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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
avanef
November 16th, 2016 10:09pm
Depending on how you hurt this person and if they're still hurt from whatever happened can be hard. In this world, no matter how many times you apologize and make up for the deed sometimes people will still give you a cold shoulder. The best thing you can do is apologize, and accept it with yourself. Not everyone will accept you back in their lives, but if you accept and love yourself then it won't be something you have to worry about anymore.
Anonymous
November 18th, 2016 9:49am
It's tough, the most important part is accepting that you've hurt them and understanding how/why it happened. Once you've accepted that it has happened and why it happened you then need to focus on letting it go. It's not an easy thing to do; guilt is an extremely potent emotion and it's one of the more tricky ones to deal with!
uniquecreature41
November 18th, 2016 7:11pm
I'm assuming you've had some tough conversations with yourself by this point; you've searched for the answers to why you did what you did, what sent you down that road and most importantly, what reparations you've made toward that person and are they aware of how sorry you are. If you've crossed those hurdles then it's time to know a few things; we're often harder on ourselves than we are on other people, we'll often forgive others before we forgive ourselves and we're also in the invidious position of remembering our own wrong doings long after we've forgotten what others did to us. On that basis, give yourself a break. Know what happened, own it, forgive yourself and move on. None of us is perfect and by making mistakes we learn a huge amount about ourselves in the process. Don't let history repeat itself and make attempts to live a good life; forgiving yourself will follow.
viceroybutterfly11
November 19th, 2016 1:56am
Accept the fact that you already hurt this person and you cannot take it back. What you can do is to say sorry. If you want to prove him/her that you are still worthy of that person's trust, then do it.
compassionateMist30
November 25th, 2016 12:33am
Its not easy. I cheated on my girlfriend back in june. I was overwhelmed by guilt but the best thing i found to forgive myself was help others. It makes me feel less bad of a person despite my wrongful actions
StellarBee
November 27th, 2016 7:11am
Recognize that you are a human being, and human beings, every single one, has their flaws. You are not perfect. Everyone hurts people sometimes, and most of the times it's an accident. If you feel genuine regret, you should recognize it and move on. You can't change the past. You made a mistake, yes, but now you should be looking forward into the future, because that is what matters, in the end. Forgive and move on.
CallieinCali
November 27th, 2016 11:41am
Sometimes forgiving yourself is the hardest person to forgive. In my experience, forgiving yourself starts with understanding what happened and how the other person feels. Sometimes, you may not have even upset them and just feel like you have. Talking with that person about how you feel, can help them and help you come to terms with what you're feeling.
Anonymous
December 28th, 2016 7:53pm
You first ask for forgiveness from the one you have hurt, if possible. Even if they don't forgive you, you did what was right in apologizing and asking for their forgiveness. Then, being gentle with yourself and knowing we all make mistakes and act out of character at times. No one is without flaw.
calmArrow53
January 8th, 2017 12:23am
The first step may be to apologize to this person if you are able. It is a lot easier to forgive yourself if you don't trap your guilt inside of you, because over time it can just build up. And to also know we are all human. Every single one of us makes mistakes, nobody is exempt from this. We're not human if we don't make mistakes. So try not to be too hard on yourself.
BradyHero
January 13th, 2017 6:19am
It is part of human nature to make mistakes. While it is never good to hurt other people, often we hurt others unintentionally, or because we ourselves are suffering. If you have not already, be sure to apologize and do what you can to rectify the situation, but if there is nothing further you can do, you should let it go as much as you can. Guilt eats away at a person, and it is best to let it go if you can. If you have done all you can to fix it, it is time to let your mistake go.
BrightPup
January 18th, 2017 7:34pm
When I've experienced challenges like this in the past, I have found it helpful to remind myself that I'm human. Humans make mistakes. We're not perfect and sometimes we do things that we really wish we hadn't. I like to take a moment to acknowledge that I'm disappointed in myself, and recognize that no amount of beating myself up will change what happened. Rather, by being kind to myself I provide the space and opportunity to learn how to be more mindful of these situations in the future. Self-compassion exercises can be really helpful for this!
helloyello17
January 21st, 2017 9:46pm
To forgive yourself for hurting someone is to essentially come to terms with the fact that you can't change the past. If the person you've hurt doesn't yet forgive you, then it would be harder for you do do as well, so that would be the first step. If they have forgiven you, then its just kind of up to you to stop thinking in the past and live in the present.
Hash394
January 26th, 2017 7:41pm
The first thing to do would be to identify why you hurt them. Was it personal? Was it competitive? Was it accidental? Second, analyse how you felt after you realised you hurt them. Third, ask yourself whether or not you would - consciously or unconsciously - do it again, to them or to anyone else. Fourth, try to have them forgive you. I've found that I feel a lot better if I know that there's little/no hard feelings. Fifth, remind yourself that you're only human, and we all make mistakes. Sixth, and most importantly, try to counter that negativity with positivity. Help that person, make them smile, earn forgiveness rather than begging for it.
gmgxxx
February 1st, 2017 2:32am
Remember that you as a person are unique, an individual and special. There's no one out there like you, and if that person forgives you for hurting them, then it's time to take it upon yourself to remember that there is only one you, and if you do not forgive yourself then you won't be entirely happy and wont be able to look at the future and be excited for what is to come
dropwithus
February 15th, 2017 2:37pm
I've never actually forgiven someone, but I tend to just forget about that person, and move on with my life.
Anonymous
February 23rd, 2017 11:27pm
Accept that what happened is in the past. If you are able to directly make amends to that person then think about doing so but only if you know the other person will appreciate it. Whatever it was you said or did, hold on to the feeling of what you did and work hard to ensure it doesn't happen again. Be your own best friend and give yourself a break. No one is perfect. Be there for a friend who needs you, heal yourself by helping others. I hope this helps.
gentlePassion76
March 17th, 2017 1:12am
It's a grunt feel happens when you realise your mistake and you try to get forgiveness from the one you hurt, but it should be sought the other by us.
positiveWings321
March 17th, 2017 3:33pm
Try writing how you feel down in a journal/ story/ poetry. Writing can help when you are going through forgiving yourself.
Ciena
March 30th, 2017 9:51am
It's so easier to forgive others than forgive ourselves isn't it ? What I have found however is that asking forgiveness to the person you have hurted is a good first step
CK927
April 1st, 2017 4:29pm
In order to forgive yourself, you must first seek the forgiveness of that person. Ask for forgiveness and learn to humble yourself and have that experience as a lesson to learn from and not become out of spite or regret. By doing this you are forgiving yourself, you are learning to put the other person's shoes and look at it from their point of view. However long it takes for this lesson to happen, keep forgiving yourself for acting and feeling a certain way and learn from your mistakes.
BriteDay78
April 9th, 2017 3:10am
Think of a bathtub that is filled with both forgiveness and trust. In our flawed human way, we pull the plug and everything drains out. If you seek out forgiveness and to restore the relationship with the person you hurt, you can earn about half a bathtub back if they forgive you. However, you can only build trust one drop at a time and it can be a slow procedure. In the case that the person won't forgive you, don't give them the power to feel badly about yourself. We are all human and we all make mistakes. It is said that we are to love others as ourselves. Love yourself, offer yourself forgiveness for not meeting your expectations in this relationship and use it to learn from. You are worth forgiving!
ZedOfPatch
April 12th, 2017 11:03pm
Forgiveness always start within oneself. Forgive yourself for the things you have done and accept that what happened cannot be undone. There's always another chance to make up to whatever you did, don't be too hard on yourself.
Anonymous
April 16th, 2017 5:20pm
you can forgive yourself for hurting someone by realizing that everyone makes some mistakes in their life. And that it's okay. Just tell yourself that as long as you try your very best to be the best and kindest as possible, it's going to be okay. Apologizing to the person you hurt and talking it out to them can also help. Have a good day.
Anonymous
April 19th, 2017 8:23pm
It might take some time but I'm sure you didn't set out to intentionally hurt the person. Everybody makes mistakes and unfortunately you end up hurting people just like people may end up hurting you too. Try not to be too hard on yourself.
lovelyStar68
April 20th, 2017 1:53am
Come to your senses. Think about what exactly you think you did wrong, and just try to make up for it by being there for that person and just showing compassion will help you from feeling guilty
grantvire
April 27th, 2017 11:40pm
Make sure you apologise to them and then change your behaviour so you don't repeat it and understand what you did was wrong but that you're still learning and making an active effort to change. Everyone deserves second chances.
Moonboii
April 28th, 2017 10:37am
You don't need to make peace with that someone, You need to make peace with yourself. You need closure, and it's easier to establish closure if you turn the experience into a lesson. Sometime you don't get apologize after you've done something wrong, so make sure when you get the chance you take it. You are now in the unique position to appreciate every opportunity to apologize. That's a lesson you can feel good about, and it's a lesson few people will have learned as well as you. And you can still hold out hope that down the road the opportunity may present itself.
kindBeauty90
May 14th, 2017 5:41pm
Consider it like this ; when someone hurts you and they apologise, you forgive them no matter hiw bad they've done to you because they've realise that what they've done is wrong ; you knew that whatever you did is awful everybody makes mistakes, now you should ask forgiveness from yourself, and you should be kind to yourself because you've come along way and there's no way what you have done could've been avoided.
friendlytalk
May 14th, 2017 5:44pm
If i have hurted someone, the first thing is to realise the mistake and when you realise the same, its good to accept it and asking for an appology for the same and it will really feel much better after doing the same. :)
Anonymous
May 19th, 2017 12:25pm
Understand the motive behind what you did. Was there any other thing you could do at that time? Maybe,you did that because there was no other option or maybe because it was for the better. If you've this question in mind,then that means you've hurt yourself too by hurting that person,give yourself some time! Realise that its a hard thing and now that you've made up your mind, you will try to forgive yourself,slowly,step by step. Take careā¤