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Why is it hard to forgive: Reasons why forgiving someone is not easy

Updated on April 30, 2013

Why is it hard to forgive? Whether it is a lying friend, cheating girlfriend, annoying husband, ex-boyfriend, irritating sister, manipulative work colleague, dominant brother or controlling wife – it can be very difficult to forgive even the people you fall in love with. Identifying the reason why you find it difficult to forgive someone for their mistake, may help you introspect into the deeper meaning of your life.

Ego issues can make it really hard to forgive.
Ego issues can make it really hard to forgive. | Source

1) Ego clashes hinder forgiveness

Ego is a complicated and strange feeling because it is necessary to a certain extent in the form of self-pride but it can wreak havoc in relationships, partnerships, friendships and all other types of forms of human interactions.

Ego can make it very hard to forgive someone because it makes someone doubt the very basis of forgiveness. 'Why should I be the one to forgive?' is a question that will arise in your ego-inflated mind is you are excessively proud of yourself.

2) Lack of maturity makes it hard to forgive

A person needs a certain level of maturity and a sense of emotional calm to be able to see past silly mistakes and forgive someone. Talking about forgiving is easy and a lot of people talk about it but most shy away from actually forgiving others.

Forgiveness can be very difficult to give if you are not emotionally mature. Lack of maturity will hold you back at the point where a mistake was made and it will stop you from looking at forgiveness as an acceptable emotional outlet.

3) Peer pressure: Friends will stop you from forgiving someone

Some people naively believe that peer pressure only exists in schools. Peer pressure exists in all situations of life at home, at work and at all places where there group mentality exists. Peer pressure can be the reason which makes it hard to forgive someone.

For example, you want to forgive your ex-boyfriend who confessed cheating on you with another girl. However you are unable to forgive him because all your friends convince you to think that forgiving him will be the biggest mistake of your life.

4) The feeling of anger

Someone's actions or behavior can enrage you to the point where you just can't stop being angry at them. Anger can make it very hard to forgive someone because boiling rage and forgiveness never go together.

Being angry will make it impossible for you to make a practical decision to give your forgiveness. It will also stop you from separating the right from wrong and evaluating a situation on its face value.

Hate is an overpowering emotion that will make it very hard to forgive.
Hate is an overpowering emotion that will make it very hard to forgive.

5) The feeling of hate

Although anger and hatred are related feelings, anger generally gives way to hatred when your dislike for someone rises beyond a certain point. This is the level where you will wish the worst for the person you hate.

Hatred and forgiveness are totally opposite domains. Unless the hate is neutralized, forgiveness will never even occur as a possibility.

6) Mistake is repetitive or too big to forgive

It is hard to forgive someone when they keep making the same mistake again and again if it is a small issue. But it is seemingly impossible to forgive someone when they make a mistake that is too big to be forgiven.

For example, a wife may find it impossible in her lifetime to forgive a husband who cheated on her and destroyed their marriage. She will bear the consequences of his mistake for a lifetime. This will make her believe that his mistake is just too big to be pardoned.

7) Fear of being hurt again will not allow you to forgive

A person may see forgiveness as giving someone the permission to hurt you again. It is this fear of being betrayed again by the same person in the same way that can make forgiveness a difficult thing to give.

For example, a guy will not be able to forgive a friend who always made fun of him even if he does not have any feelings of hate or anger towards that friend. He may be assuming that forgiveness will give his friend the liberty to make fun of him again.

8) Forgiveness is not deserved by someone with a manipulative personality

It is very difficult to forgive someone when you are afraid that they will take advantage of your forgiving nature. Common sense could be dictating that forgiveness should not be given to a person whose personality is known to be manipulative.

You will need to look at people's good side to be able to forgive them which is very hard if you can see nothing but malice when you think about their personality. This will subconsciously make you think that a person does not deserve to be forgiven.

'You didn't forgive me, why should I forgive you?'
'You didn't forgive me, why should I forgive you?'

9) Not forgiving is revenge for not being forgiven in past

Forgiveness may never be an option for people who are bitter over the fact that they have never been themselves. 'Why should I forgive someone when I haven't been forgiven for my own mistakes?' is a question which will haunt a person like this.

For example, a boyfriend may not want to forgive his girlfriend easily for saying things she should never have said to him simply because it took many months of pleading when he made a similar mistake with her.

10) Forgiveness can be seen as letting someone get away with a mistake

People find it difficult to forgive others because they think that forgiving them will allow them to get away with their mistake.

The true meaning of forgiveness is wrapped around the thought of letting go and the maturity to move on with life. However when emotions run high, it is easy to see forgiving someone as letting them get away with their mistake.

11) Lack of available forms of punishment

It is easy to forgive when you have already punished someone for their mistakes. Punishment in this context is generally something that is supposed to teach a lesson to the person at fault. For example, a wife may forgive her husband for looking at other women after punishing him by making him sleep on the couch for an entire month.

In a situation where there is no available mode of punishment, the person at the giving end of forgiveness may not have substantial reason to forgive someone.

12) False perception that forgiving someone makes a person look weak

Most people think that forgiving someone will make them look weak. This false perception is difficult to overcome even though it is universally known that it takes a giant's strength to be able to forgive and let go.

People don't realize that forgiving someone will actually give them the upper hand. But it is generally too late by the time they realize this.


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    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Forgiving someone is hard it takes time sometimes it never happens, a tough thought here, but you put this information well together and gave me something to think about.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 4 years ago

      Voted up and useful.

      I believe #10) "Forgiveness can be seen as letting someone get away with a mistake" is probably the number one reason why people are reluctant to forgive.

      Forgiveness does not mean you have continue to socialize or remain in contact with a person. Forgiveness really means you have made up your mind that you are no longer going to dwell on it. If you do bump into this person it will be as if meeting a stranger.