5 Signs It's Okay To Forgive Someone Who Hurt You

Your heart will feel free once you do.

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Assuming you have or have had some major conflict with someone in your life, no matter how dastardly the act or the victimization you may feel, the short answer is that it’s always OK to forgive someone. In fact, it’s absolutely necessary if you want to gain the emotional freedom it takes to have a truly happy life.

Before you start to mentally list all of the ways someone may have wronged you or gotten too deep in defense of your right to resent, within the context of emotional healing, forgiveness means releasing yourself from the imprisonment of someone else’s choices.


We don't have to live "at the consequence" of anyone else's dysfunction when we're willing to forgive. It’s making a power move to frame and accept whatever was done "to" you and design it into something that was done "for" you to access your source of strength.

In other words, whatever the intentions of the one who hurt you, they will be rendered powerless by your choice to find growth and healing through your pain.

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That said, of course, forgiveness can also be about apologies and hearts and flowers and mending relationships. Whatever we want to create with or without another person can be accessed through forgiveness. Sometimes it’s a new healthy beginning, sometimes it’s a healthy end (closure).

So, when is it right to move forward? How do we know when it's okay to forgive?

5 Signs It’s OK To Forgive Someone

1. You're overthinking what happened and it loops in your mind.

Overthinking makes us question and analyze their behavior and our behavior often, which makes us worried about the fallout. Instead of thinking about the situation on a loop that is bringing you down, forgive and move on.

2. You're also somehow 'guilty.'

Where there is conflict, there are no innocents. If a relationship has broken down, shaming ourselves with guilt helps no one. Owning our own behavior, and forgiving ourselves (and the other person) frees everyone.


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3. Someone has made you an unwilling victim.

In instances of rape, incest, mugging, or abuse, forgiveness is not something we do for the offending monsters that prey on our weaknesses. It’s what we do to free ourselves from staying in resentment and continuing to suffer from the negative impact their actions have on us.

Otherwise, we’re choosing to let them victimize us over and over again.

4. You find yourself wasting time on thoughts of revenge.

It's said that if you’re digging someone’s grave, best to dig two. It’s not just about turning the other cheek. It’s about realizing that we all have to reckon with our own karma.


Unlike teachers on the playground, karma doesn’t care if "She hit me first!"

5. You want to heal your heart and free up your emotional bandwidth for real, connected relationships.

Forgiveness is the cure for a broken heart. It can be challenging to say the very least and, unfortunately, many of us think forgiveness is only for the devout. It’s a sad misconception.

We all have the capacity to take the steps. We just don’t automatically know how to allow a full, cleansing process of letting resentment go.


RELATED: 5 Little Signs You Can Trust Someone Completely

Candice Harper is a love and life coach and host of the Loving Relationships for Women of Color podcast, who specializes in helping successful, single women create the love life they desire and deserve.