Prioritise your safety - Deepstash

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

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.

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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.
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.

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.