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The Psychology of Forgiveness

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 mean you step into your present rather than anchoring in the past.

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The Psychology of Forgiveness

The Psychology of Forgiveness

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-addiction-connection/201409/the-psychology-forgiveness

psychologytoday.com

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Key Ideas

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 mean you step into your present rather than anchoring in the past.

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.

Begin the process of forgiveness

Forgiveness can involve drawing boundaries for yourself.

The biggest aspect will involve going through the impact the betrayal had on your life. Understanding the factors that contributed to the betrayal can help to get to a place of acceptance. Letter writing is often a powerful tool in doing this work.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

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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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 fe...

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.

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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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