Meaningful Living

Forgiving A Person Who Is Not Sorry.

Are you one of those who wait for an apology before forgiving a person?

If you have ever had to wait for an apology that is not forthcoming, you will agree that forgiveness takes a bit of effort.

Typically, it is almost like we only consider forgiving a person after they must have apologized.

The apology somehow stands as the conviction you need to be certain a person is remorseful. It is also at this point that you either accept an apology and forgive or request for more time.

However, what do you do when the apology you expect is not forthcoming?

First instinct will be to fight several attempts to let go and you struggle with feelings of anger, hurt or both. When this lingers it becomes unhealthy and affects your mental health.

Forgiving a Person Who is Not Sorry

Why You Should Forgive Even Without An Apology.

Holding a grudge is like allowing a person live rent free in your mind.

You run through different emotions when you see or think about them and this builds animosity/negativity unintentionally.

This negativity sometimes blocks your opportunity to key into positive affirmations and your conscience will always remind you of unresolved issues.

It is always a better option to let go of occurrences that upset you just by forgiving. Easier said than done right?

Forgiving a Person Who is Not Sorry

Think about it this way, Forgiveness does not have to happen only after you get an apology. The truth is, if you decide to wait for an apology, you will hurt more if it never comes.

For your mental health, make a conscious effort to always choose peace of mind, drop the weight of anger and unforgiveness. It helps you more than the person who offended you.

Thought Process to Help you Forgive a Person Who is Not Sorry.

According to Wikipedia, Forgiving someone involves the intentional and voluntary process by which the ‘victim’ undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as resentment and vengeance, and does this with an increased ability to wish the offender well.

While it is certain that you are the victim and have been wronged, forgiving someone means letting go of all wrong doings by person.

This includes letting go of your expectation of better behavior or apology.

If you intend to forgive a person who is not sorry, the tips below will help you make up your mind:

Forgiving a Person Who is Not Sorry

1. People are a replica of how they are trained.

While we all expected to behave in a civil manner, it is also important to note that people will always act out what they are used to seeing.

For instance, if a person grew up in an environment where verbal or physical abuse is constant, it is possible that this attitude will be replicated towards others.

People pick up bad habits from different places and if they are not taught to unlearn these bad habits, it may become a lifestyle for them.

Unfortunately, you still hear some people make statements like – it is too late to unlearn a bad habit even after they have been called to order.

For your sanity, just remember that you are never the problem. The problem is clearly from the person who failed to realize that personal growth involves learning, unlearning certain habits and relearning.

When you realize that people are sometimes a replica of their home training, it is easier to forgive them. Remember, you are not the problem and they are only displaying a faulty upbringing.

Forgiving a Person Who is Not Sorry

2. Your Mental Health and Space is Your Priority.

I am very enthusiastic about mental health awareness and I always advocate that everyone puts theirs first.

When your mental health is important to you, you understand that it is unacceptable to bear grudges or hold on to hurt for too long.

Being mentally aware encourages you to let go of negativity and this involves forgiving those people who have failed to acknowledge that they hurt you.

Forgiving a person who is not sorry does NOT mean you are enabling their bad behavior, it just means you are mentally aware and you are your own top priority.

Again, because you are your top priority, think about your mental health and move on without expectation. Take care of your mental health and space, it is your responsibility.

Forgiving a Person Who is Not Sorry

3. Be the Bigger Person.

You must have heard this line a lot, but it truly helps to be the bigger person.

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong – Mahatma Gandhi

If you have been faced with this situation, you know It takes a lot of self control, confidence and high self- esteem to walk away from a person who wronged you especially in the heat of the moment.

You have the right response and perfect comeback, but you also know to behave better and not stoop low.

Since you crossed the first hurdle of not being confrontational or violent, you also have the inner strength required to forgive.

Be the bigger person and remind yourself of the qualities that make you an exceptional example to others.

If this helps, being the bigger person shows that you are in control of your emotions and that is a rare quality. Keep it up.

Forgiving a Person Who is Not Sorry

4. Forgive and Forget?

Good to forgive, best to forget – Robert Browning

This quote by Robert Browning is an important aspect of forgiving a person and I know it might be the most difficult part.

Forgiving and forgetting gives room for true freedom especially if the person involved is someone you love dearly or will see often.

You may be tempted to completely ignore a person who you do not have to see everyday or live with, but is this truly the best option?

Forgetting does not change the fact that you were hurt, but it gives you the chance to start a new beginning and make better decisions.

If you choose not to forget, you will find yourself amplifying those instant flashes you get of the times you were hurt.

Once you forgive willingly, make a conscious effort to avoid dwelling on the past.

Forgiving a Person Who is Not Sorry

Related: Forgiveness is Freedom

5. Everyone makes Mistakes.

This is the part where you are reminded that you are not perfect.

As you go through your daily activities, It is impossible to be 100% prim and proper and not hurt a number of people.

If you expect to be forgiven when you err, it is only fair that you forgive others when they do something wrong.

What makes you different is your ability to acknowledge you are wrong and apologize.

Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Have you had to forgive a person who is Not Sorry?

How do you feel after forgiving a person?

Do you have any experience you want to share?

I will love to read from you.

Let’s connect:








  • EJ

    It really is hard to forgive someone who is not sorry. But you are right it is important for your own sanity. Once I finally let go of expecting an apology and just decided to move on I felt so much better. Forgiveness really is for you.

    • Phaytea

      Exactly! It is not the easiest thing to do, but you will feel lighter when you decide to let go. Thank you for sharing your thoughts EJ.

  • Myopenpassport

    This is a tricky topic. It is so hard to forgive when they are not sorry. It depends on the person of course, but for me, forgiving is easier on my mental health. Im not stressed about it anymore.

    • Michele

      Great advice and i totally agree with forgiving them when they are not sorry, I don’t agree totally with the upbringing part. My sister and I were raised by the same mother and father in the same household and raised in the same way! When we argue and she can be rude as heck to me i never get a sorry and its so hard for me to forgive and forget without it but for my own mental health I have done it! Thanks for writing a great post!

      • Phaytea

        Hi hi… I appreciate your feedback Michele.

        Your example is a very popular occurrence, but there are still a number of people who turn out the way they are because of what they are used to, what they see and their environment.

        The aim of this article is to help us find reasons to forgive people who are not sorry and it is nice to know you resonate with the second tip (forgiving others to protect your mental health). Well done ❤️

  • Karletta Marie

    I love that you are giving practical advice for something that isn’t always easy to do.

    One point you mentioned was “When you realize that people are sometimes a replica of their home training, it is easier to forgive them.”. So true – AND I’d like to offer something to take this point a little deeper.

    In my work of sharing true stories from people around the world (and interviewing the people that share their stories) – I have personally seen the healing that comes from having a greater understanding of the person that has hurt you. It doesn’t make what happened right, but it does help you let go, and move on from a place of forgiveness and love.

    As you write/share your story from the lens of a story-teller, you analyse the characters in your story from a deeper perspective. As the story-teller you start to explain their background, their character, what has happened to them, influenced them and their actions. From the role of a story-teller rather than the victim of hurt we tell the truth not just from your own perspective but from your character’s perspective.

    Have you ever shared your story?

  • conchettaajonesC

    This is so true. There was once a lady that I waited on to apologize for her awful behavior to me. It never came. I found I had to let go, forgive and move on. She was not important enough to continue to take up so much of my thojghts/

  • Agustina

    My mom always said that forgiveness is really important, because if you hold that anger towards someone or something, it ends up eating you inside, and it’s not worth it. Some people don’t think they’re in the wrong and that’s why you won’t get an apology from them, but that doesn’t have to stop you from forgiving them. Forgive, don’t forget: if that person isn’t worthy of your time, you let them go, alongside with that feeling that they bring to your life.

  • modernjoyblog

    This is an amazing post. I personally had to let go of someone who does not see the drama and pain she brings people. I feel more free but still sad sometimes mostly because I know she probably feels lonely in the end.
    This post really helped, thank you!

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