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How To Forgive And Let Go Of Someone Who Has Hurt You


If someone has recently hurt you, you’ll know just how painful and arduous the process of recovery can be. Whether you’re in the aftermath of a particular emotional injury or have been the recipient of a pattern of toxic behavior, you’ll be carrying around all kinds of scars and want to know how to forgive. You probably know that you need to let go of all that anger and resentment, but it’s incredibly hard in practice. You might have asked yourself “How do I forgive?” and struggled to find an answer that works.

Learning how to forgive is complex, and it can’t happen overnight. However, it is possible, and you’ll be so much better off when you succeed. This guide could help you understand the nature of forgiving someone who has hurt you, and it can show you how you can truly move on. So, keep reading to discover how to forgive someone who has hurt you.

The 5 Stages Of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is deeply personal, so no two individuals will experience it in exactly the same way. That said, it is a process with roughly five distinct stages, and you will likely go through all of these at some point.

Here’s what you can expect from each:

  1. Stage 1: Awareness. You notice that you’re still angry, hurt or bitter about something, and this lets you know that you need to forgive. This awareness is crucial; without it, negative feelings will continue to undermine you at a subconscious level.
  2. Stage 2: Experience. Forgiveness isn’t about suppressing or ignoring painful feelings. In fact, you need to go through a period of fully feeling those emotions. Engage with their full impact, whether by journaling or talking, and let yourself express your rage and pain.
  3. Stage 3: Acceptance. You don’t need to make excuses for the person who hurt you or to endorse the choices they made. In fact, you may not even want to let them back into your life. However, you do have to accept that you’ve had this unpleasant experience and that it cannot be changed.
  4. Stage 4: Willingness to Forgive. Often, it’s only after we experience the full range of our emotions and consign them to the past that we become willing to forgive. At this stage, you’ll really see that there’s no benefit to staying in a place of suffering, and you’ll stop clinging to the old pain that’s holding you back.
  5. Stage 5: Releasing. The final stage of forgiveness is letting go of your grudge and releasing your emotions from your body. Once you do that, you can actively move on with your life positively and productively. You will feel a profound and lasting sense of peace and closure.

(If you want more detailed advice and the tools to further help you today, be sure to grab your FREE Law Of Attraction toolkit, just click here now!)

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How To Forgive And Move On

While the above stages of forgiveness give you a better sense of what to expect, there are of course plenty of other complexities. In particular, it is easier said than done to know what it’s time to move on! When you let go of grudges, you instantly improve your mental well-being.

(Read more about ‘How The Power Of Forgiveness Could Save Your Life‘ in our full article.)

But how do you know when it’s the right time to forgive and let go of someone? Here are some major signs.

Realizing When It’s Time To Forgive And Let Go

  • You feel drained, and feelings of anger or sorrow are stopping you from manifesting a more positive life.
  • You’ve grown apart from the person who hurt you and resentment is really all they are adding to your life.
  • You notice you live more in the past than in the present.
  • Deep down, you know that fear has been holding you back from moving on. Although fear is unpleasant, it keeps you safe from further hurt, but it also keeps you from further joy.

12 Steps for Letting Go Of Someone And Moving On

Just like forgiveness, letting go and moving on are subtly different processes for everyone. But if you’re struggling and want a clear path to follow, work through these 12 steps to find peace and release. Keep reading to discover how to forgive and move on, starting today.

forgive-someone-hurt-youStep 1: Reconnect With Your Heart

Do whatever you need to do to feel like your best, most authentic self. Meditate, be creative, spend time with those who aren’t hurting you, and tap into your heart energy. This is the positive, resilient part of you that will give you the resources you need to recover from pain.

Step 2: Focus On Self-Knowledge

Try to understand the grudge you’re holding on to properly.

Why does it hurt so much? What past wounds does it reactive? What is it about you that means you have been especially harmed by what has happened?

When you turn your insight inwards instead of analyzing the one who hurt you, you’ll empower yourself with self-knowledge.

Step 3: Take Responsibility For Yourself

Another important part of learning how to forgive someone is taking responsibility for whatever role you played in the hurtful event. Your role might be minor or major, but if you don’t acknowledge it then you’ll subconsciously project negative thoughts about yourself onto others. And as you take responsibility for what’s appropriate, allow yourself to receive forgiveness too.

Step 4: Draw Lessons From Dark Times

No matter how awful something is, there are always useful lessons to be learned. In fact, the Universe often sends us challenges precisely so we can grow.

Ask yourself what you can learn from this particular rupture in your relationship with another person. What will you do differently in other relationships? For example, are there firmer boundaries you need to hold?

Step 5: Focus On Kindness, Not Rightness

It’s tempting to ruminate on how wrong the other person is. However, if you want to forgive someone who has hurt you emotionally, you need to focus on this old Chinese proverb: “It’s better to be kind than to be right.”

How can you offer that kindness to the person who wronged you? And how might kindness make your other relationships run more smoothly?


Step 6: Move Away From Judgement

Empathy is a powerful weapon against grudges. Spend at least a little time seeing your current situation from the other person’s perspective.

  • How do things look to them?
  • What do they feel?
  • Why have they done what they have?

This exercise isn’t about finding excuses for bad behavior, but about understanding the complexities and inner struggles we all face.

Step 7: Accept Apologies

Sometimes the other person has no intention of saying sorry. However, if someone is willing to offer you an apology, take it with grace. This doesn’t mean you have to excuse their actions. Plus, you don't even have to welcome the person back into your life if you don’t want to.

However, it does mean putting persistent negative thinking to bed.

Step 8: Don’t Look For Further Offence

When you’ve experienced recent hurt, you might be tempted to keep looking for further offenses. These might be in the same relationships, or just in life in general.

However, if you look for signs of disrespect or reasons to be angry, you will find them! Start your day with the assumption that people will treat you well, and go from there.

Step 9: Expect Goodness

On a related note, it’s important to keep your mind trained on expectations of goodness. This can help you be an open, positive person who attracts the best people into your life.

You might find it helpful to say a daily affirmation like “I attract kind and loving people into my life” or “I expect goodness, and I will receive it.”


Step 10: Visualize Letting Go

Do a daily 10-minute visualization focused on letting go. Some people imagine themselves moving like water, gently flowing through their relationships as they change. Other people imagine their grudge as a physical object that they throw into the sea or over a cliff.

Alternatively, you might see your negativity leaving your body as a colored mist.

Step 11: Be In The Present

As noted above, to forgive and let go you need to take yourself out of the past. Tell yourself that you’re going to give all your energy to this moment and this day, instead of uselessly pouring it into something you can’t change.

Meditation can be helpful here, as can physically grounding activities like exercising or making something with your hands.

Step 12: Give Love

Do your best to align yourself with a loving, giving vibration.

Try writing down 3-5 things that make you feel love at the start of your day, and hold those in your heart. Every time you feel yourself returning to negativity, recite those 3-5 things in your mind. As you give love, so too will you receive it.

(If you want more detailed advice and the tools to further help you today, be sure to grab your FREE Law Of Attraction toolkit, just click here now!)

Recognize The Lessons Learned From Letting Go And Moving On

When you’ve experienced letting go and moving on, you learn a lot about life and about yourself. Toxic relationships with toxic people are incredibly painful, but they’re also richly educational. Recognize that you’ve discovered more about what you need from relationships, your deepest vulnerabilities, and your capacity for healing.

In addition, the process of forgiveness teaches us how to live in the present instead of stewing over the past or stressing about the future. When we are able to enjoy and fully experience each passing moment, we get more out of life and permit ourselves to be happy.

Finally, when it comes to the issue of how to forgive someone who keeps hurting you, make sure you distinguish this from tolerating future emotional injuries. Forgiveness and relationship endings are not mutually exclusive. You can offer forgiveness and let go of grudges while still refusing to let a toxic person back into your life. And in some cases, that may be what you need in order to attain love and well-being.

If you are ready to move on, be sure to discover the missing pieces you need to utilize The Law Of Attraction in your life… Click here now!

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Katherine Hurst
By Katherine Hurst
Katherine Hurst, is a Law of Attraction expert, best-selling author, workshop leader, educator, and award-winning blogger on psychology, life design, structured thinking and emotional wellbeing.

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