Ideas from books, articles & podcasts.
Forgiveness is often viewed as the “happily ever after” ending in a story of wrongdoing or injustice. Someone enacts harm, the typical arc goes, but eventually sees the error of their ways and offers a heartfelt apology. “Can you ever forgive me?” Then you, the hurt person, are faced with a choic...
Forgiveness might be a step on the path to reconciliation, but you don’t have to traverse the full route if you’d prefer not to.
While forgiveness is separate from accountability, it’s not at odds with seeking justice. Many people think it’s either/or, rather than both. Forgiving someone ca...
Being willing to let go of the anger and hurt can be one of the hardest aspects of forgiving someone, especially someone who isn’t sorry or who hasn’t apologized. In these instances, it can sometimes feel like your wound is all you have: It serves as proof that an awful thing happened to you and ...
The person who has been treated unfairly focuses on the effects of the injustice in their life. These effects might be things like monetary costs, lost time, ongoing anxiety, depression, anger, sleep problems, or a more pessimistic worldview. In a lot of instances, people don’t even realize how m...
Researchers have led to the development of a step-by-step process for forgiveness, which can happen in therapy (ideally with someone who is trained in forgiveness therapy), or through a self-guided process using a workbook.
There are four major phases of forgiveness: uncovering, dec...
This is where you’ll determine whether you want to try to forgive the person who hurt you. And the answer might be no! Maybe it’s too soon and the pain is too fresh, or you just know you’re not ready to let go of the anger. That’s okay; this is a process you can always return to, and, eventually,...
At this point, you’ll aim to broaden your narrative about the other person and develop empathy for them. So you might think about how they were raised, what difficult things happened in their life that led them to this point, and the ways in which that person is vulnerable.
This is when you’ll reflect on the meaning you’ve found in your life from this experience. What we tend to find a lot of times is people become much more attuned to the wounds within other people. You may realize that you’ve become more patient with strangers, or less judgmental of coworkers or f...
Being ready to forgive someone who hurt you takes time, as does the work of forgiving them. It’s impossible to know when — or if — you’ll ever be ready. If now doesn’t seem to be the time, that’s okay.
We’re in relationships with many people over the course of a whole lifetime. Things can ...
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