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If someone hurt you this year, forgiving them may improve your health (as long as you're safe, too)

Apologies and understanding

An apology is not telling others we feel sorry they are angry it is telling them we understand why they are angry with us, regret making them feel that way, and wanting to take their anger away. 

An effective apology is showing the person we understand why they are hurting.

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If someone hurt you this year, forgiving them may improve your health (as long as you're safe, too)

If someone hurt you this year, forgiving them may improve your health (as long as you're safe, too)

http://theconversation.com/if-someone-hurt-you-this-year-forgiving-them-may-improve-your-health-as-long-as-youre-safe-too-106253

theconversation.com

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Key Ideas

What forgiveness is

Forgiveness does not mean forgetting or minimising the pain we feel; nor is it about excusing others. 

Forgiveness means making a conscious and deliberate decision to let go of our feelings of resentment or revenge, regardless of whether the person who has upset us deserves it.

A proper apology

One thing that often helps people to forgive is receiving an apology.

A good apology ideally has three parts: an admission of responsibility, a demonstration of sorrow, and doing something to remedy the offence, or prevent a repetition of it. 

Apologies and understanding

An apology is not telling others we feel sorry they are angry it is telling them we understand why they are angry with us, regret making them feel that way, and wanting to take their anger away. 

An effective apology is showing the person we understand why they are hurting.

Prioritise your safety

Forgiving ourselves is always good. But forgiving others is only beneficial if the advantages exceed the potential costs. We should therefore not forgive others if that might expose us to further abuse or exploitation.

The stress response we experience to being hurt is protective because it motivates us to stop people from abusing or taking advantage of us.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Forgiveness
By forgiving, you are accepting the reality of what happened and finding a way to live in a state of resolution with it.

This can be a gradual process—and it doesn't necessarily include the person ...

Why forgiveness is so hard
  • You're filled with thoughts of retribution or revenge
  • You enjoy feeling superior
  • You don't know how to resolve the situation
  • You're addicted to the adrenaline that anger provides
  • You self-identify as a "victim"
  • You're afraid that by forgiving you have to re-connect—or lose your connection.
When you desire to forgive

If you decide you are willing to forgive, find a good place and time to be alone with your thoughts.

  • Think about the incident that angered you. Accept that it happened, how you felt about it and how it made you react.
  • Acknowledge the growth you experienced as a result of what happened. What did it make you learn about yourself, or about your needs and boundaries?
  • Think about the other person. When you were hurt, the other person was trying to have a need met. What do you think this need was and why did the person go about it in such a hurtful way?
  • Decide if you want to tell the other person that you have forgiven him or her.
Define who and what
Identify the person who has affected you negatively.

Identify the specific behavior that damaged you. Consider the person as a whole with positive and negative behaviors. The pers...

Let the feeling be felt
Any feelings that are attached to the damaging behavior need to be brought to the surface.

If you feel safe communicating with the person who hurt you, talk about your feelings or write them to him. 

Forgiveness is good for you

Many of us have anxious and negative attachments to people who have hurt us in the form of anger, hate, resentment, irrational guilt or shame.

Removing the negative attachment through forgiveness will make you feel liberated and open you to the positive that life has to offer.

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Forgiveness
  • Forgiveness is choosing to accept what happened as it happened rather than what could or should have happened. 
  • Forgiveness can mean that you let go. 
  • Forgiveness can...
Forgiveness is a process

Forgiveness takes time for most. Shock and anger often come before forgiveness. Deal with the hurt feelings before moving into forgiveness.

The act of forgiving is one of realizing that holding onto the anger and resentment no longer carries the same weight on us.

Forgiveness ≠ weakness

One roadblock people face with forgiveness is the idea of being seen as "weak" and saying that what the offender did is excusable.

It requires more strength to forgive. Staying angry, resentful, and vengeful can have a detrimental impact on your physical and emotional health as well as your relationships.

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Forgiveness

Forgiveness is choosing to not let negative events of the past define how you feel.

Forgiveness can keep your emotional body healthy. It increases feelings of happiness and decreases ...

Forgiving is not the same as forgetting

You can forgive someone and still maintain a boundary. They may not even necessarily know you forgave them.

When you hold onto anger towards yourself or others, it weighs you down, drains your energy and increases your stress.

Living in the past

Resentment forces you to live in the past by fixing that person to that past moment.

Do not let yourself or the relationship be defined by anger. The ability to forgive and move on is critical for maintaining a healthy and happy relationship with the people you care about.

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6 Components of a good apology
  1. Expression of regret
  2. Explanation of what went wrong
  3. Acknowledgment of responsibility
  4. Declaration of repentance
  5. Offer of repair
  6. Request for forgiveness
Communicate Effectively And Sincerely

The content of an apology is only half the battle. The delivery matters as well. If you mumble, avert eye contact, or stand in the corner with your arms crossed, it won’t matter what you say. 

No matter how much damage was done, a sincere apology restores faith.

The Courage To Apologize

Saying you’re sorry is uncomfortable. It can be hard to admit your shortcomings and acknowledge your mistakes. But taking responsibility is the key to restoring trust.

Be sincere

The only time to apologize is when you’re genuinely remorseful. 

Avoid any apology that is forced. The person you are apologizing to will pick up on your ...

Be honest and vulnerable

In order to show your sincerity when apologizing, you must be honest and vulnerable. That can lead to the cultivation of meaningful relationships. It can also lead to rejection, which is what makes it so scary. 

When you apologize, be willing to share openly and candidly, allowing emotions to flow freely, so that you can be fully seen.

Admit fault

Take responsibility for your actions and admit your mistakes or transgressions. State them out loud. Yes, it will be scary. It will feel shameful for a time. But it is worth it.

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Forgiveness does not mean forgetting

It’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever be able to forget a serious wrong committed against you. But it’s a mistake to assume that because your mind is drawn to a specific thought or memor...

Forgiveness and anger don’t mix

It’s normal to feel anger towards your offender. But unchecked anger often leads to unhelpful amounts of mental elaboration over the wrongs done to you.

When you notice yourself feeling angry, pause briefly and acknowledge the anger, then ask yourself if your anger will do you any good in the long-term. Just because your anger is justified doesn’t mean it’s helpful.

Forgiveness does not mean endorsement

Acceptance does not mean endorsement or justification.  Acceptance means acknowledging that you don’t have power or control over the past.

Accept the offense against you without excusing it. The key to taking control of your future is choosing to let go of the desire to control the past.

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Understanding

The first step in forgiveness is to understand "why" someone acts the way they do. What are they trying to protect? What are they afraid of? What basic skills did they learn (or not learn) ...

Feel and express your emotions

Until we fully release our emotions, they continue to affect our present mindset.

  • Do anger work. Allow yourself to be fully disappointed, sad or depressed. Talk about it.
  • Write a letter. Purging emotions out on paper give them a place to live outside of yourself.
  • Talk to the person (if possible). This is only helpful if it is safe for you to speak with the person. It is usually not effective when you are angry or until you have processed your emotions significantly on your own.
Rebuild safety

Create new boundaries for yourself within the relationship.

This may mean you no longer see the person, end the relationship or establish new guidelines.

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Causing unintentional harm

We all cause harm to our partner and the intimacy between us. We make mistakes that are foolish and unintentional and sometimes launch attacks on purpose.

When you wound another, apologi...

How to give an apology

A good apology takes two people: the giver and the receiver. An apology that heals is based on kindness, generosity, and compassion. 

The recipient accepts it with grace and, in turn, offers forgiveness. Without forgiveness, it cannot heal.

The mindful apology in practice
  • Repair: An apology that rebuilds intimacy should have three parts: you need to own the mistake, and then you need to repair the damage. Lastly, you need to vow to improve.
  • Forgive:  If you have been hurt, you may never completely forget, but you can choose to forgive. To decide to forgive means that you don't relive something that belongs to the past.
  • Begin again: Unfinished business will accumulate. Let go of the small and the large wounds, so they don't pile up. 
Practice self-care as individuals
Your disappointments in your partner often reflect your disappointments in yourself. Your acceptance of your partner often reflects your acceptance of yourself. 
Thus, the first step to hav...
Stand together
Don’t let outsiders run your relationship for you. If you’re having an issue with your partner, work it out with THEM and no one else.  
The relationship is unique

Don’t compare your relationship to anyone else’s – not your parent’s, friend’s, coworker’s, or that random couple whose relationship seems perfect.  Keep in mind that all relationships have their ups and downs.

Focus on what you two share, and make your unique bond the best it can be.

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