult clients with various diagnoses, all races, and socioeconomic classes.

Top Rated Answers
July 19th, 2018 10:01am
Apologize to the person you wronged , admit your fault , own up to your wrongs , recognize that you can do wrong because you’re human .
July 29th, 2018 11:04am
you should apologize to him and tell him how you feels, you have to promise yourself that you will not hurt people anymore then you will feel better
August 9th, 2018 5:54pm
Even if the person you hurt hasn't forgiven you, you can still forgive yourself. You feel bad for what you did, you knew it was wrong, and depending on the situation you might have tried to change your actions to reflect how sorry you are. You deserve to be able to forgive yourself for you mistakes.
August 12th, 2018 10:58pm
Asking them for forgiveness and doing what I can to make things right and then move on and forgive myself and make sure I do not repeat the mistakes I have made.
August 15th, 2018 7:55am
Forgiving yourself is a hard road. Hurting someone can be extremely emotionally taxing. Try and talk to the person, and see what they have to say, if they can forgive you, then it may make it easier to forgive yourself. You made a mistake, and that is okay. You are still a good person, and accept that.
August 17th, 2018 12:39pm
You can talk to a lister in the 7 cups programme. You need to try and figure out what you did and why you did it. You should give this person time but after a while talk to them about what you did wrong. And never make it sound like you're blaming them. You need to love yourself with whatever way you are. And you should always try and be happy with yourself. Everyone makes mistakes. And mistakes are the things that help us learn for the future. Maybe try and talk to people who care about you or the listeners in 7 cups about what you are feeling.
August 24th, 2018 8:58pm
What's important when it comes to self-forgiveness is to be able to have reached the point of feeling guilty in the first place; so often we fail to understand the negative responses of others towards us as consequences of our own behaviour toward them in the past. In my experience, self-forgiveness has not come easy; I have found it good and well to offer an apology, but the process of making amends has been exactly that, a process, involving actions which are demonstrably different to those I have exhibited in the past. For me it has involved being able to bear shame and to weep openly and honestly; having a confidante has been important in this, as has been the willingness to surrender to a higher power.
September 6th, 2018 8:54am
Hurting people is a very harsh thing to do, but it is always can be fixed. You can forgive yourself and fix this by telling them that you're wrong and admitting your faults towards them. Of course, you'll have to ask their forgiveness after that and offer the will to fix things up for them. This will not only make you a better & honest person, but will also give you the opportunity to not to lose that person, in fact you might bring his/her friendship/relationship because you showed him/her that were responsible for your mistakes and this is the trait of a mature responsible person.
September 8th, 2018 5:05pm
If you want to forgive yourself for hurting someone, then you must first ask for their forgiveness. Buy it must must be a true heart felt forgiveness that truely cleanses ones heart and soul. You should discuss if possible the past hurt that was caused. However, you might be met with resistance on the others part who doesn’t wish to forgive you nor can they forgive because they don’t have the ability to. Grudges are the only thing that they understand. If that is the case then you can be at peace knowing that you have done the best you can. For now you can forgive yourself and them to if need be irrespective if they forgive you or not. Their grudge is theirs for the rest of their life.
September 15th, 2018 2:25am
The correct response to pain and guilt is to Learn to behave differently. This calls for some contemplation: How did I react that way? What can i do next time? What would be the best words for apology (if that is possible)? No one is perfect, and I have made mistakes in the past and survived, but I want to be a better person, one who does not hurt others. So, I promise me this: I will do my best to Improve my Skills, and whenever possible make amends to any person I have hurt. That is all i can do, except Forgive Myself.
September 27th, 2018 10:53am
Many people hurt you in your lives and you swear to yourself never to forgive them, you tend to hate those that hurt you forever but at times you do that your selves unintentionally or intentionally, you hurt those who matter to you, may be you just want them to feel the pain you are going through. When you do this, the better approach is just to buy them a gift, an eatable like an ice cream is the easiest option or otherwise an accessory that can ease the tension between you, repair the damage caused by your words, heal the wounds and strengthen the bond eventually cleansing the air. This is a silent and egoistic way of saying sorry and lifting the burden on your conscience
September 29th, 2018 7:57pm
I try my absolute hardest to be kind and caring to them and improve their life in any way. I feel like that helps me feel better if I know that I’m a positive factor in their life. Even if that is a simple thing, like washing the dishes or tidying the apartment; I know that the little things are important. If this person is a partner, it is great to show them you care by writing them little notes around the house or cooking for them - anything to show your compassion. Everyone is human and you can’t go through life without making some mistakes.
October 5th, 2018 10:12am
In order to forgive yourself it is key to find the root of why you feel this way. Then think about how to overcome these fears. It is natural to hurt someone accidentally or on purpose. Sometimes you can feel guilty and feel like you’ve just lost someone who was close to you. It is best to start off by thinking more positively. Show the person that you truly feel sorry and care for them. Another option is to create some distance. Once both of you are in a calm state, it is suggested to have a heart to heart conservation if possible.
October 19th, 2018 5:06am
Take a breath. Put your hand on your heart. Do you feel that? That is purpose. You are human. I am human. Humans make mistakes, every single one of us. Did you learn from your mistake? The important thing is that we learn from our mistakes. Unfortunately, we hurt people. And people hurt us. A part of life is accepting that and learning how to move on. There are various methods, some include: writing letters to yourself or the person you hurt (you don't have to give it to them), you could try some physical activities like going to the gym to release endorphins. The most important thing is to understand you made a mistake, accept responsibility and then you can start to heal and move on.
October 28th, 2018 11:27pm
if you hurt someone it must have been for a good reason i would suggest if you are having trouble forgiving yourself, say to yourself if you were standing in your friends shoes and heard the conversation that you had then what would you tell yourself? observation from afar is good because you see the whole picture and hear every detail of the conversation so you can tell the person that you are sorry for what you said and tell them that it hurt you to hurt them. if i hurt someone i would feel bad and try to change things between us so there is no hurt.
November 3rd, 2018 8:30pm
I'm a big believer in the idea that you feel the way you think. Placing rigid expectations on yourself--like I must not hurt others, because doing so means I'm an awful person--can lead to extremely negative emotions (e.g., excessive guilt). To forgive yourself, evaluate your self-talk, and if needed, replace any self-defeating self-talk with helpful self-talk. I usually invite people to imagine they are listening to a friend who is going through the same thing. What kind/supportive words would you tell them? Take the words you would share with them and use them to support you. Ultimately, be a friend to you as you'd be with others, and replace any unhelpful words you might tell yourself with supportive ones.
November 4th, 2018 5:41pm
This is tricky and it depends on who you hurt and how you hurt them we can all say or do something that can hurt someone and with out even nowing it and sometimes it can be as little as an expression on your face that can do the damage, you could hit someone which is in some people's view but not in all, how do you forgive yourself well that's upto you and if you ment to hurt the person, sometimes you can just learn by your mistakes and move on which isn't always easy as guilt can eat you up
January 10th, 2019 7:36pm
When you hurt someone it can become really easy to blame yourself for a very long time, but what is really important to remember is that every person makes mistakes. However you have to keep in mind that your mistakes don't define who you are, how you chose to act after you make a mistake that defines the type of person you are. A good step in forgiving yourself is apologizing to the person you hurt and letting them know you feel badly for what you have done. Depending on how you hurt the person they may not forgive you for what you have done, even so it is important that you try and accept that you did what you could to make things better between you and the person you hurt.
January 13th, 2019 8:55am
Identify if there is anyone in your life who has recently treated you badly or if there was someone in your past, maybe a parent or and ex, or a best friend. Maybe it’s not a person who hurt you, perhaps was a situation or circumstance, identify what is was, accepting that something bad happened to you or someone behaved badly towards you is the first step, knowing the reality of what happened and get being a way to let it go, try to work out your feelings and for live your self for not being tolerant of that person or situation, just having an awareness that maybe we play some part in what happens to us can help shape our future, I am far less likely to hurt someone else if I am taking control of my future and am accepting of my self, lastly let it go, it’s in forgiveness and letting go of the past that I can truelly extend the best version my self not only to others and to create more of a life that I want that is loving and peaceful and kind
January 19th, 2019 1:57pm
You can forgive yourself by first recognizing what you did that hurt the other person. The next step is to sincerely apologise and make a commitment to not repeat the thing that caused someone else pain. Make this commitment to change to both the person who was hurt and also to yourself. Find out what motivated you to make the mistake that harmed someone else. Come up with other ways to handle that situation if you encounter it again. Try to come up with more than one solution and consider obstacles to enacting those solutions before the problem arises again.
January 20th, 2019 1:20am
It's not easy to forgive yourself but you need to move on with your life time will help you to forgive yourself for hurting someone it doesn't come easy but you will get there in time remember forgiving yourself isnt an easy fix but it's something else one has to do in time it's so much easier to forgive yourself for hurting someone then it is to live with the guilt, if you can forgive others for hurting you then forgive yourself for hurting someone else , forgive yourself to move forward in your life
March 8th, 2019 2:59pm
It is a hard thing to forgive yourself for hurting someone, especially someone you care about. You need to be honest with yourself. Look at what you did accept that it was done. It was likely a mistake if you are feeling bad and want to be forgiven. Mistakes happen, it is a simple fact of life that cannot be changed. But we can learn from them. Ask yourself and come to terms with why this happened. Once you are able to understand the reason this all took place and you were able to hurt this person you can make movement towards forgiveness. Remember forgiving is hard, often even harder when we have to forgive ourselves. We tend to be our own hardest critics. But if you keep striving toward the goal of forgiveness it can be done.
March 16th, 2019 2:36pm
If you've already sought the forgiveness of the one you hurt, then you may need to confront yourself. The other person may not forgive you but ensure that you have tried. It may sound like a platitude, but you have to accept the fact that you are a human who makes mistakes. That can at times feel like an excuse, but it is a fact. You cannot change anything that happened, You messed up. You may feel as if your mistake is too big, any other error might be understandable, but not 'this'. Perhaps. But 'this', whatever it is, is what you have to deal with. Forgiving yourself shouldn't be about feeling like you are a good person, though you may get to that point. It should be about allowing you to pick yourself up and keep going. Let the feelings of guilt drive you to become a better person. Don't dwell on it and let it destroy you, but keep it in memory and let it actively drive you to making better decisions. All, you can control is what you will do. If you do so with the understanding that it is in human nature to make even the biggest mistakes, then you just might arrive at a better point in your life.
March 27th, 2019 10:12pm
This question is one that I think we all experience. I recently broke up with my girlfriend of ten months and I personally believe the easiest way to forgive yourself is to ask, "why?" Without the why, we spiral downwards and forget who we are and oftentimes see ourselves in such a negative light that the brightness of reality is hard to find. You forgive yourself for hurting someone by understanding the truth of life; no one can move through it without getting hurt. If you've ever been hurt and forgiven someone, then you should know that you yourself should be able to be forgiven. It's that simple, really. We make mistakes, or maybe we make good choices; we have to accept our choices so that we can move forward.
April 6th, 2019 8:28pm
First thing, is taking time to understand that everyone is going to make mistakes, we are all still learning. You cannot beat yourself up for hurting someone, as much as it sucks that you feel you have hurt someone you care about, these things happen in life, you can’t dwell on the situation but instead find ways to resolve it which will naturally make you feel happier as a person. Blaming yourself and refusing to forgive yourself will make the situation have a much worse impact on you, remember we all make mistakes. Nobody is perfect , if we blamed ourselves for every mistake we made nobody would be happy. It’s okay to make mistakes sometimes.
June 12th, 2019 11:04pm
The answer to this question depends on the situation and the people involved, so I cannot objectively talk about it. So I’ll, instead, briefly share my own experience. Recently, I have lost a very important and great individual in my life due to something i have done that had hurt him. Now, in order to fully understand and emphasize with his feelings at the time, and in order to truly understand and face what i have done, i needed to do a lot of self reflecting. I questioned some of my fundamental characteristics which led me to many discoveries about myself and things i needed to change about myself in order to not ever hurt anyone in the same way. In the end, i ended up writing him a letter (in which I acknowledged what i have done and shared some of my self reflection and mostly cherished the time we’ve spent together and overall him as a person). I didn’t have any agenda for writing that letter, but i did feel like it was the right thing to do on my path of self forgiveness.
June 21st, 2019 8:08am
By Reminding yourself that you are human and make mistakes like everyone else. Once you recognize that reality, you should apologize to the person you’ve hurt and take steps to right the wrong you’ve caused as much as possible. By apologizing and taking steps to right the wrong you’ve created, the hurt person will hopefully acknowledge your attempts and forgive you. If the wronged person forgives you, hopefully will lead you to forgive yourself so that you may heal and move forward as well. Also, it is necessary for us to try to figure out why we hurt someone else which may also help us to forgive ourselves
August 16th, 2019 10:06pm
Just remember that in moments, often times we are just doing the best we can with what we've been given. So try to be patient with yourself as you're learning how sometimes the way you react isn't appropriate. And being honest with the person you hurt will help them see that you're only human, too! Definitely easier said than done I'm afraid, but so worth it. If you genuinely care about their well being, the best thing you can do is apologize sincerely and then let them know what frame of mind you were in during the situation. Then they can choose to forgive you, and you'll have a clear conscience too!
August 22nd, 2019 1:44am
I feel like that's a difficult thing to accomplish. Despite someone forgiving us for our actions, we still have this sense of guilt that lingers for a long time. It is important to remember that you need to acknowledge your mistake, and think of it as an experience that you have learned from. Most importantly you need to give yourself time to heal. It is always difficult to forgive yourself for hurting someone simply because you are you worst critic, but rather than criticising yourself, try to understand that you're only human and we all make mistakes that we can't take back.
October 16th, 2019 11:28am
Guilt is a very difficult emotion. I am a guilty person and hate when I hurt people. You need to accept the mistake and work through your emotions. It's great to acknowledge them but then you might want to discern if you want to rebuild or move on from who you've hurt. Only then will you get closure and when you do, that is key in finally being able to forgive yourself. Then finally you could, but your own situation may denote some factors of guilt and forgiveness. If it's a stranger, an apology will suit - if family or friends you may need time.