black man apologizing while talking with girlfriend

Why Forgiving People Without an Apology is Hard

Why forgiving people without an apology is hard


I once read a book called How to Forgive, by John David Ruiz. The book was very inspiring and full of useful information about how to forgive people who have hurt you. It also gave some great ideas for how to let go of anger and resentment, which are two emotions that can hold us back from living our best lives. However, in the course of writing this article, I realized there was one part of forgiveness that wasn’t addressed. What about when someone hurts you but isn’t sorry? As it turns out, forgiving someone who has done wrong without an apology is harder than simply forgiving them if they apologize first! In this article, I’ll give six steps on how to do just that…

Step 1: Take a second to acknowledge your feelings.

First, we have to acknowledge that we’re hurt. We need to admit that we’re experiencing these feelings and see it as something that is okay and normal. It’s not our fault if someone is an asshole and doesn’t apologize. It’s their fault! If they did something wrong, they should apologize and make things right again. But the cycle of angering and hurting people often goes on. Because people don’t take the time to stop being angry long enough for them to realize this (or even remember it).

It’s important here not to blame yourself for anything you may have done in response, or for what happened in general; all those things are irrelevant now because there was never any reason for it in the first place!

Step 2: Try to understand the situation.

Step 2: Try to understand the situation.

To forgive someone, you must first understand where they are coming from. If your friend is married and has two kids with another woman but then cheats on her with you, it’s important for you to know that she sees herself as a single mother who deserves love and affection. That way, when she does something hurtful like sleeping around or cheating on her husband, again and again, you can take into account what she’s going through without letting yourself get dragged down by an unhealthy relationship dynamic.

silhouette photo of couple during golden hour
Photo by Rodrigo Souza on

“Trying to see things from someone else’s perspective can help us feel less angry at them,” says Dr Joe Pierre-Louis of the University of Toronto Scarborough in Canada – so try picturing yourself in their shoes and looking at everything they’ve gone through before deciding whether or not they deserve forgiveness…

Step 3: Write a letter to the person who hurt you.

You’re ready to write the letter. You scroll through your phone contacts and select their name, but then you hesitate for a moment. What if this doesn’t work? If it makes things worse? Maybe I accidentally find out that they’re cheating on their spouse with their coworker…again?

You know what? Forget this. I’m going to go get some coffee and watch that new season of Big Bang Theory on Netflix instead of doing this right now.

But before you give up completely, there’s one more step: don’t send it yet! It’s okay—you can take as long as you need.

Step 4: Try letting go.

Letting go is different than forgiving, although the two are often confused. Forgiving a person who has wronged us means letting go of them and their actions. As well as any anger or resentment associated with those actions. Letting go is about accepting the situation and moving on without attaching negative feelings to it. This can be difficult when they are part of your daily life. For instance, parents who don’t come through on promises are a common source of hurt that can lead to anger, depression, or anxiety.

If you find yourself unable to let go for whatever reason (perhaps your parent is physically abusive), removing yourself from an unhealthy situation may be necessary before forgiveness becomes possible.

Step 5: Break the loop.

Your final step is to break the loop. You’ve stopped caring about the person who hurt you, but they’re still on your mind. This can be a problem because when we hold grudges and think about the past, we remain stuck in it and unable to move forward. So how do we move on?

First of all, stop thinking about them entirely. Don’t even look at their name or picture online anymore! If there’s something good happening in their life (like getting married), don’t read about it online either; find out from someone else instead.

Next, focus on yourself and what you want to do with your own life instead of dwelling on what happened between you and that person. If possible take some time off from work or school so that this becomes easier for you. If not then try setting aside 15 minutes each day just for yourself where no one else can bother either of us at all.”

Step 6: Set boundaries.

You’re almost there. You’ve made the decision to forgive someone without an apology, but you still have some work to do.

Setting boundaries is the last step in forgiving people who don’t apologize. Boundaries are personal limits or rules for how people should treat you. For example: “You can call me on any day of the week at 7 pm EST for a conversation about anything except your feelings about my dog peeing on your shoes when we were dating and I was living with you in college. That ship has sailed and sunk in the deepest ocean trench that exists, so please don’t bring it up again! Okay? 🙂 See ya later!”

So what makes those kinds of boundaries different from other kinds? Setting them requires self-awareness. You need to know what makes you feel safe, respected, empowered, and cared for before others can respect those things too (or vice versa).

It’s also important not to take criticism personally when it comes from someone who doesn’t understand or respect your boundaries. This person may be making an honest mistake without being intentionally hurtful toward anyone else involved with this situation.”

Sometimes when someone hurts us it is better to forgive them without an apology

Sometimes when someone hurts us it is better to forgive them without an apology.

  • Set boundaries: The first step in forgiving someone without an apology is setting boundaries. If you are being abused, then set a boundary with the person who is hurting you, and stick to it. Tell them that they can no longer talk to you or be around you if they continue abusing you in any way (physical or emotional). This can be done by writing a letter or face-to-face conversation with the abuser if possible.
  • Break the loop: Once your boundaries are set, break the loop by not thinking about what happened anymore and redirecting towards something else (art/crafts) for example, this will help your mind stop thinking about past events and start focusing on other things instead!
  • Let go of grudges: Try not to hold onto grudges against anyone because doing so only causes more pain than necessary! Doing this will also help release stress off of shoulders where tension builds up over time. Due to negative thoughts all day long while trying hard not to think about anything bad happening because otherwise, life would become too stressful too fast!
black man apologizing while talking with girlfriend
Photo by Alex Green on


If you’re having trouble forgiving someone for their wrongdoings, try these steps. They can be hard, but they are also much more productive than holding a grudge.

2 thoughts on “Why Forgiving People Without an Apology is Hard

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: