Is it possible to let go of hurt if someone doesn't apologise or care?


My sister (both adults) usually generally get along very well and I’m grateful because I’m aware that unfortunately there are some people with “real issues” regarding family,but the other day my sister did said something unkind to me.
It was probably more from thoughtlessness than any mean intention,but what hurt/affected me more was that when I tried to express that something hurt me she said “I can’t deal with this now” “just move on” “I don’t have time from this” and generally just acted like she was the victim because she would have to hear someone’s hurt feelings even though she was the one that had said the unkind thing.

This to me seems uncaring/heartless,even arrogant.
To me “I hurt you but now I don’t want to deal with the effect or outcome of it and I will now make myself the victim” seems emotionally immature.

My sister has a pattern of acting this way if a conflict comes up (self emotion only focused) and I have a pattern of not being able to let something go if someone shows a demeanour of not caring or acknowledgement.

Is there any better way to look at things?:triumph:


Yes. You can’t change other people only your reaction to them.

You want her to care. She doesn’t.

You want her to show remorse. She doesn’t.

This is about you needing her to validate your feelings. It’s normal to want family to love you and behave in a loving way. It’s confusing when they don’t, when they can’t. So you have to work on acknowledging it is her not you, and that you don’t need her to apologize or feel bad about what she has done in order to justify your own feelings- hurt, desire for distance, desire to be seen as the one who was wronged.

And stop letting her treat you badly. Establish boundaries. You are entitled to them.


Look right there in your own post.

Your sister doesn’t want to hear about how sensitive you are, she already knows. Just don’t go there with her.


But when I myself hurt someone I say sorry or acknowledge it in some way.
If I said/thought “I don’t have time or desire to deal with your feelings/the outcome” this feels arrogant?

That seems alright for the person that was hurt but when the “doer” says it I can’t see how this can be right or even make sense.


You have to learn to let go regardless of what the other person is doing.
You can’t control other people, only your reactions towards them.

Also, it’s pretty easy to forgive and let go when the other person is saying, “I’m so sorry I hurt you.” But Jesus calls on us to let go even when the other person doesn’t care and won’t apologize or acknowledge our feelings.
We hurt Jesus every day by sinning and not caring about Him, and He forgives us, so we need to do the same to others.


It’s very hard to learn to do this. But in this life we’ll also get a LOT of opportunities to practice.


It’s hard.

My husband’s sister was very hurtful a number of years ago.

She never apologized and acts as if she never did anything. I see her socially at family events. I don’t trust her.

Every time I see her, I feel uncomfortable. But I limit my interactions to small talk.


On the flip side, I know there are people who think I was very hurtful to them and that I never apologized, etc. I run into them from time to time and we avoid each other.

The reason I do this is because they did things that were hurtful/ toxic to me over a long period of time and never acknowledged or paid attention to it. Sometimes people are just on different wavelengths like oil and water and they cannot give the other person what is needed. I don’t think these folks are bad people but after a time we just did not get on well together. One thing they have in common is that they are all oversensitive compared to the average person I meet and get very upset over what I and my other friends would consider relatively small slights, or not even slights at all. Eventually I had to put my foot down and walk away, for my own good and I think also for theirs.

I pray for these folks and I think I have forgiven them all, although I still pray to the Lord to help me forgive more if I need to. But going back to them with an apology is not going to happen. It would likely just kick off fresh rounds of drama that I’m not in a good position to deal with. I also am not convinced that what I did - basically draw a boundary and in one case stand up for another mutual friend using something my own father had said years before - was all that “bad”. Maybe that’s my own pride and I’ll have to answer for it to the Lord, but my point is, things are not always so cut and dried. Sometimes avoidance and prayer is really the best policy.

Of course, they are not my family members, so I am not in a position of having to see them at a gathering every holiday or otherwise be in their presence except as a random encounter every couple years when we both might attend the same public event.


Because you are a nice person who has empathy and a conscience.

Arrogant. Self-centered. Rude. Yeah.

It doesn’t. Stop trying to make it make sense.


From reading many of your threads it seems your real pattern is one of extreme insecurity. You attempt to gain security though external, outward, forces. “If my sister acknowledged she hurt me I’d be fine”, If people liked me I’d be fine", “Why should we be modest when no one else is?” “If I didn’t have to be modest I could find a spouse”. (Not saying these are your words but this is what I hear in your threads.)

I feel you should find a spiritual director to help you work through these issues of insecurity and learn to build strength from within. Learn to lean on prayer, on our Lord, our Blessed Mother, the saints. If at all possible go on a women’s spiritual retreat, maybe even a silent one with spiritual direction.

There will always be people who will think and behave in ways we may not approve of, if we let it bother us every single time we’d never function at all. Stop overthinking it and rather than questions why folks don’t react the way you’d like them to, pray for them. Pray for them to gain grace and peace, not for them to come and apologize to you. Just pray that they may be blessed by God.


I have mentioned this before but I had conflict and a lot of unhappiness and I prayed for an angel of The Lord to come and abide with us for a while and after three days things suddenly came good, it was such a difference I can’t tell you.

There’s such power in prayer.

God bless.


I can identify with the OP, and your response is right on. I have a sister we all have to tip toe around so as not to upset her (for the sake of the family…) She has no filter and says whatever she wants and it does hurt. I struggle to let it go and stop trying to make it make sense. Good insight.


I have often thought that the people who are most unattractive in behaviour need our love the most. If we can love the most unattractive seeing their flaws as part of their journey then we might increase our capacity to love which in turn helps us on our journey. I know that’s not easy but it sometimes helps me to see that we are all tools in the hands of The Creator.


Ok, fair enough but please keep in mind that people’s internet posts are a “snap shot” of their whole lives,a segment/portion,and its probably prudent we don’t go forming all sorts of connections between things as this can be a bit presumptuous and we might be the one making an error.

I hope you don’t mind but I have copy paste your answer about insecurity/looks/modesty etc into the other thread and I have responded regarding my insecurity etc “issues” there because I didn’t want this thread to become off topic.
I will take up your advise about praying etc though.

This particular thread however has nothing to do with insecurity but is rather about human kindness and caring etc.
If you personally are nonchalant/indifferent when someone hurts you and then doesn’t even acknowledge it,care or apologise then you are a better and more saintly person than I am.
However I and some other people don’t find it as easy to then still have a harmonious relationship because humans have feelings and aren’t robots.

If it wasn’t important to acknowledge when we hurt someone then I don’t know why the bible would mention it in Matthew 5:23-24 about going and making peace with someone you have transgressed.
Even if pray for them to gain peace and grace,isn’t it still the right thing to do to at least display an attitude of acknowledgement when we hurt someone because isn’t that just human decency and how we build harmonious relationships?


I think you misunderstood my response. Your sister isn’t going to give you what you want. She will not behave in the way you believe she should. With regard to her in this situation you will just need to adjust your expectations. You can force her to be someone she is not.


When I was a kid, I watched my mother go through so much hurt and upset when her siblings, especially one brother to whom she was close as a child, just wouldn’t act towards her the way she thought they should, that it actually made me happy I was an only child.

People would be doing themselves a big favor to just accept that other people, including family, usually aren’t going to respond in the way you want them to, and then be surprised/ pleased/ take it as a nice gift if the person does happen to respond in a way you want, rather than being constantly disappointed and upset when they don’t (which is often, most of the time).

It’s your choice as to how you want to live your life. If you want to be in a state of constant disappointment and upset at your sister, then feel free. But don’t expect people on this thread to affirm you thinking that way. I think you’d be wasting your time, life, and mental energy by not just setting it aside.


Thankfully it’s all good now,at least for now,and God willing into the future :crossed_fingers:
After I prayed, my sister the next day said she wasn’t happy with the way she responded/acted not caringly.
I’m blessed to have a good sister.
I don’t know if it was due to praying,and God affecting her heart, or just coincidence but either way I need to remind myself to keep praying when things seem ok too and not just when they aren’t.

I hope that everyone else too can resolve any discord or communication difficulties they are having with their sister or anyone else.
Like you mentioned further up,people sometimes just seem on different wavelengths,but I think it’s a good idea to deal with any hurts when they immediately arise.
Later could just reopen drama like you mentioned.
I think it takes a lot of humility to apologise when it seems it was small slights or over sensitive etc.
For example I think my father is very humble because even if he wasn’t in the wrong he might say something to the person like “sorry that’s how it seemed or was received that way” (but in a sincere way,not in a harsh way to try to suggest the others perceptions was to blame etc).

Regarding the hurtful/toxic people you mentioned-If dealing with a person who is always over sensitive sometimes instead of always apologising I find it can be helpful to patiently and gently help them to perceive what was really meant in a “clearer light”.
To me,“toxic people” are really usually just hurt people who don’t know how to manage their emotions or situations properly so they use whatever “survival tactic” they can to manage.
At least that’s how I see it.


I’m glad you were able to resolve things with your sister.

You are right that “toxic people” are not necessarily bad people. Many times they have a mental illness or disturbance and are indeed doing what they see as a survival strategy.

However, I and others who have dealt with them have our limits and need to think of our own mental, physical and spiritual health. It can be necessary to set boundaries or even cut people off in order to avoid constant abusive or co-dependent patterns. In my case, it was necessary to cut some people off because the friendships had become unhealthy and I needed to get on with my life and not be someone’s constant punching bag or drama magnet or sounding board. In each case they had other sources of support such as spouse, other friends, and/or parents, so I was not leaving them in the lurch with no one.


Yes co dependant relationships aren’t doing anybody any favours in the long run!


When something as you described happens to me, I try to take a few quiet minutes and calm myself. Then I remind myself nobody is perfect and I am sure there are times I was thoughtless and really hurt someone else with my carelessness. There is no way I can’t forgive once I remember that about myself.

Of course, you should never tolerate a one-sided only pattern of bad behavior from someone. My advice above is for your interactions with people who you are generally OK with but may present an isolated incident here or there. Your post indicates there is a pattern present on both the part of your sister and the part of you. I would evaluate that dynamic and see if you aren’t getting something out of it that feeds you. You may not even realize it. My advice still stands, in this situation with regards to forgiveness though. You can only control yourself. You seem to love your sister, which makes me believe you want to forgive her. So do. Don’t be a doormat, but if you genuinely feel your sister isn’t intentionally trying to hurt you, the forgiveness is in order even if she doesn’t apologize. It is more about you letting things go for your own health than giving her something.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit