Why You Should Never Forgive Someone Until You're Actually Ready

When someone has hurt you, you're generally faced with two choices: to hold on to anger and resentment or to forgive the offender and move on with your life.

But forgiving someone doesn't come easily, and generally speaking, healthy, positive, well-meaning people often try to move past the incident before they're ready.

The truth is, as someone who has forgiven others before I was actually ready, I've realized in retrospect that giving myself time to process my emotions would have been more healthy.

Hurt feelings take time to heal.

After someone hurts us, we all might feel the urge to "rise above" our resentment, hoping to move on with our lives for the sake of our own mental health, when in fact, what we are doing is trying to avoid the discomfort of feeling so hurt.

But, this isn't healthy either.

The risk you take by verbally forgiving someone before you're ready is carrying that resentment and distrust into your next relationship or experience.


Because we as human beings tend to stay glued to what we hate, and resentment that goes unprocessed will not stay buried forever.

True forgiveness only comes when all of our feelings and emotional pain have been worked through and actually expressed.

This means that while crying, journaling, punching a pillow and screaming might feel like a pointless tantrum, it's actually a more speedy and efficient at getting you to a point of forgiveness than simply making a decision to forgive someone.

Emotional pain is messy.

It's embarrassing. It feels gross, if you judge yourself for it.

But by relinquishing control over your emotions and allowing yourself to express them fully, you'll truly be able to move on.

At a certain point, you'll feel like, "OK, phew, happy I got all that out."

You'll most likely learn more about yourself in the process, and you may even find that your disappointment came from something much deeper than just the inciting incident.

Forgiveness doesn't mean you're denying the other person responsibility for the actions they took to hurt you.

It simply means allowing yourself to let go of those feelings of resentment and pain.

And you can't do that without feeling them first.