How To Let Go Of Hate & Anger Towards People Who Have Hurt You

how to let go of hate and anger towards people who have hurt you

I would say that generally I’m a pretty easy going person. Until someone really messes with me, then I’m not. I’m reasonably laid back, but if I get pushed too far, I won’t refrain from speaking my mind. In most cases, things get resolved, because I’m happy to get things out in the open and tell people how I’m feeling. But sometimes in life you don’t get the opportunity to express your hurt, pain and anger to the people who have let you down. This leaves a gaping hole, one that often gets filled with intense anger or disappointment.

Thankfully, not too many people have let me down in my life. But I could certainly think of two or three people that still make my blood boil when they pop into my mind. I know it’s not healthy to hold so much anger towards them, or be so disappointed in people in general, but I can’t help it. The title of this blog post is ‘how to let go of hate and anger’, but the truth is, if I’m honest, I haven’t let go of mine.

I still feel a lot of resentment towards certain people who have upset me, let me down, or screwed me over for a range of reasons. Is this doing me any good? No. Is my anger going to change anything that’s happened? No.

I’m not writing this post because recently someone hurt me. That’s not the case. I’m writing it because I have come to realise that I am still holding onto some anger against some people who have wronged me in the past, and it’s preventing me from fully moving forward.

Change your perspective

The only way I can manage to process things is to completely change my perspective on things. Instead of thinking of those who have hurt you as absolute w**kers, try and analyse the situation. Why might that person have acted in that particular way? Perhaps there is something wrong with their life that caused them to act in a certain way. This is by no means an excuse, but it can help you to numb the anger a little. Instead of hating them, feel sorry for them, because they clearly have awful personality traits and issues they need to resolve. It may seem tough, but try and see things from their perspective and consider what may have caused them to do what they did. 

I wish I could give examples, but I obviously don’t want to name anyone. So here’s a rather vague example to show you how to look at things differently. If someone doesn’t have the balls to face up to you and tell it like it is, then it’s not you that has the problem. They clearly need to make some changes in their life, and if they don’t, there will eventually come a time where they get called up for it.

Be grateful

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Another strategy is to thank these people for what they did. Yes you heard that right. Why would I thank someone for hurting me, or making my life a misery? Because they made you stronger. You may have had to go through some tough times, perhaps directly due to their actions, but the truth is you wouldn’t be where you are now without them. They started a chain of events that lead you down a certain path, and you may have even come out the other side better off. I know I certainly have.

There’s definitely people who I would like to give a piece of my mind. In fact, I have had the chance to confront one of them. So far, I haven’t because I don’t trust that my anger wouldn’t overpower me. But, if I was strong enough, I would walk up to them with the biggest smile on my face and say thank you. Thank you for screwing me over, because I have come back stronger, and I might not be where I am now if you hadn’t caused me all that crap.

You don’t have to forgive, but you can move on

If you hold intense anger in your heart then the only person who is really suffering is you. The person who did you wrong probably doesn’t give a crap about how you feel. So why give them the satisfaction of caring?

Of course I would love to say oh I have completely forgiven these people. But I haven’t. If they were people who were important to me then I might make more of an effort. Although I am going to try and work through some unresolved anger towards a few people who have wronged me. It’s no doubt going to take time, but I’m going to give it my best shot. Because being angry is tiring, it doesn’t make you feel good, and it holds you back from being the best person you can be. Hopefully given a little more time, I can move on, and perhaps you can too.

Be a peace with yourself

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Recently I spoke to my life coach Antonio Esposito of TheThinkingMind. I usually go to him when I need advice on what to do in situations that are bothering me. Someone has cut me out of their life with no explanation. Here’s what he said…

You’ve done what you can.  If you’re at peace with yourself there’s nothing more you can do.

So in a nutshell, YOU CAN’T CHANGE WHAT OTHER PEOPLE DO. But, you can change HOW YOU REACT to them. You can CHOOSE whether or not to let people impact your life and your wellbeing. Do you want to waste one more day worrying and stressing about them? No? Then don’t. Look after yourself. People can only hurt you if you let them. Don’t give them the power anymore by choosing to simply not care.

Win at life by being awesome

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One way to beat all those people who have wronged you? Be awesome at life. Rise above their attitude by being successful, and let your success speak for itself. If you allow them to get to you, then that’s a lot of energy you are throwing their way when it could be used to improve your wellbeing and your life instead. So the moment a thought pops into your head about that person, or you find the resentment building deep inside – channel it into something that’s important to you.

Put your time into people who are worth it

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We’re always going to have people in our lives that let us down and upset us. And over time, we learn who to trust, and who to have faith in. So when someone wrongs you, don’t put energy into them – put energy into the people who make you bloom. The people who charge your inner happy and support you instead of bringing you down. When someone is a total dick to us, it’s an ideal time to reflect on how wonderful the good eggs are. Lean on your support network.

23 Comments

  1. Yvette Wallace
    September 12, 2017 / 1:55 pm

    There are a few people who have wronged me and I cannot forgive nor forget! I am a rational human but sometimes when I get caught in a memory of events the anger bubbles up again as if the wrong had just occurred! Thanks for the blog! Makes me feel normal !

    • Kiri Nowak
      Author
      September 12, 2017 / 2:03 pm

      Thanks for your comment Yvette, I still have times where I feel the rage creeping back, but the key thing is to notice it, and be aware, and question it. Also don’t beat yourself up about it. Glad you enjoyed the post.

    • Terry
      January 21, 2018 / 5:03 pm

      I have learned that people who have done me wrong are my teachers because I have to learn my life lessons from these so called negative people but, that’s okay as long as I learn from them I got what I needed and that shows me it’s fine and to keep on moving forward in a positive direction in taking care of myself. Terry

  2. Pamy
    October 2, 2017 / 12:36 pm

    What if the person who have hurt you owes you a lot of money? How do you let go of that?

    • Kevin
      March 7, 2018 / 5:16 pm

      I just found this site and a big KUDO’s to the Kiri for putting it out there. Pamy my lesson in life about giving out money to whoever, is make sure you do not need the money for yourself. When your generosity is not appreciated it will turn against you because they do not have or want to give you the money back. Again Kiri is right the issue is with them not you. All you can do is work on letting it go and learn from it. As simple as that sounds it isn’t, however you have no other options for yourself.

      • Jane
        April 6, 2018 / 9:51 am

        Forget about the money. Just let them have it, think of it as your good will to them and you’ll come out as the better person. Money’s something you can just work for again anyway since it comes and goes.

      • Kenady
        September 8, 2018 / 7:12 pm

        Even though I completely understand as I’ve been through the same situation, its just material. Although money technically runs the world, it shouldn’t run your life. Remind yourself and be grateful for the non-materialistic things in your life. I know its frustrating as it was something you worked hard to have but money doesn’t always bring happiness. Its you who brings yourself happiness. Hope this helps just a little.

  3. Robert Geiter
    December 2, 2017 / 2:57 pm

    I still feel rage when I think of a incident I want to let go but can’t it’s 3yrs now

  4. Jill
    December 23, 2017 / 2:54 pm

    I can typically follow all the healthy tips in your article pretty easily if someone wrongs me, but recently someone severely wronged my daughter and I can’t shake the hate. I have given her all the right advise and she is already over it but I am still dwelling on the creep. I tried a visit to a friend who is in a prayer group and also a mom thinking a little spiritual counseling might help. Unfortunately, her Devine guidance was “wow, your not going to feel better until you kick him in the nuts.” While that wasn’t the great key to true forgiveness I was hoping for, it did make me laugh at a terrible situation and I continue to plot revenge in my head in the most humorous ways. My point being sometimes laughter is the best medicine and pulling off the perfect harmless prank is all it may take to get you over the hump of hatred and giving you your power back. Peace to all who are having trouble getting rid of your anger. May the Gods of flaming bags of dog poo wreak havoc on the porch of the person who brought you to this place. In time you will look back on this and laugh, especially if your the one responsible for the prank. Remember the chocolate pie in “The Help”. Never be afraid to bake your own! I believe God is cool with harmless and funny; so go google the best prank for your soul.

  5. Marie
    December 26, 2017 / 8:36 pm

    Thank you for this. Every significant person in my life has let me down, 2 we’re narcissists. The most recent has completely finished me off. I’m feeling so angry and bitter. I am finding it impossible to forgive people who hurt me. I will try what you have suggested above and pray it works. Please keep fingers crossed for me. Thank you

  6. Mary
    January 2, 2018 / 12:29 am

    Absolutely what I need to remember. Its hard but your message stands true.

  7. Badlandsbabe
    January 18, 2018 / 8:56 am

    Yvette… The one thing that helps me, is to remember, by allowing myself to go there, I’m allowing that person to have power over me, I wont allow my thoughts or my energy to go there. I refuse. There’s plenty of important things in my life where that energy & thought are needed. Keep your power & stay positive, make it your choice.

  8. anonymous
    February 6, 2018 / 8:08 pm

    this didn’t apply for all situations like mine but i respect all of the things you wrote and will try to apply it to me

  9. LaToya
    February 17, 2018 / 9:30 am

    Thank you all for being so transparent reading the article and comments I feel is giving me a better concept of how to deal and to move on.

  10. Ira Kaplan
    March 5, 2018 / 12:49 am

    Lots of bad things have occurred in my life, caused by family, friends, and many others. It’s hard to forget. I have eaten their hate and made it a part of me. They are still damaged individuals, I was born a great individual, and turned into an anxious hateful vengeful human being. I am trying to make amends to all who have harmed and wronged me and to move on and have some control over my life and have been sober after 25 plus years of drugs and alcohol abuse. I am 38. I still care what all the haters think, and it kills me to still feel that way. I do feel sorry for all who have harmed me, because they will never change, but that is not my problem.

  11. March 7, 2018 / 4:10 am

    A woman i befriended and welcomed into my home seduced my husband in my own house while i was away. While he and i were having problems this was the last straw. I am having a tremendous amount of difficulty getting over the anger and pure hate i feel towards her. I don’t want to feel this way but its almost like an obsession now. I want to her to feel the same pain i am feeling. I know these kinds of feelings are so very bad for everyone. How do i get over this and move on???

    • Phillis
      February 20, 2020 / 6:00 am

      Totally agree,…..I have a transgender child, a bi one and a ward cleaver one….i love each the same. So when anyone attacks those you love, because you know they are good human beings, then willing fight to the death for them…..I couldn’t ever imagine the horror of having my kids ripped from me….

  12. Kevin
    March 7, 2018 / 5:24 pm

    Ira, reflect on your statement for one second ” I have eaten their hate and made it a part of me”. That is a choice, it is not something you have to do. Empower yourself allowing yourself to block others negativity and hateful ways and begin to think about what kind of person you want to be. Congratulations on your sobriety BTW. Focus on that major life change not many people are so lucky. Lastly,
    if you still care what the haters think ask yourself WHY??? what do you want them to think and do you have the ability to make that happen? If you do then do it. If you do not close the door on that chapter and rewrite your future the way you want it to be,
    Many of us walk around blaming others for our own insecurities and our own faults, but in reality it within us all to make those changes. Pay attention to Corporate American and the US government. These are perfect examples of how and why we have lost our way.

  13. Maddi
    March 22, 2018 / 2:55 am

    I’ve had bad experiences with a family member aka “aunt” who acts very passive aggressive towards me and that has an affect on me because she treats me like I’m a stranger and acts very hostile and cold….Sometimes I just want to punch her in the face and put on her blast for how she treated me in the past. I swear she acts like nothing even happened between us and somehow makes everyone feel guilty for her problems and mental issues. I really need some advice on how to handle it in a assertive way so the situation doesn’t blow up in my face by her.

  14. Evil Jedi
    May 29, 2018 / 5:35 pm

    Anger…
    I don’t think most people in America have any kind of grip on what anger really means…
    Look at everyone who voted for Trump: Those folks, for 40 years or more, have been just dumped all over by rich liberals who think they know how the world should work. What cracks me up (and I am a liberal), is that minorities, women, rich elites, and academics thought that they could just keep on calling a bunch of tough, military-minded, rural white men things like “stupid” and “angry” and “rapists”, etc.

    Now, these Trump supporters may be a bunch of horrible racists…. or maybe they aren’t. A friend of mine suggested once that the reason liberals like me do not understand conservatives is because we think that their points of view can be educated away. What I mean is that if only we liberals can teach all the big, bad, conservatives about how bad guns and Christianity are, then they will learn and become better people.
    Really think about that thought, my fellow liberals. Seriously. Do you know how completely effed up and ridiculous that notion is?
    Conservatives are angry because their culture is under assault. For better or for worse, Jesus, guns, and pick-up trucks are part of who many people in places like TX, TN, AR, AL, FL, LA, etc. are. They believe in AND they have a perfect right to be exactly who they are.

    Do you know said that? Maya Angelou, the poet. She said that every last human being has a right to be exactly who they are – even right-wingers.

    Now, let’s look at the flip side of this argument, which is what prompted me to begin by saying that many Americans do not understand the true nature of anger.
    Take Trump himself, Bannon, and the rest of his psychopathic enablers… I call them “psychopathic” not because their beliefs differ from mine, no. I label them that harshly because I know that down deep inside, those men have no values or beliefs. Their hearts contain nothing but a tiny, black sphere with glowing red eyes. It’s the same energy that inhabited Hitler, Pol Pot, Genghis Khan, and the many, many other horribly evil dictators who have plagued humanity with death and destruction.

    Anger… America is very, very angry. Kids are killing each other in schools. Our cities are rife with gangs and drugs… and it’s all because of hypocrisy and lies. I am not a fundamentalist Christian by any stretch of reality. In fact, most times, I think they are perfectly insane and irrational beings – not for their belief in God – but for their belief that if you don’t follow their version of religion, then something bad should happen to you. That said, when the Fundamentalists talk about how God is punishing the USA because of our sins, lies, and hypocrisy of the past 50 years, I find it hard to disagree.

    Maybe that’s what all this is… a punishment… a lesson, like the author said.
    Except… it would be galactically, titanically stupid to think that Trump and his base should be thanked for the lesson they want to teach the world.
    They want minorities, women, liberals, and non-Christians dead. And if you had them in a room and injected a truth serum into their arms and asked them what their real agenda is, they would say what I just said.
    I am so tired of being surrounded by clueless people who do not see how bad all of this is.

    Do you know what real anger looks like? It is a boot stomping your face. It is having your teeth placed on an curb and then someone stepping down, hard, on your head. It is having your children killed in front of you.

    Most of you, my fellow Americans, have never seen anything like what I am describing. Therefore, you think it either doesn’t exist or cannot affect you. I am compelled to write to you know and share that you are very much in danger of falling victim to true anger… to anger that burns so white-hot, that it appears as a smile and a handshake. Your anger… the anger you carry right now as you read this, is what must be harnessed if you are ever to stop Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, and their followers from ending any semblance of a real democracy in this nation.

    Anger… it’s a funny word. The Bible calls anger “Wrath” and says it’s sin. “Wrath” conjures up images of lightning bolts from the sky frying sinners to a crisp or someone getting vengeance on another for a wrong-doing. The kids who shoot up schools feel wrath. They pull the trigger to satisfy that absolute hatred burning in their chest… hatred for things they cannot yet articulate, and most likely, never will be able to.

    So, what do we do about all of our anger?

    Meditate? That’s a crap solution when there are 1000s of tyrants and dangerous people trying to strip you of your last breath of liberty.
    Pray? See above.
    Run? Where would you go? Canada doesn’t want you and most of you can’t afford to get to Australia, let alone get the papers to go. The rest of the world speaks languages other than English. You’d never get by – at least in a satisfying way.

    The answer is fight. You fight. You stop posting pictures of foam lattes on Facebook. You organize. You protect your children. You get over your apathy and fear and realize that your home is under attack by forces who mean to destroy it and re-make it in their own image: that of the angry white man who is a racist and a rapist… See… the liberals weren’t wrong about conservatives… and hell, while we’re at it, let’s admit that the conservatives aren’t wrong about liberals: my party is mainly a bunch of whiny, overly-academic douchebags who have no idea how power, money, and the real world really works.

    So, what do we do, America? We’ve come to a juncture in the story… We are ALL angry. I am. You are. Your friends and co-workers?

    When I was a kid, a bunch of boys went to a local football field and beat the crap out of one another for about 45 minutes. There were probably 40 boys in all. It wasn’t on the news. It wasn’t on Facebook. No one saw a thing. And you know what? The animosity between the two groups died out and the next weekend, we all went and played football against one another in a healthy, sportsmanlike way.
    America is broken because real men have let you all down. We’ve stayed quiet, hoping that you would all work out your issues, figure out your racial identities, your politics and whatever other philosophic, moralizing nonsense you’ve been grinding your gears on for decades.
    Except now, the playing field has changed. These social issues, if we continue to make them central to the liberal party, will be the very undoing of democracy as we know it. The right laughs at the left because Bannon and Trump know that we are making it easier and easier for them to win (rig?) elections over and over and over again.

    America is an angry place these days. And, traditionally, people want Presidents who reflect them. As a liberal, the last thing I want in office is a woman who preaches about civil rights and feminism. Hillary Clinton is a dog, a corporate shill, and she wishes she was a man. Trump is a psychopathic, narcissistic dictatorial madman with no concept of how to govern a nation.

    This time, the whole “vote the lesser of 2 evils” was completely impossible. Both candidates were so horrendously disgusting as human beings, they barely qualify.

    So, what kind of person do we need in office? A white man who is strong and authoritative. I can hear you all groan and roll your eyes… “But that’s racist.”
    No, it’s not. It’s called “strategy”… If we field a female or minority candidate, we are just making it easier for them to win AND they will have the power to turn Democrats like me who are on the fence about the whole idea of liberalism. It has become hard to deny that our moralizing, superior talk did not contribute to the rise of Trump and Bannon. It was one of the main factors.

    So, call me a racist. I will say I don’t care. I am not after your affection, your friendship, or to be comforted by antiquated notions of politeness and political correctness that no longer serve anyone.

    I am after the truth. I am after justice. I am after liberty. I am after creating a better world for my daughter – one in which people choose to fight for their ideals and their homeland against those from within who would destroy every notion of a healthy, reasonable, rational future for children.

    I know I am not alone… The ones of you who read this message and only come away with “Wow, what a racist jerk” are in the dark. You understand nothing. You fail to see that while you are squabbling over identities and the meaning of words, the elite on BOTH sides are running to the bank and withdrawing/mortgaging your children’s future.
    Isn’t that something worth being angry over?

    Or would you rather talk about white privilege, being “woke”, and grass roots activism?

    How about we stand up and fight, Democrats? How about we protect our families? How about we find the courage to overcome the WRATH of the enemy that is at our doorstep?

    I will close by saying this: Anger and hate are two different things. I do not hate the other side of the political line. They are human. They are as flawed and imperfect as I am – as you are. However, the difference between us is that they have true hate in their hearts. It is what fuels them. They are never going to stop. There will never be an end to school shootings, to bigotry and prejudice, to the black man being murdered by police and to women being treated like 2nd class citizens….

    You, my fellow Democrats, are not going to reason your way out of this one. You are not going to stand on a soap box (Nancy Pelosi and Elizabeth Warren) and preach about rights and gender and race. You will be overrun by the hordes of men and women in America who are so sick and tired of hearing you speak. You’ve over-saturated the internet, the news, the blogosphere… Americans are trying something new: indulging their anger… living in their rage.

    We Democrats better get mad… and we better get mad FAST…
    Otherwise, we may not be able to find asylum and peace in our own nation.

    So, let go of my anger? Not on your life. That is what will protect my 1 year old daughter, the child of a Hispanic immigrant female, one of the main figures in society who is the expressed object of hatred of the other side.

    Don’t meditate your way out of this. Don’t hide in a cloud of self-righteousness. Don’t think that by ignoring this, it will go away or get better. Instead, hold on to your anger and realize that the anger you feel is not a form of hatred at all: it is the anger of a person who has seen their very liberties thrown on the ground and stomped on.

    A wise man once said that you must never start a revolution against something. You should always start one by standing up for values you hold dear, meaning that you start a revolution for something.
    My something is my daughter – a bilingual girl of 13 months who has Hispanic and White American blood in her.
    She is the future of this nation.
    And I would die to protect her.

    Find what you stand for, and your anger will subside, and all you will be left with is the love for the greatest values the human race has ever known: love, family, and peace. I don’t want to see this nation boil into some kind of violent conflict, but if it did, I would go. I would be the first one on the battle line. I look into my daughter’s bicultural, biracial eyes, and I know my cause is just.

  15. barbara wilson
    October 2, 2018 / 7:58 pm

    ive had a situation since this past june 2018 where me and my boyfriend were keeping our horses at his aunt and uncles and our horses and us had a daily routine for a year until there special grandaughter brought her horses out there and she completly called the shots and i had to give up my stall and give it to her and we had no use of the pasture anymore. our 2 horses had to go to 1 big stall and 1 front paddock. she got the rest. everyday i went out there i was so pissed off i would just talk outloud to myself about her. then i expressed a statement to a 13 yr old in that i wished we could turn our horses back in the pasture but she wont let us. of course that 13 yr old went and blabbed to her and completly turned it into a nightmare escapade. then other family members got involved and the last hoorah was she went to my boyfriend and started telling him lies . and he was so fet up with all the attacks on me that he completly took me out of the picture and couldnt go to the barn to take care of our horses. no mind u we are fixing to move to our own new place. but these people have really messed me up and i hate them. and to top it off, my boyfriends aunt allowed her to call the shots no matter how it affected us. and yes my boyfriend was pissed and so was his uncle because it sent his horse away. what she did was WRONG!!!!!!!! in every sense. shes a selfish, inconsiderate self absorbed self serving brat. my boyfriend just wanted to keep the peace untill we got out of there

  16. barbara wilson
    October 2, 2018 / 8:13 pm

    and i wanted to add that my anger at her and everyone involved has almost lost me my job cuz i cant control my emotions. and just like my boyfriend said, if i would have just kept my mouth shut and not said anything to that 13 yr old, none of this would have happened. but i would have continued to be angry and upset for our horses. because when u mess with my animals u mess with me. thats the way i look at it. i got my but chewed on by my boyfriend however he ended up backing me. it truly was not the happy place like it was

  17. Connie
    August 31, 2019 / 2:17 am

    Very good advice. But I am finding it hard to forgive. I just can’t. I’ve never hated anyone in my life until now. My life has been tore apart by betrayal. I am starting over. I just can’t stop hating.

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