3 Truths for Getting Unstuck When Someone Hurts You

Rise & Thrive Series
Rise & Thrive Series
3 Truths for Getting Unstuck When Someone Hurts You

Have you ever felt stuck because someone hurt you and they won’t apologize or acknowledge it?

Have you ever felt stuck because someone hurt you and they won’t apologize or acknowledge it? The problem is that this steals your energy and your happiness. In this episode, I share 3 truths that can help us let go of the pain and move forward with our life.

I recently received an email from a listener with a question and it’s a question that I have gotten a lot over the years in coaching sessions, so I want to spend some time on it here.

The question is this:  How do I move on when someone has hurt me, and they refuse to apologize or take ownership of it?

Trust me, I get this and how painful it can be.

Before answering it, I want to make sure we are all on the same page.  We can all inadvertently hurt someone, right?  We’ve probably all been on both sides of that.  And, in healthy relationships, when that happens, we do our best to talk it out, apologize and invest in the relationship.  So, that is NOT what we are talking about here.

What we are talking about here is when someone hurts you – usually either in a substantial way or it’s a pattern of behavior over time and there is no willingness to come to the table and figure out a better way forward.

With that out of the way, back to the question: How do I move on when someone has hurt me, and they refuse to apologize or take ownership of it? Here are a few things that have helped me and others:

1.      You have to recognize that you don’t need them to feel whole.  Whether or not they ever apologize or admit what they’ve done or own up to that they’ve hurt you, doesn’t really matter.  The behavior that hurt you IS the data point.

I heard an interview with Dr. Thema   Bryant who is a psychologist, minister, and a professor at Pepperdine talk about this and she put it this way: “I don’t want to keep my healing hostage, waiting for the healing of those who have hurt me.”

Really think about that for a minute.  If we are waiting for an apology or for an acknowledgement from the person who has hurt us, we are putting our healing – and our life – on hold.  Meanwhile, the person who has hurt you, probably isn’t even thinking about you or what they’ve done.

You can waste your whole life and you can miss out on all the potentially wonderful relationships you could have by waiting for an apology or acknowledgement that will never come.  I saw my mom do this.  I saw it eat her up alive.  She had been horribly wronged by members of her family.  She desperately wanted an apology.  Even as a kid, I would watch this play out and I just knew that the apology was never going to come.  But it just kept eating away at her.  She missed out on a lot of life because she couldn’t let it go.  Please, please do not do that to yourself.  You deserve more.  Don’t give them your power.

2.      You forgive for yourself, not the other person.  I had heard this for years, and, frankly, had thought:  “what a bunch of baloney,” and then I experienced it for myself and I found peace.  I went from feeling deep pain to the point of having trouble sleeping, to feeling a deep sense of well-being and peace – and I slept like a baby. You don’t even have to tell them that you forgive them.  But when you truly forgive someone for how they’ve hurt you, you will feel peace.


3.      I heard this one from Mel Robbins and it really hit me hard when I heard it because I recognized that this is something that had kept me stuck.  Here’s what she said: “How you feel about someone or something is very different than how that person or thing makes you feel. The weight of the decision about what to do next needs to be on the latter.”


When I heard that I realized that there have been times in the past when I put the weight of the decision on how I felt about a person, or how I felt about a situation. I knew that that had held me stuck in the past.


Here’s how:  when I was 12 my parents moved with my younger sister and I to Missouri.  My two older sisters were over 18 and they decided to stay in Illinois.  That to me was an intensely painful time.  I missed them.  I didn’t get to see them all the time.  I specifically really missed the Christmases we had when we were all under the same roof. After we moved, it felt like our family was never quite the same; we weren’t as close and I always wanted it be that close again.


For years – and by that I mean decades – that longing kept me stuck.  It led me to turn a partially blind eye to some behavior by others in my family that diminished me and was outright disrespectful.  But I kept tolerating it because I was putting more weight on how I felt about them and my desire for it to return to something really special INSTEAD of putting the weight on how their actions were making me feel.


While it was painful, it was a great lesson.  I think that this piece of advice from Mel is something that could release us faster from hurt.


4.      Finally, if there is an unhealed trauma or hurt that you really cannot move past and it is occupying your thoughts, consider seeking a therapist who specializes in this area.

If you are facing this, my final thought is to emphasize to please, please, please do NOT wait for the person who has hurt you to make you whole again.  You are wasting your time and energy with that strategy.  Life is too short and precious. You don’t need them – you’ve got yourself.  You are more powerful than you realize.  Remember that – always.

I hope this was helpful.  Thanks for tuning in.  If you haven’t done it yet, now is a great time to hit that subscribe button.  Have a great week and continue to rise and thrive.


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