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Life, Self

5 Steps to Forgiving Someone (When It’s Too Difficult To Do It)

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Not trying to sound high and mighty, but you see, I’m pretty much a forgiving person!

Weirdly, I have this trait that although I can take things very personally and am easily hurt, I guarantee you, guilting people about my pain isn’t my cup of tea. I opt to forgive in a flash after they apologize (and even if they don’t).

However, life sometimes hits us hard, and people can infuriatingly cross our boundaries.

Betrayals, felonies, lies, and infringements — these seemingly “unforgivable” trespasses can mount up into a trauma and  a distressed heart.

Even if we can wrap our heads around the idea of forgiveness, deep down, we can’t seem to do it. Our minds say, “Forgive!” but our heart states otherwise.

Indeed, forgiveness is an excruciating course of action, and I truly understand why many of us struggle with it.

If you’re also dealing with this challenge, I’ll tell you 5 steps to forgiving someone to help soothe your heart and eventually move forward in this selfless attempt of forgiveness.

5 Steps To Forgive Someone
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Why Is It Important To Forgive?

Why? Because in this world we live in, we’re more interconnected than we thought we are.

My tone of voice, my decision to work from home, or even the way I prepare coffee in the morning – it all has an effect on the people around me, even if it seems super small.

Truly, people pick up each others’ vibes, behaviors, and lifestyle.

So, in the grand scheme of things, given how connected we all are, forgiving someone, or being forgiven, could be way more significant than we think.

Whether you give forgiveness or not either makes or breaks. It could determine whether we keep that whole cycle of compassion going or just slam the brakes on it.

While an unforgiving heart eventually leads to more disaster we may not initially notice, the forgiving one insists that compassion continues.

Indeed to forgive is difficult, and if you’re someone who’s struggling to do it, then here are the 5 steps.

5 Steps to Forgiving Someone (When It’s Too Difficult)

Step #1: Understand why forgiveness matters

Meditate about this: Why do we even have to forgive people?

As mentioned, we’re way more connected than we realize.

The act of kindness can totally spread like a domino effect from one person to another, but scarily, the crummy things in life does the same, too.

Thus, with an angry heart, the vengeful rule “eye for an eye” leaves everyone blind. “Tooth for a tooth” keeps everyone in discomfort.

It should be obvious how the lack of forgiveness creates walls, hatred, and wounds, but the sad thing is many people fall for this principle and yearn for the satisfaction of “justice being served.”

This is not the path and ideals we should follow.

See, revenge is retaliation to let others feel the same torment you felt, making you feel better. Justice is a way to straighten things out. Its goal is to fix and restore.

But also, while it’s ideal how forgiveness work on both people in the story, it could also be one-sided. Some people don’t even wish to ask for your forgiveness, and still be prideful about it. Regardless, do it even if it’s for your own sake.

We can’t dream of a “better world” if we don’t know how to forgive because mercy and forgiveness is the one thing that stops the dreadful cycle of hate, making way for the cycle of compassion.

Related Post: 13 Valuable Tips To Become A Better Version of Yourself

Step #2: Take your time.

Some trespasses are brutal and really, really hard to forgive. There are betrayals and humiliation that cut deep into your heart, and despite wanting to forgive, it would feel like a heavy boulder on your chest that never goes away.

I personally experienced a shortness of breath and a trembling anxiety whenever the person who wronged me approached me. Forgiveness is always in my mind, but when you’re in the situation? Dang, it is easier said than done.

In these cases, don’t force yourself. Healing takes time, a work in your perspectives, and a process of letting go.

Let time heal the painful memory, until you no longer feel the despicable emotion.

Some people can’t forgive because they constantly relive how wrong a person and the betrayal was. At first, it’s a natural reaction.

Still, don’t rush. At the end of the day, forgiveness is your end goal – no matter if it takes months or years.

It’s better to give a genuine forgiveness later, than give a cheap one saying “Yeah, I forgive you,” only to dig back in the past when things crumble again.

Step #3: Stop with the nicknames.

Another tip to forgiving others — stop with the nicknames.

Remember when we use “nicknames” or “titles” to hide the identity of the person we’re gossiping about?

It’s intentionally made to cover up insults, right? There’s an ill intent, branding the nasty things a person had done.

Who could blame us? We cuddle on these words so we can at least get our revenge by demeaning them behind their backs.

But if you’re genuinely willing to forgive someone, this is the very thing we’re leaving behind.

Drop the name-calling. Start calling that person by their name, not by their flaws and mistakes.

You see, a study shows how name-calling negatively impacts a person’s experience even after a long time. But if we look closer, as name-callers, it affects us too. We warp our beliefs around anger towards the person, which promotes hatred even more.

We never heal because we’re so caught up into highlighting how they did us wrong.

That said, to truly heal, drop your ill thoughts and start seeing the person as they are – as a human being who can commit mistakes and can be forgiven. See them as people who can change, regret, and be better.

Step#4: Don’t gossip about it.

Next, stop participating in gossip. Don’t try to open up a topic about someone as if it’s a feast to dig in.

When I’ve experienced betrayal, I admit I talk about the event nonstop because I needed to vent it out, or else I’d explode. I was so confused, hurt, and mad. Crazy mad.

As I vent my anger, I unconsciously took people on my side, positioning them against that person. Looking back at it now, I feel the guilt. I could no longer take back those words.

Now, I zip my lips. And if the topic goes in that direction, I’ve started talking about how I want to move on, mentioning my willingness to forgive. My friends no longer loathe the person because I’m the first to defend now.

And defending the person now is my way to internally apologize for all the clashes that started because of me.

Again, the cycle of crummy things either starts or stops with us. Hold back on our words.

Step#5: Acceptance

Although the relationships and friendships may not recover as close as before, the goal is to accept what had happened until you can look at the person and say, “I still love you as a human.”

You would see the person for who they are, not for what they did. Those records of wrongs would be all buried in the past. Is it hard? It is. Are there scars? Yes, there are.

But when you have truly accepted it, no past, no trust issues, and no doubts shall hold you back.

I truly believe that apologetic hearts are willing to change, give them the chance.

You may separate ways or continue to be together, but the most important thing is you no longer carry the baggage of their mistakes. You no longer wish for another person’s downfall. No anger or grudge. You’ve been freed from that shackle.

This is the emotional benefit of forgiveness.

Should I forgive and forget people’s trespasses?

Before, I was a keen believer in judging someone based on how good or bad they were in the past. Yup, I was pretty judgmental.

However, as I grew older and experienced life, I realized that people are complex creatures influenced by various things. Over the years, change was evident in me, and so was with the others.

Simply put, people’s messed up decisions in the past don’t define who they are forever.

Knowing this, should we forgive and forget? True forgiveness includes forgetting their trespasses.

You no longer look back and say, “Hey, but you did that to me first! Remember when…” Na-ah.

When we choose to forgive and forget, something magical happens. Sincere and apologetic people do their best to change.

They grow and learn, gradually transforming the connection between the forgiver and the forgiven. Just be patient, as it would take them time.

But of course, we have to be realistic too. Not everyone who says sorry really means it. There are some folks out there who keep on doing the same old thing without any genuine remorse. So, it’s important to be able to tell the difference.

Now, should we forget people’s trespasses? My answer is yes.

Genuine forgiveness gives someone a clean slate, a chance to rewrite their story. And who knows? Maybe in doing so, we’ll find a little change day by day, month by month, year by year.


Forgiveness is difficult, but it is definitely the right thing to do as it brings you more intrinsic peace and harmony with other people. It may be quite stirring initially, but remember, narrow is the path to the good things, and only a few take it.

Don’t be the person who will take the easy road – which is to despise someone and sever relationships. Choose what is right and harmonious, although no one said it is easy.

Lastly, forgive as how God forgives. You’d realize how far greater this concept is in making this world more livable.

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Hi, I'm Maj! I'm a spirited daydreamer who broke free from the corporate grind to chase a life of passion and freedom. Proudly introverted and a fan of minimalistic living, I still thrive on discovering new things and diving into exciting ventures—like creating my own income streams, starting small businesses, and setting unique goals. As an empath, I live true to my strengths and vibrant imagination, with a focus on compassion, truth, and authenticity. Welcome to my blog! :)

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