Can You Forgive Someone But Still Hate Them?

Last Updated on June 13th, 2023

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Have you been wronged by someone recently? Perhaps a coworker ate your sandwich, or your sibling broke one of your prized possessions. There are many situations where we might feel angry, even after forgiving the ones responsible for our anger.

It isn’t really possible to forgive someone but still hate them, no matter what kind of forgiveness you give them.

The closest situation would be when you have forgiven someone but feel a moment of brief anger or hatred that passes quickly whenever you recall the memory. Continue reading to learn more about forgiveness and dealing with emotions like anger and hatred.

Man in checked shirt sitting on a bed - Can You Forgive Someone But Still Hate Them?

How Do You Forgive Someone You Don’t Like?

Forgiving someone you don’t like isn’t easy. Forgiveness is a process that can take a long time, and having to go through that process with someone you dislike can be even longer. As a result, you may never be able to completely forgive someone that you don’t like.

The best thing to do is realize that it takes time to forgive, and no one can force you to speed up your timeline.

When you’ve finally come to terms with everything involving this person you don’t like and what they did, you might be able to exercise greater patience as a form of forgiveness.

You don’t even need to express your forgiveness toward the person you don’t like, but you shouldn’t be angry thinking about them all the time.


What are the three types of forgiveness?

There are thought to be three kinds of forgiveness that are all very similar. These are:


  1. Exoneration
  2. Forbearance
  3. Release


Exoneration and release are the closest things to what we traditionally think of as forgiveness. When you exonerate someone who was at fault, you no longer blame them for what transpired that made you angry or felt hatred toward them.

Forgiving through forbearance is when you exercise a high level of patience with the offender.

Of course, you might still hold them accountable and punish them for their deeds, but this punishment might be more lenient than if you had lashed out in anger at the moment they wronged you.

If you release someone, ideally, you should no longer blame them for their actions or role in your anger, and you should be able to move on with life. However, during the time it takes you to release someone of blame, they may or may not have been punished.


What are Signs of True Forgiveness?

You may be wondering if you have really forgiven someone for their past misdeeds or simply followed the common advice of “forgive and forget.”

Of course, true forgiveness is complicated, but it often means that you no longer feel anger or pain about a situation and the people involved.

For example, you might be angry at your brother for breaking your priceless artifact. But, over time, you may exonerate him so that you don’t feel anger toward him anymore.

However, you can still feel anger or grief about the situation itself. Once you no longer feel this way, you are closer to true forgiveness.

In this example, exoneration eventually becomes released, and you only acknowledge that this event happened with no heated emotions about the past.


Will You Stop Hating Them Eventually?

Hatred is a harsh and exhausting emotion. Although forgiveness takes time, it is unlikely that you will remain angry and full of hate for the rest of your life.

This is because you almost have to actively feed your hatred which most people can’t or don’t do for extremely long periods.

However, most of the time, you have no obligation to forgive someone, and you could go your whole life hating this one person, even if you no longer interact with them.


What Can Help You Stop Hating Those People?

Time and distance are some of the best things to aid in the process of forgiveness, but they are not necessarily surefire ways to stop hating people. Other things that people turn to when trying to forgive people include:


  • Spending time in nature
  • Meditation
  • Having the wrongdoer admit to their actions and grow as a person


Depending on your situation and personality, all or none of these might help you stop hating people that have wronged you. If that is the case, try allowing yourself more time before completely discounting a reconciliation.


Final Thoughts on Can You Forgive Someone But Still Hate Them

Conflict and strife are just one part of life, and you must choose how to deal with them every time they strike. Forgiveness is equally common and can take on many different forms, but it is a process that takes a long time.

While you may not be able to truly forgive someone and still hate them, forms of forgiveness like forbearance can bring you some closure until you are ready to continue living life.

If you never feel ready to forgive someone, consider reaching out to a professional like those in grief counseling so you can learn to live with this burden.

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