How to Start a Letter to Someone Who Wronged You

Written by kathryn hatter
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How to Start a Letter to Someone Who Wronged You
Dealing with hurt feelings can be easier in a letter. (Allan Danahar/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

When someone wrongs you, as a victim, the feelings that result may be a challenge to overcome. You may feel hurt, betrayal, anger, bitterness and mistrust because of the incident. Left unabated, these feelings may grow to the point where they begin to affect your sense of peace. As you explore your feelings, you may decide to write a letter to someone who wronged you. Your letter can be an effective way to communicate your feelings and it may even enable you to forgive.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Paper
  • Pen

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  1. 1

    Think about your feelings carefully before you start the letter. Spend some time in quiet contemplation to determine what feelings you have about the incident. Talk to a trusted confidant or adviser, if necessary, to help you make sense of your feelings.

  2. 2

    Write down thoughts and feelings on paper to help you organise your thinking. Enumerate the perceived wrongs and any evidence you have of the wrongdoing.

  3. 3

    Open the letter with a salutation directly to the person who hurt you. For example, write, "Dear Steve," to begin the letter.

  4. 4

    Begin the letter objectively, without including any reference to feelings. Give a complete report about the wrong without injecting any opinions or feelings. Start at the beginning of the situation and compile a complete history of the entire situation. Keep your report factual and succinct, but include every pertinent detail in your report.

Tips and warnings

  • The report you start your letter with may be brief or it may be long and detailed, depending on the situation. Make the report as long as necessary to compile a complete report.
  • After you present the facts of the wrong, express your feelings. Write about how you feel because of the wrong, being as candid and honest as possible.
  • Conclude the letter with a resolution. The resolution need not be reconciliation, unless that is your desire. The resolution may also be to go your separate ways. If you want to forgive, express your forgiveness in this portion of the letter.
  • Not forgiving someone who hurts you ultimately steals your peace and may hurt you as much as the original wrong. When you extend forgiveness, you let go of bitterness and resentment. In the place of these negative emotions, you extend undeserved charity and compassion.
  • It may take several drafts before you write a letter you wish to send.

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