Last Updated on August 15, 2023 by Angela Vaz
If you’ve ever been hurt by someone you deeply cared for, you know how it can feel.
It’s like a never-ending cycle of pain and anguish.
It may have been a parent, a friend, or a person you deeply trusted.
I know, I’ve been there.
You replay the hurtful moments over and over again in your mind.
You’re connecting the dots, trying to understand what went wrong and why it happened.
You may even find yourself daydreaming about reconciliation, hoping that they’ll return and make things right.
But deep down, you’ve realized that this isn’t healthy.
Because obsessing over this is delaying your healing.
Please know that you are allowed to feel this way. Your feelings are valid.
In this post, I’m going to talk about how you can find peace and stop thinking about someone who hurt you.
But before that really quick, get my free guide on how to really reset your life.
This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may make a commission at no extra cost to you if you decide to click on a link and purchase something. Click here to read the full disclaimer.
1. Acknowledge the pain you feel
In order to move on from the incident and give yourself space to heal, you need to understand and accept that you are in pain and you are feeling sad/angry.
Really think about how you feel.
- Do you feel wronged or betrayed?
- Do you feel like you can make amends with this person?
- Are you planning on reigniting a relationship with them?
- Or are they forever in your past?
Either way, it’s okay to feel pain.
It’s okay to be sad angry and hurt.
2. Allow yourself to grieve
Cry into a pillow.
Watch a couple of movies that give you some relief.
Take the time to feel sad and feel angry.
Your body and brain want to unleash some of that pain – so if you feel like you need a whole week to be alone, take some time off.
It’s not easy being hurt by someone you care about. It does take time to get over such a traumatic wound.
Especially if you are trying to get over a breakup, you are going to feel intense pain for a while.
I remember my chest hurt and I felt like it was going to explode from the pain.
My face was so swollen from crying and I couldn’t eat properly for days.
We all go through bouts of sadness once in a while, it’s normal – it’s life.
Allow yourself to grieve the loss of the relationship and the future you thought you had with this person.
It’s important to process your emotions and give yourself time to heal.
3. Allow yourself to overthink
I understand how contradictory this is, but hear me out.
At the beginning of a breakup or a painful ordeal like this one, it’s normal to overthink.
You may want to overthink for a few days or a few weeks -it’s alright.
You need to give yourself that allowance so that you can move on.
This is what will help you process the pain and feel heard.
Don’t suppress the thoughts, give in to them.
What I’d do is allow myself 10 minutes at night to ruminate.
When I found that the thoughts were repeating incessantly, I’d stop because I’d realize that I’m just going around in circles.
Another healthy way to let it out is to journal or talk to a friend or therapist.
At this point, you just want to feel heard or you want someone to listen.
The more you talk about it, the more clarity you get.
This is something I’ve learned with time. Watching other people talk about their breakups has made me realize that we just want to feel heard.
We want someone to understand the pain we are going through, we feel like talking about it somehow makes sense.
It brings clarity.
And that’s okay, overthink in the beginning – it’s normal.
4. Accept the hurt
The reason why we are unable to make sense of why someone hurt us is that we expect better.
Here’s the harsh truth – not everyone is out to get you.
Not everyone is evil.
People are just inherently looking out for themselves. And when people do that, sometimes they end up hurting others.
I remember getting very close to a male friend once upon a time. I leaned on him a lot for support because I was going through a divorce and I had severe trust issues since my ex had cheated on me.
This male friend ended up having feelings for me and when I said nothing was going to happen because I didn’t feel the same way, he felt hurt.
He thought I was genuinely trying to hurt him.
When in fact, I just didn’t see him in that way. He wasn’t right for me.
I did everything I could to save the friendship, but it didn’t work out.
Our friendship ended and although it did hurt me at the time, I realized that it was okay.
Some friends come and go and it’s fine.
My point is, you may have had different expectations of this person and it’s the disruption of that belief that is actually hurting you – not the person itself.
For instance, let’s say you expected a friend to stand up for you in some situation. But they didn’t. You ended up getting hurt because the expectation was not met.
You had a set expectation in your mind and your friend didn’t live up to it.
They didn’t think to themselves, “How do I hurt this person?”
They were probably thinking, “I don’t want to get in trouble. Maybe if I just lay low, everything will be okay.”
And believe it or not, a lot of people operate like this.
It’s just inherent nature for human beings to look out for themselves and ensure their own safety and survival.
Either way, you aren’t going to move on unless you accept the hurt.
You need to accept that you were hurt and this person hurt you.
Their actions or their words hurt you.
You have to realize that the longer you dwell on the hurt, the more you are delaying your healing.
So accept the hurt. Accept the pain that comes with the hurt.
It may be very painful. Maybe you’re experiencing unrequited love, or maybe you are humiliated or you feel deep anguish and betrayal – either way, accept it.
You cannot push your pain inside, it’s only going to fester and come out in other unhealthy ways.
So, instead of ignoring it, accept it and face it head-on.
This brings me to my next point…
5. Cut off all contact
You need to decide if this person is adding value to your life or if you’re holding on because you love/care about them.
Please know that you can love and care about someone and still not want to be with them.
Yes, that is a thing.
When a person is not healthy for you and they’re just making you miserable or emotionally drained, then perhaps hanging out with this person or even communicating with them isn’t such a good idea.
In this case, cut off contact.
Keep it to a minimum.
For instance, if you work with this person or are in business with said person, it’s going to be hard.
So, in this case, stick to only formal and necessary conversations.
If this person is your ex and you share your child’s custody with them, talk to them only about the child.
I know a woman who divorced her husband because he would physically abuse her.
She had to share custody till the court hearing so if they spoke to each other, it was only about the kids.
Take some time to think about it.
If you know, you’d rather not have a future with this person, then you need to cut off all contact.
Cutting off contact means, completely cutting ties with them and even unfollowing them on social media.
You’re not doing this to spite them or to show them that you’re over them.
You’re doing this to heal and to move on with your life.
You’re doing this so that you can have the mental space to welcome new, bright, and positive things into your life.
6. Put yourself first
You need to believe that you can do this.
If you constantly think that you cannot live life without them, you are going to have a harder time moving on.
When my ex left me, I was devastated.
I kept telling him during our breakup, “How do I live without you?”
Our identities had merged and I couldn’t fathom living without this person in my future.
And when I went to my therapist, she asked me this 1 question, what are your needs?
I didn’t understand the question at first.
I was baffled.
I thought I needed a partner to survive.
But the longer I thought about it, the more I was able to figure out that I didn’t need him to survive.
I was perfectly fine managing on my own.
I had my own career that I loved, 2 wonderful dogs, a roof over my head, and wonderful food that nourished me.
I was fine.
So, I ask you – take some time to ask yourself.
- What are your needs? What do you really require?
- Is this person fulling any of those needs or can you manage on your own?
- If you cannot manage your needs, what are the steps you need to take to do so?
Because at the end of the day, nobody can be your everything.
Nobody should be your everything.
You need to be independent.
Sure, your friends can support you, your parents might contribute to some of those needs and your partner might be a huge pillar of strength.
But you need to realize that nobody except you can take care of all your needs.
That lies on you.
And the minute you realize that – you know that you are going to make it.
You are going to do this on your own.
That’s why you need to focus on yourself and love yourself.
When you love yourself, you’re telling yourself that you are enough.
7. Focus on the present
When I started achieving clarity with meditation, journaling, and therapy, I realized 1 very important thing: Most of my pain was in the past.
I was crying over something that had happened.
Nothing was hurting me in the present.
But the perceived pain of what happened in the past hurt me.
And I realized that focusing on the present could actually alleviate my pain.
Yes, the past hurts.
But it’s in the past.
And whether we like it or not, life goes on.
It’s not going to stop for anyone.
When my mom passed away, I wanted life to pause.
I wanted to stop because I knew she wasn’t with me and she was a huge part of my life.
I couldn’t imagine living without her and moving on without talking to her every day.
But life didn’t stop for me.
It didn’t stop for us.
I still had to wake up each day and take care of my dogs.
I had a moral obligation to help my dad cope with his feelings because he too was depressed after losing my mother.
Life doesn’t stop.
And the only way to get over a person in the past is to focus on the present.
Do little things that make you forget the person for a bit:
- Have a coffee with your friends even if you don’t feel like it.
- Do something you’re passionate about, play the guitar, draw, dance, swim, or do something that takes your mind off the pain
- Read books, and read about how other people have conquered their pain – it’s very motivating. I have a list of warm and comforting books to read when you’re feeling low.
Be more mindful – that’s what meditation taught me.
I’d meditate for 10-20 minutes every day and it really made me feel so much better.
Meditation isn’t sitting or sleeping.
It’s watching your thoughts and becoming more observant of your thought pattern.
Andy who invented Headspace describes meditation as sitting on the sidewalk and watching the cars pass you by. You’re not getting up and trying to engage with each car, you’re just watching it pass without engaging.
That’s sort of what meditation is like – you’re watching your thoughts without getting carried away by them.
It takes practice but the benefits are 10-fold.
As a person who’s always hated the idea of meditation – it was the only thing that brought me peace when my mom passed away.
I felt heard and understood.
I was able to understand with extreme clarity why I felt the way I was feeling and I could feel myself get better week after week.
Give it a try. You have nothing to lose.
8. Find closure (if it’s possible)
If this person has hurt you and you really want nothing to do with them, let them go.
I don’t suggest finding closure.
When my first ex cheated on me, I was hurt but I knew closure wouldn’t make me feel better.
He had cheated and there was nothing that could fix the relationship. He had cheated for 2 years and they eventually ran away together.
So, closure was not an option.
But in some cases, closure is possible.
For instance, if you really want to understand why a person did what they did, you can ask them.
I only recommend it if:
- You and this person were very close
- You can be calm and you won’t overreact when they tell you why they did what they did
- You won’t be swayed by the story and still do what’s best for you
For instance, if someone hurt you by deceiving you, lying to you or cheating on you, you can forgive them but I’d think twice about giving them a second chance.
But please know that closure is not going to bring you back what you lost.
It’s only to help you understand why a certain situation happened so you can be wiser next time.
9. Talk to a therapist
If you are dealing with a lot
This takes time.
The thing is, if you really want to move on – you are going to.
But you will have to bear with the pain for a while.
That’s just something you have to do.
We are human.
We are filled with feelings.
We aren’t a light switch that can turn on and off.
When we really love someone, nothing is going to make that love go away in a second.
So yes, there will be some amount of pain and anguish you will have to go through but things will get better with time.
You need to understand that you’ve survived all of your bad days.
So yes, you will overcome this as well.
Please know that everyone makes mistakes. And nobody intends to hurt you. You just got hurt in the process.
You need to put your welfare at the forefront and move on.
You’re going to do it.
I wish you nothing but peace and love.
Here are some posts that you may find helpful:
- How to give yourself grace when you feel low
- Why and how I stopped overexplaining myself
- How to get over heartbreak when you still love him
- How to stop missing your ex when it hurts so much
- 11 warm and comforting books to read during difficult times
- How to rebuild your life after losing everything that matters
- How to go out alone as a woman (safely and comfortably)
- How to go out alone when you have anxiety
- Why does no one understand you? What to do about it?
- 9 reasons why friends come and go (this will make you feel better)
- 33 ways to become a nicer person
- 23 ways to let loose and be yourself
- How to stop overanalyzing everything and calm down
- 11 practical ways to stop letting things bother you
- 19 benefits of being yourself
- 13 easy ways to be mentally present every day
- 15 Easy Ways to have a Fresh Start in 2023
- 13 genuine ways to make every day count
- 35 honest ways to get your life together
- How to drastically simplify your life