Method 1 of 2: Deciding to Forgive
- Think about how you’ve reacted to the situation and what you’ve done because of it. For instance, it probably made you feel angry or upset.
- For instance, if your parents were the ones hurting you, maybe you learned how to be more independent and take care of yourself.
- If it was a friend, maybe you learned what to look for and what to avoid in future friendships.
- A lot of times, people hurt others because they’re hurting, too. It may be helpful to realize that the person hurting you was also feeling bad about themselves.
- Good relationships are hard to keep if you’re holding a grudge or feeling resentful. If your aim is to improve your relationship with someone, forgiveness is essential.
- Talk therapy is a great way to work through your emotions and find positive coping mechanisms.
- Forgiveness isn’t saying that the actions of that person were okay; rather, it’s saying that you’re no longer going to feel upset about them or let them influence your life.
Try to hold onto that forgiveness. You might experience some residual anger or resentment, and that’s okay. Since forgiveness is a decision, just keep telling yourself that you’re forgiving the other person. It will get easier over time.
Method 2 of 2: Setting Boundaries
Talk to the person who is hurting you. If you feel safe doing so, sitting down for a conversation might be helpful. Spell out your feelings and explain that what they did was hurtful. There’s a chance that they might not even know it, and they could even apologize.
- You might say something like, “Hey, could we talk? When you constantly make plans and then cancel them, it really makes me feel like I’m not a priority. It hurts my feelings, and it makes me feel like you don’t value our friendship.”
- Some people might get defensive or angry when you confront them. If that’s the case, talking to them might not be very productive.
Explain what you’re okay with and what you’re not okay with. Some people really need you to spell out your boundaries for them. In clear terms, tell the other person what’s okay with you and what’s not. If they’re confused, you can answer any questions that they have. For instance, you might say:
- “I’m fine with spending time together, but I need my alone time, too. Realistically, I can’t spend every single day with you, because it’s bad for my mental health.”
Let them know that their actions aren’t okay. It will be much easier to forgive someone if they stop hurting you. Try to explain why what they’re doing hurts you and let them know that they should stop. Tell them that if they don’t, your relationship might change.
- Say something like, “I’d really appreciate it if you put more effort into maintaining our friendship. So far, I feel like I’ve been doing all the work, and I’m a little tired. If this doesn’t change, I’m not sure we can stay friends.”
Tell them you forgive them if you think it will help. Since forgiveness is a personal choice, you never have to share it with the person you’re forgiving. However, if you think it might help patch your relationship, you can let them know.
- For instance, you might say, “I just want you to know that I’ve forgiven you for how you’ve hurt me in the past.”
Distance yourself from the other person if you need to. If their actions don’t change, it might be time to move on. If they’re a close friend or family member, you can talk to them about how you’ll be distancing yourself from the relationship. If they’re more of a casual acquaintance, just stop reaching out to them as much.