There are several different ways to forgive someone who has never apologized to you for their hurtful behavior. It is difficult to do but thankfully, it is not impossible. While an apology is wonderful and helpful in restoring a relationship, it isn’t necessary. You just have to go about granting forgiveness in a different way when searching for ways to forgive someone when they have never apologized to you.
1. Realize Who You Are Really Hurting
You need to realize who you are really hurting when you hold on to unforgiveness. Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. Realizing that you are the one being hurt by the grudge is the first step when taking steps in ways to forgive someone who has never apologized to you. The other person may not have any idea you are holding on to this hurt. I have heard it said that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die, and that is very true.
2. Living Well is the Best Revenge
You know, as I have journeyed through my life thus far, I have learned this lesson well. If you have someone who really wants to hurt you or has injured you in some way, this is the way to truly have revenge. This is because it isn’t really you taking a vengeful action at all. But living well and having a joyful, happy life will erase any wounds and intentional hurts they have thrown your way. Make the choice to forgive by moving on.
3. Write an Angry Letter
You know, sometimes you just need to say things to someone but you really can’t say them because if you did, the results would be catastrophic. When this is the case, you need to write an angry letter. An angry letter is when you write the person a letter that you will never, ever give them and express all of your anger and hurt toward them. This is very powerful and helps give vent to all that yucky stuff taking up room in your heart. When you are finished, rip the letter up into tiny pieces and throw it away.
4. Visualize Yourself Releasing Your Hurts
A very helpful practice in forgiving someone who has never apologized to you for the wrong that they have done is to visualize yourself releasing the hurts they inflicted. This can be as simple as closing your eyes and pretending those feelings are being removed out of your heart. You can choose to visualize yourself ripping up all of those bad feelings when you rip up your anger letter. You can say "I forgive you" out loud, when you are alone, to help yourself get through the process. There are many ways you can do this; you have to find what works best for you.
5. Practice Kindness
Kindness is a way to do two things at one time. It shows your true character and integrity while also disarming hurtful actions. This is a difficult tactic to use because it feels somewhat passive aggressive but it is very, very effective. Even if you start small, it will work. Just giving someone who has hurt you a sincere smile is a first step.
6. Feel Sorry for Them
I have learned that many times people that act in ways that hurt and injure are not in a good place in their life. They may be jealous of you. They may have a personality that has major flaws. If you can get to a place where you feel sorry for them, it can change your outlook and help you to be more forgiving. I try to take a step back when I am in this situation and look at their life and see if perhaps they are lashing out because they are unhappy.
7. Remember Hurting People Hurts People
Going hand in hand with feeling sorry for those that hurt you is to remember that hurting people hurts people. What actions they have taken against you are rarely ever about you. They are about them and their own inner heart and thoughts. If you come up against someone who acts very hurtfully toward you, chances are they have some deep inner wounds that explain why they are lashing out. I try to look at a hurtful person as an injured person and I can feel more compassion.
Forgiveness can be difficult to give to someone who has never apologized to you. Have you come up against this in your life? How did you let go of past hurts?