People who are forgiving and kind even when they’ve been hurt usually display these 8 unique traits

It’s one of the toughest things to do in life:

To forgive someone who has hurt you, to offer kindness in return for pain.

Many of us have been through the wringer, feeling the sting of betrayal or disappointment. It could be a friend, a loved one, a coworker.

Yet, somehow, some manage to rise above it all.

Maybe it comes naturally, or perhaps it’s a conscious choice they make every day.

But there’s something different about them, something that sets them apart from the rest.

Here we’re diving into the distinct characteristics that forgiving and kind people often have, even after they’ve been hurt. We’re exploring the 8 unique traits that make them who they are.

Without further ado, let’s shine a light on these exceptional individuals and what we can learn from them.

1) They embody empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others.

It’s about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, feeling their pain, and understanding their perspective.

For those who are forgiving and kind, even when they’ve been hurt, this trait is often at the forefront.

They don’t just sympathize; they empathize. They can connect with the emotions of others, not just on the surface level but deep down.

This empathy enables them to be more understanding and forgiving, even when they’ve been deeply hurt themselves.

It’s not about condoning poor behavior or justifying wrong actions, but about understanding the human condition and offering compassion in response.

And in this understanding, they find the strength to forgive and extend kindness, even when it seems nearly impossible.

2) They’ve learned to let go

Letting go is a journey, and it’s one I’ve been on for a while now.

It’s not about forgetting or pretending that the hurt never happened. It’s about accepting what has happened, learning from it, and then moving forward.

There are times when I’ve been hurt, and it’s felt like a heavy weight on my heart. But over time, I’ve realized that holding onto that pain only makes it heavier.

So, I’ve learned to let go. To release the grip of past hurts, to forgive those who have wronged me, and to extend kindness in return.

It’s not always easy. In fact, it can be incredibly difficult. But it’s necessary.

Because by letting go, I set myself free. Free from the weight of resentment and bitterness. Free to move forward with my life. Free to forgive and be kind.

3) They’ve learned to practice self-compassion

Here’s another story from me: I remember a time when I felt deeply hurt by someone I trusted. The pain was intense, and I carried it around like a heavy burden.

But then one day, I realized something. I realized that in my quest to forgive and be kind to others, I had forgotten to extend that same grace to myself.

I realized that being kind and forgiving isn’t just about others. It’s about me too.

So I started practicing self-compassion.

I began to speak gently to myself, to treat myself with kindness, and to forgive myself for my mistakes.

And it was through this process of self-compassion that I was able to heal from the hurt.

By treating myself with kindness, I was able to extend that same kindness to others who had hurt me. By forgiving myself, I found the strength to forgive others too.

In doing so, not only did I heal my own wounds, but I also found the capacity to help heal the wounds of others.

4) They are often more resilient

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity.

And guess who tends to be more resilient? People who are forgiving and kind, even when they’ve been hurt.

It’s like a rubber band. When you stretch it, it doesn’t break. It just bounces back to its original shape.

That’s what resilient people do. They bounce back.

They don’t let the hurt define them. They don’t let it keep them down.

Instead, they use it as a stepping stone to grow stronger and become better.

They forgive, not because it’s easy, but because it helps them heal and move forward. They choose kindness, not because it’s expected, but because it’s a part of who they are.

And in doing so, they demonstrate an incredible level of resilience that is both admirable and inspiring.

5) They believe in the power of second chances

Second chances. They’re not always easy to give, especially when you’ve been hurt.

But as someone who practices forgiveness and kindness, I’ve learned to see the value in them.

I’ve learned that people can change, that they can learn from their mistakes, and that they can grow.

I’ve learned that by giving someone a second chance, you’re not just giving them an opportunity to make things right. You’re also giving yourself a chance to heal and move forward.

It doesn’t mean you’re forgetting what happened or pretending it didn’t hurt. Rather, you find strength in believing in the potential for change, for growth, and for healing.

And while it’s never easy to extend a second chance, especially when you’ve been hurt, it’s often the most rewarding part of the journey towards forgiveness and kindness.

6) They understand the cycle of hurt

It’s a hard truth to swallow, but hurt people often hurt people.

Understanding this cycle has been a crucial part of my journey towards forgiveness and kindness.

I’ve begun to see that often, the ones who have hurt us are battling their own demons. They’re carrying their own wounds, their own hurts.

This doesn’t excuse their actions, but it does provide a context for understanding them. It helps me to see their humanity, their imperfections, just like mine.

Recognizing this cycle has allowed me to approach situations with more compassion. It’s helped me to respond to hurt with kindness instead of anger, and with forgiveness instead of resentment.

Because at the end of the day, we’re all human. We all make mistakes. And understanding this cycle of hurt helps us to break it, fostering a safer and kinder world for everyone involved.

7) They practice mindfulness

Being present in the moment has been a game changer for me.

Mindfulness is all about focusing on the here and now. Not dwelling on the past hurts or worrying about possible future pain, but being fully present in the current moment.

It’s about observing our feelings without judgment, accepting them as they are, and not letting them control us.

As someone who strives to be forgiving and kind, even when I’ve been hurt, mindfulness has been an invaluable tool.

It allows me to take a step back and observe my feelings objectively. To acknowledge the hurt but not let it consume me.

By focusing on the present, I can choose my actions wisely. I can choose to react with kindness and forgiveness, even when my initial instinct might be to react with anger or resentment.

Practicing mindfulness empowers me to make these conscious choices and continue on my journey of forgiveness and kindness.

8) They choose love over fear

Choosing love over fear has been the cornerstone of my journey towards forgiveness and kindness.

Fear. It’s a powerful emotion. It can hold us back, keep us stuck in the past, and prevent us from moving forward.

But love? Love has the power to set us free.

As someone who strives to be forgiving and kind, even when I’ve been hurt, I’ve learned to choose love over fear.

When I’m hurt, it’s easy to let fear take over. Fear of being hurt again. Fear of opening up and being vulnerable. Fear of trusting someone who has let me down.

But when I choose love, everything changes.

Love allows me to see beyond the pain and the hurt. It allows me to see the humanity in the person who has hurt me. It allows me to forgive, not because it’s what they deserve, but because it’s what I deserve.

Choosing love over fear is not always easy. In fact, it can be incredibly difficult. But it is always worth it.

Because at the end of the day, love is stronger than any hurt we might experience. And it is through love that we find the strength to forgive and be kind, even when we’ve been hurt.

The takeaway

If you see yourself in these traits, take heart – these are signs of a deeply compassionate and resilient spirit.

Being forgiving and kind in the face of hurt isn’t a sign of weakness. Quite the opposite, it’s a testament to your strength, empathy, and humanity.

But it’s important to remember that forgiveness and kindness towards others starts with self-love. Honor your feelings, practice self-care, and ensure that your kindness extends to yourself as well.

It’s a journey that requires patience and mindfulness. It may not always be easy, but every little step you take towards forgiveness and kindness is progress.

So, as you navigate this journey, pause and reflect on your actions. Ask yourself – am I choosing love over fear? Am I practicing empathy? Am I being kind to myself?

Remember, there is no rush. Take your time. And know that with each act of kindness and forgiveness, you’re becoming a beacon of light in a world that desperately needs it.

Eliza Hartley

Eliza Hartley, a London-based writer, is passionate about helping others discover the power of self-improvement. Her approach combines everyday wisdom with practical strategies, shaped by her own journey overcoming personal challenges. Eliza's articles resonate with those seeking to navigate life's complexities with grace and strength.

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