Why Is It Difficult To Forgive A Coworker?

Forgive Nurse Coworker

Caregivers and nurses like everyone else find themselves in situations where they are hurt by a coworker.

When a coworker causes hurt, you feel so much pain and you find that you are struggling with forgiveness.

Many people find it difficult to forgive a coworker that has offended them.

This is a two-part article where in this first part I want us to focus on the causes and effects of hurt and look at what forgiveness means.


  • Definition

When I looked at the Oxford dictionary for the meaning of forgiveness, it defined it as, “to grant free pardon and give up all claim on account of an offense.”

The issue of forgiveness has to do with a relationship. This could be between one nurse and another or one caregiver and another.

Forgiveness can be seen as letting go of a grudge or letting go of your anger and bitterness toward your fellow coworker.


  • Causes of Hurt

In the work environment there are situations that arise that cause our feelings to get hurt.

Sometimes these situations may not be intentional, but other times your coworkers can intentionally do things to hurt you.

You may find out that your coworker’s gossip and spread rumors about you. These rumors may or may not be true. Either way this will really hurt you.

They may also sabotage your work.

Particularly if you are supposed to be working as a team, they may refuse to do their part and in the end blame you for the failure of the unfinished task.

Your supervisor may also give you more work than you can handle or a huge work load that cannot be completed in the allocated time.

A common cause of hurt is when a coworker humiliates you in front of others.

There are times you may experience abuse in the work place like being yelled at or cursed.  Your coworkers may also speak rudely to you.

Being victimized is another common cause of hurt where everything that goes wrong in the department is your fault.

Being demoted or losing your job can cause tremendous hurt.

These are examples of situations that will make you not want to forgive the offender or coworker.


  • Effects of Hurt

When you are hurt, you lose trust in the person that hurt you.

You feel disappointed and let down.

Your ego and pride is hurt.

You feel angry and frustrated.

You just want to cry; or you do cry.


  • Effects on Us

Lack of forgiveness affects our physical bodies as well as our emotions. It causes anxiety, stress, high blood pressure and depression.

You become the victim of the situation. The people who cause the hurt may go about their business without even a thought of what they did.

If you do not learn to forgive, you are giving the other person your power.

Forgiveness is about getting your personal power. It is about being the victor and not the victim.


In part 2 of this article I want us to focus on how to forgive.


I would like to hear your thoughts.


  1. Beatrice Kiarie says:

    I like the article and especially the last line that states “Forgiveness is about getting your personal power. It is about being the victor and not the victim”. This is so true and i have found myself in such situations. It is about time i learn to get my personal power back!

    • Joyce says:

      So true Beatrice. We are born to be ‘victors.’

  2. Ann Najjar says:

    Sometimes all it takes is an unkind or “snappy” word from a co-worker to lift my tentacles. I try to forgive, but I find it hard to forget. It is always in the back of my mind for future reference. I am working on this. It does cause me anxiety.

    • Joyce says:

      Thanks for sharing so honestly.I am happy that you are working on this. It really takes a lot to forgive, it is not easy. But in the end it is all worth it.
      You will benefit from forgiving the other person.