16 tips to get over someone who hurt you (the brutal truth)

Love and genuine connection can be the highest high you’ve ever felt. 

That’s why it hurts so much when somebody you love hurts you or lets you down in a big way.

You take a risk and open your heart and it blows up in your face. It’s got to be one of the worst feelings on the planet. 

Why does it hurt so much?

A person you loved has the ability to strike you right at your core where your feelings of self-worth, optimism and fulfillment are located. 

They can make you doubt everything about yourself and the point of life. 

You opened up to somebody and cared deeply for them and now you know you need to move on. But life has lost its color and verve. 

Something is just…missing.

Saying “just focus on something else” isn’t going to cut it, and that kind of advice is useless and counterproductive. 

The truth about how to get over someone who hurt you is a bit more surprising. 

Let’s go there…

1) Say what you need to say 

“Say what you need to say” isn’t just a line from a John Mayer song. It’s also what you need to do before you get over someone. 

You need to let it out. To them.

The first of the crucial tips to get over someone who hurt you is to express yourself to this person.

Tell them how hurt you are and what they did or did not do that affected you so harmfully. 

Explain your position, not in order to get sympathy but in order to know that you have been heard and that this person realizes how badly they have hurt you. 

Hold nothing back. 

Express your pain, confusion and anger. 

However: 

Avoid threats, cursing or impulsive messaging. 

You’re best off writing this in a longer-form e-mail, for example, or in an in-person discussion if you trust yourself to remain relatively calm. 

2) Distance yourself 

The next of the tips to get over someone who hurt you is to distance yourself physically and verbally. 

Stop being close to them, interacting with them or communicating with them digitally. 

In short: cut them off

Further contact is only going to rub salt in the wound and keep you feeling stuck in the pain of the past. 

The most common and obvious example of this is remaining “friends” with somebody who dumped you when you really want to be more than friends. 

Why do that?

Every time you see or interact with them you will feel that unrequited love burn in your gut and feel like jumping off a bridge. 

Cut off contact. 

You cannot be around somebody who hurt you badly in this way. At least not until you are a lot stronger. 

3) Allow yourself to feel it all 

There’s something very bad that happens to many of us when we are hurt:

We shut down. We block it out. We force ourselves out of bed and plaster on a fake smile. 

Do not do that. 

It is self-sabotage at its worst and creates what author Tara Brach refers to as the “trance of unworthiness.”

This “trance” is one many of us talk ourselves into at an early age. 

It says “I need to be happy, I need to be normal and OK.”

Then, when we feel horrible or somebody hurts us and we want to scream, we push that feeling away or chase the fastest and cheapest methods for killing the pain whether they be drugs, sex, food, work or something else. 

But the part of you that’s in pain, suffering and in confusion is not “unworthy” or wrong, neither is it weak. 

If you split yourself off from this and consider it “bad” or wrong, you deny part of yourself and the legitimacy of your experience. 

As Brach writes:

“In the most fundamental way, the fear of deficiency prevents us from being intimate or at ease anywhere. 

Failure could be around any corner, so it is hard to lay down our hypervigilance and relax.”

You’re OK. Your feelings don’t make you bad, wrong or broken. 

You need to feel that pain and disappointment. 

Jog to the middle of a forest and scream for an hour. Punch your pillow until it is mincemeat. Play a violent video game and curse like a sailor. 

Your feelings are not “bad” or wrong. They are what you are feeling in the wake of being badly hurt. 

You are worthy. 

4) Talk to somebody who gets it

Telling you that you’re worthy and your pain is real is one thing, but speaking to someone one-on-one can help even more. 

I’ve personally had great success with the folks at Relationship Hero.

These are accredited love coaches who know what they’re talking about and provide real breakthroughs. 

If you’re like me, you’re probably feeling a little skeptical. 

I was as well before reaching out. 

But I found the advice and consultation I got really down-to-earth, insightful and practical. 

It wasn’t just about feelings and vague statements. My coach really got to the heart of the matter and helped me face what had happened and find ways to accept it and begin moving on. 

Connect with a professional relationship coach online now.

5) Face the past but do not revel in it

You’re going to need to face the past and what happened. 

But don’t revel in it. 

Consider the following: 

  • It’s over
  • Dwelling on it will only intensify the pain
  • Your past does not have to be the blueprint for your future
  • You are always changing and evolving, and the you of the past does not have to be identical to the you of the future

The past is important. It has many lessons.

But it is also within your power and influence to begin moving on from it in real, practical ways. 

6) Stop looking for an apology 

If you’re waiting for a real apology from the person who hurt you, you might end up waiting forever. 

Stop depending on your well being on another person. 

They may never say sorry for what they did, and even if they do I can almost guarantee it won’t help nearly as much as you hope. 

Stop thinking that them being truly sorry will help resolve this. It’s going to hurt badly either way. 

The best way to get over somebody who hurt you like this is to stop thinking of them as a source of your well being or healing. 

They have their own life, and no matter how sorry or not sorry they are for hurting you, you can’t wait around and expend emotional energy hoping for them to have a big cathartic moment with you. 

It may never come. 

And if it does come, the ways they hurt you are still there and are not going to magically heal themselves. 

Stop waiting for that apology. 

Set your own internal boundaries rather than waiting for somebody else to confirm or deny them. 

Remind yourself that deep down you know what they did was wrong and hurt you whether or not they admit it. 

7) Ditch the need to be right or ‘good’

We often limit ourselves in ways that we’re unaware of. 

One of those ways is buying into the idea of needing to be a “good” person or be “right” about things. 

I do believe there is such a thing as a good person and there is right and wrong. 

But our internal need to identify ourselves as those things or embodying these qualities ends up hampering and deluding us. 

Basically we can become so caught up in the imagined role we play in life that we forget to see what’s actually right in front of us. 

When it comes to tips to get over someone who hurt you, the need to be good and be the hero of the story can be very harmful. 

It may cause us not to learn various lessons of what happened or to hide in a hero or victim narrative where we are a tragic, misunderstood figure who’s owed by the world and by other people. 

This is a really common mindset and emotional space to slip into after being badly hurt by someone. 

It’s understandable, too, but it’s not helpful. 

In fact, it tends to perpetuate a self-fulfilling prophecy in which we subconsciously seek out this tragic role.

Drop the need to be good or right in this situation. You’re hurting and you’re upset. Doing what you can to rebuild your life should be your goal right now. 

8) Practice radical acceptance 

Radical acceptance is a meditative practice where you fully accept everything that has happened and that is happening.

You don’t have to like it or think it’s fair, you just accept that it is happening to you or has happened. 

It might be extremely unjust. It might not even be very meaningful or logical. But it’s happened. 

Accepting that is a great way to begin to heal.

But sometimes, it’s hard to be sure to determine the right way to start healing yourself. If this is how you feel, this simple guided Self-Healing Meditation can help you find the structure and direction you need. 

Recently, I’ve personally tried this 19-minute session and I’ve realized it really did make a difference between being stuck in my hurt and moving toward emotional freedom.

So, get ready just sit and breathe, take out all the judgments and opinions, and begin the journey to radical acceptance.

Click here to access the free meditation.

9) Forgive yourself for your mistakes 

Whatever it was that happened and led to this heartbreak, it’s likely that you made mistakes too. 

You may have made mistakes you didn’t even realize or you may be being overly hard on yourself. 

Whichever it is, it’s vital that you forgive yourself for not being perfect. 

None of us are, and the perfect truly is the enemy of the good. 

Later on I’m going to get more into this, but it’s really important to drop the label of yourself as a “good” or “bad” person and focus more on your actions

If you’ve been badly hurt by someone, the reasons why it happened clearly matter, especially to ensure it doesn’t happen again or that you’re better prepared if it does. 

But at the same time, you need to avoid making it part of a narrative in which you are either the victim or the blameless hero who did absolutely nothing wrong. As I mentioned in the previous point, sometimes the need to be “good” or right can be a real detriment to your life and happiness. 

Sometimes, for example, trusting someone too fully and too quickly is doing something wrong. 

It’s objectively a mistake in some cases. You may be well-intentioned, you may have been in love. But mistakes aren’t just moral or emotional judgments. They can also be objective in terms of how you pragmatically misjudged a situation or a person. 

Forgive yourself for that or other missteps you made, and take note of it for the future.

As relationship expert Rachael Pace puts it

“Stop blaming yourself for what happened. You may be at fault, but you were not solely responsible for things to go wrong. 

The sooner you accept it, the better you will feel and be able to overcome the entire situation.”

10) Avoid the victim trap 

The victim trap is where you end up seeing yourself as a hapless victim of everything that’s gone wrong. 

You might really be a victim in this situation. 

But the more you focus on that and embellish the narrative, the more you trap yourself in a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You may have been victimized, but inhabiting the role of victim is something else entirely. 

It tells you that being a victim is who you are and how your life is playing out. 

But it doesn’t have to be. 

You can be victimized without having to be in the role of a victim. 

11) Take off the rose-colored glasses 

Many times when we are hurt we amplify it by idealizing the person who hurt us. 

We see the whole past in rose-colored glasses almost like we are watching a romantic movie or something. 

The past is like the Garden of Eden, and now we are banished back into the duotone slush of the boring regular world. 

But is that really true? 

How good was the time with this person, really?

Think about those times they disrespected you, misunderstood you, ignored you…

Think about their motivations in a cynical way, in the worst possible light: maybe it’s not true,  but what if it were?

Many times when we fall for someone or get to a place where they can emotionally wound us, it’s because we have built them up into an ideal that isn’t really who they are. 

As Mark Manson writes:

“Another way to separate yourself from your past relationship and move on is to take an objective look at what the relationship was really like.” 

12) Find your own center of gravity 

It’s important to find your own center of gravity in life. 

The shock and pain of being hurt by someone you care about seems to have no upside. 

Who would ever wish for it, right? 

But the thing is that there is indeed a silver lining in this horrible experience you are going through.

It’s a silver lining that nobody else can ever take away from you or lessen. 

It’s the chance to find a new understanding of yourself and a new way to find love. 

The world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê has an amazing free video that opened my eyes about a new way to find true love and intimacy. 

Society and our own inner inclinations tend to make us think of love in an overly idealistic way. 

We begin chasing something in exactly the wrong way and all too often we either sabotage ourselves or get what we want…

…Only to find out it’s our worst nightmare or get badly burned by someone we trusted!

Rudá digs deep into this tricky subject and comes up with pure gold. 

If you want a new perspective you haven’t heard before you need to hear what he has to say. 

Check out the free video here.

13) Deal with uncertainty

One of the hardest parts of getting over somebody who hurt you is dealing with uncertainty. 

It’s like setting sail for an unknown shore without knowing how far away your destination might be. 

When will you make landfall or have a sign of life?

The truth is that we’re all dealing with uncertainty every day and in manifold ways. 

We don’t know when we’ll die. We don’t know if our husband or wife might leave us in a month. 

We just don’t.

The best way to deal with uncertainty in the aftermath of heartbreak is to pretend you can tell the future. 

In one year you are 100% guaranteed to meet the love of your love. 

In one year all of this pain and sh*t will have been worth it. 

Consider this an ironclad truth. Consider it as real as gravity itself. 

Now live your life accordingly. I’m completely serious. 

14) Focus on what you can measure 

Being too nice of a guy (or girl) is a death trap. Don’t do it. 

Stop focusing on what a “good” person you are or the purity of your intentions. 

Start focusing on what you can actually measure:

  • Your health
  • Your work
  • Your savings
  • Your mindset

15) Make new friends and connections

Some will advise you to get back into dating and open your heart to love again. 

This is not usually a good idea. 

The chance of pursuing empty rebounds and feeling even worse than before is way too high. 

But I do suggest making new connections and friends. 

Leave love on the back burner for now. Stop thinking of it if at all possible and try making new friends and connections, whether that’s at work, in your hobbies or in any other area. 

You can also consider volunteering or getting involved in other ways that will get you out of your head and more focused on what you can do for others. 

The pain of the past is real and difficult, but it does not have to be your future.

16) Leave the revenge to time and life

When you have been badly hurt by someone, you may long for revenge. 

Even if you still love them, the desire to show them a bit of the hurt they put on you can be strong. 

There’s two cautions against this, however:

The first is that revenge and hate won’t make you feel any better and will just ruin the positive things you once had in the past. 

The second is that you will lose more respect for yourself and your own confidence and self-esteem if you become the kind of person who tries to lash out at someone when you’re hurt. 

Leave the vengeance to life and time. 

Sooner or later life catches up to all of us. 

If this person truly mistreated and hurt you for no reason, that injustice is theirs to face and internalize. 

If they never do end up facing what they did or feeling truly sorry for it, you will at least one day reach the time that you can see for certain that you deserved better and that a person who acted this way towards you was unworthy of your time and affection. 

Just do it

It’s easy to tell people how to react to somebody hurting them, right? 

Maybe, yes. 

But I’ve been in your shoes and I don’t underestimate the pain whatsoever. 

The problem is that the suffering and misery isn’t going to magically go away and you’ll just get up and be fine. 

You’re going to need to act first and let the feelings work through their own process. 

Start working on your life and yourself. Don’t wait to feel better or be fine. 

That will come with time. Or it won’t. 

Either way, you will not be a victim anymore, and you will define your own value in a purpose-driven, active life. 

It won’t be easy to build your own life and value when somebody has stabbed you in the back or let you down in a big way, but take heart: 

You can do this. 

You will do this. 

Just remember: if it wasn’t hard everyone would be doing it already.

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