Forgiveness Isn’t Always the Best Option

Forgiveness Isn’t Always the Best Option

forgivenessBetter Life


When you’ve been hurt, you may feel pressure to offer forgiveness to the person who wronged you. Whether that pressure comes from society, family, or within, it can be hard to ignore it. Sometimes, though, forgiving isn’t the best option.

This may come as a shock because you mostly hear that forgiveness is essential. You will hear that it is the only way to heal and move on, but this isn’t always true.

By not forgiving someone, you are not dwelling on the past or harboring negative emotions. Instead, you are staying true to yourself. No matter what anyone tells you, you do not have to forgive someone who has wronged you.

Sometimes, not only is forgiveness not the best option; it is even the worst option. It is up to you to decide, however, if you will forgive or not. Consider the situation and your other options, and then decide that will be best for you.


Why Forgiveness Isn’t Always the Best

Here are a few signs that you’re not ready to forgive yet.

You Have to Analyze

Some people may tell you that you are overthinking, but you need to think about it in traumatic situations. You have to analyze what has been done to you and how that makes you feel. Plus, you have to think about how you will feel about it in the future.


You Have to Go Through the Healing Process

There is a healing process that you have to go through before you can truly process the situation. There is nothing wrong with going through these steps, and there is no time limit on it.

The process is different for everyone, and forgiveness may not be one of the steps for you. It is possible to heal without forgiving.

It’s Not the Right Time

As stated before, the healing process takes time. Forgiveness may come eventually, but you can’t rush it, and you can’t guarantee it. If you allow yourself the time you need, you will feel empowered, worthy, and smarter than ever.


It Can Diminish Your Self-Respect

When you allow yourself to feel and express anger, you will be empowered. You will be more likely to stand up for yourself, and your self-esteem will rise. On the other hand, forgiving too easily can diminish your sense of self-respect.

It May Cause You to Suppress Your Anger

Suppressed anger may sound easier to deal with, but this isn’t the case. When you suppress your anger, it causes anger to become internalized. It causes negative self-talk, depression, problems in relationships, high blood pressure, and other serious health issues.

Forgiving too Easily Makes it More Likely to Happen Again.

When you forgive too easily, it makes it more likely that the offender will hurt you again. If they get away with it and you let it slide, they’ll think that their behavior is okay. The more often you forgive, the more often they will wrong you.

You Have to Rediscover Who You Are

When you have been hurt by someone you care about, it changes your life. No matter what path you decide to take, things will be different. This means things will never be as they once were, and you have to rediscover who you are.

It Won’t Help You Heal.

Your healing process is the most important thing in this situation. If forgiving the offender won’t help you heal, then don’t do it. It doesn’t make you a bad person, and you aren’t required to forgive.

It Can Make You Feel Isolated

Saying that you forgive someone when you truly haven’t can be even more detrimental to your wellbeing. It can cause you to feel isolated because once you have said the words, it’s not easy to take them back. You won’t feel like you can talk to anyone about it, either, because they may judge your decision.

Forgiveness May Not Be Possible

Sometimes, you are unable to forgive the person who has wronged you. Forgiveness can’t be forced, and it has to be truly felt. You can still find other ways to let go of the anger and pain.

What You Should Do Instead

Although you don’t have to forgive, it’s important to remember not to ignore what happened to you. Ignoring it won’t work, and it can even make it worse. If you ignore it, you may end up isolating yourself or displacing the anger onto those who don’t deserve it.

pop meme
Show Yourself Compassion

When you are hurting or angry, allow yourself to feel it without beating yourself up. It’s normal to hurt when you have been betrayed, so give yourself some compassion. Remember that it is not your fault you were betrayed, and it is fine that you can’t forgive.

Remind Yourself That the Person Who Hurt You is Human

If you can see the offender as what they are, a human being, you’ll be able to get past it without forgiving. Remember that humans make mistakes and, while you still don’t have to forgive, it will help you let go of some anger.

Give Yourself the Chance to Heal

When you are wronged, you are bound to suffer. Give yourself the time and opportunity for this. When you give yourself the necessary time, you will be able to think with a clearer mind.


The healing process is a personal one for everyone, as mentioned before. This step is essential no matter what path you take, so you can’t skip it, and it should begin right away. As hard as the situation is, you have to feel the emotions and work your way through them.

Some days will be worse than others, but it is all part of the process. As you go through it, you will be able to understand your feelings and the situation fully. This will give you the right mindset to decide if you want to offer forgiveness or not.

Stay Active

The busier you stay, the less you will focus on the negative aspects. While it is important to go through them and process everything, you can’t think about it all the time. As you put your energy into doing other things, you’ll find peace and healing.

Inspiration to your Inbox

Remind Yourself of the Reasons You Can’t Forgive

You have to set boundaries for yourself, and when you can’t forgive someone, they clearly crossed the line. Remind yourself that you are keeping yourself safe, whether emotionally or physically.


How to Decide if You Should Forgive

The decision to forgive or not to forgive is entirely up to you. You are the only one who can set boundaries for yourself. Deciding when you’re done is up to you, and sometimes that decision comes after the first betrayal.

When you are making your decision, there are certain things you should consider and certain steps you should take. Remember, the decision is yours to make, despite what anyone else says.

Acknowledge What Happened

You are the only one who knows how much pain you have gone through. Consider what was done to you and how it made you feel. Once you have acknowledged it, it will be easier for you to decide.

Think About If the Person Apologized

If someone doesn’t apologize, they probably don’t deserve your forgiveness. Likewise, if they don’t apologize sincerely, they probably didn’t mean it. It’s also important to remember that an apology doesn’t always make up for what was done, but it will help.


You Heard About the Betrayal from Them

It’s always helpful to find out about the situation from the offender directly. If you had to find out from someone else, it’s a good sign the offended doesn’t respect you.

Consider the Severity of the Situation

Some things are easier to forgive than others, and this is something you have to consider. Only you can determine the way you feel, and that is the true determination of the severity.

Think About How Many Times They Have Done It

If this isn’t the first time, forgiveness may not be the best option. On the other hand, if it is the first time, it may be the only time. There is no way to know for sure, so make the decision you feel most comfortable with.

Think About What You Want to Do

No matter what has happened, you sometimes know what you want to happen next. If you want to give them another chance and know that you can forgive, that is fine.

It’s also fine if you decide you don’t want to give a second chance. Remember that this is your life, and you get to decide who is in it. If you don’t want to forgive, there is no reason you should have to.

Final Thoughts on Why Forgiveness Isn’t Always the Best Option

While many people say that forgiveness is the key to healing and moving on, that isn’t entirely true. You can move on without forgiving the offender, and you can fully heal, too.

The decision to forgive or not is entirely up to you. Don’t let anyone try to control your decision. Remember that forgiveness isn’t always the best option and that it can’t be forced.


2 thoughts on “Forgiveness Isn’t Always the Best Option

  1. Hello and thank you for this comment. Whilst I don’t agree fully with what you’ve said, I do see some of your points as quite valid. Of course, as you mention everyone is different and will have their own views on whether forgiveness is the right way forward. But I would like to ask you a question if I may? What do you see as being the benefit of a person analysing, thinking about what’s been done to them, allowing themselves to hurt before they can heal in contrast with simply reaching a decision to forgive?
    Forgiveness cuts out the middleman if you like, because you reach a point within yourself well none of that matters. I can only offer my own personal experience of when my husband was murdered in a brutal knife attack. Like anyone who loses a loved one in this way, of course the killer occupies your every waking moment. We see them as monster size, someone who dominates our life. But we all have the potential to kill, given the right circumstances and conditions. The only difference is, not all of us are in those circumstances.
    For me it didn’t matter how often or how long I reaped over the memories and the angry thoughts – my husband would still be dead & I would be trapped. So I personally chose the option to forgive. I met with my husbands killer in prison, we talked and I forgave. From that moment on, his image reduced in size to just another human being and I walked away free from anguish. So this is just one perspective and I’m sure there will be many others but for me forgiveness is the door to freedom.
    I do agree with you however, we do not need to forgive but a person who does not forgive completely, will I believe carry the hurt and pain with them through life. Yes they may learn to live with it quite comfortably, but the moment that situation is mentioned the horrors will come streaming back into a persons mind. Thank you for this post it definitely provoked food for thought.

Leave a Reply

Sarah Barkley is a lifestyle blogger and freelance writer with a Bachelor's Degree in Literature from Baker College. She is experienced in all things related to parenting, marriage, and life as a millennial parent, but loves to learn new things. She enjoys the research that goes into a strong article, and no topic is off-limits to Sarah. When she isn't writing, she is immersed in a book or watching Gilmore Girls. Sarah loves reading classic novels but also enjoys a good thriller.

Follow Me: