Possible ways to forgive


When someone hurts you, it can feel good to hang onto the anger and resentment that may bubble up after their actions. However, forgiving others can actually benefit you both mentally and physically, and it can help you move on from thinking about what the other person did.[1] Forgiving yourself for hurting someone else is another tough task, and it can feel even harder than forgiving a friend or family member. With a little bit of patience and compassion, you can learn to forgive yourself or others and move on from feeling angry, hurt, or resentful.

Method 1
Method 1 of 4:
Understanding Forgiveness

What forgiving is: a willingness to move on from an injustice you went through. Forgiving someone is a tough decision to make, and it doesn’t happen instantly. While you can consciously decide to forgive someone, it may take some time to process your emotions and actually come to terms with your situation.[2]
Contrary to the popular saying, you don’t have to “forgive and forget.” While you can forgive someone, it might be harder to forget what they did to you entirely, especially if it really hurt you.

What forgiving isn’t: excusing the other person’s behavior. If you have to forgive someone, you were probably really hurt by something they said or did. Just because you forgive someone doesn’t mean that you’re saying their actions were okay or justifiable, and it’s important that you express that as you forgive.[3]
If the person is truly sorry, they’ll change their behavior to try avoid hurting you in the future.

Consider why you want to forgive this person. Forgiveness is a decision that should be made thoughtfully, especially if someone did something seriously wrong. Take time to think through your feelings and your reasoning, to better understand the situation.[4]
You want to resolve your own feelings of anger, confusion, or hurt.
You value your relationship with them, and believe that forgiving them is worth it.
They’ve shown a willingness to change their behavior, and you want to try again.

Avoid giving someone too many chances. You may choose to forgive someone once, twice, or three times. But if they are repeatedly and knowingly hurting you, or if they have done something extremely terrible, then you should consider protecting yourself. If someone has shown that they will mistreat you again and again, or that they are willing to do you serious harm, then you need to protect your own well-being.[5]
For example, you can forgive an abusive father and choose not to talk to him ever again, because you know he would mistreat you.
For example, if your girlfriend yells at you and then apologizes and says she’s working on controlling her temper, then you might decide to forgive her and continue dating her. If your girlfriend screams horrible abuse at you, or hits you, then you need to protect yourself and escape the relationship.

Choose to forgive because you want to, not because you have to. Forgiveness should be chosen freely, not reluctantly or under pressure. Forgiveness is a choice that you make for yourself, so don’t let other people’s ideas of what you “should” do pressure you into doing something that feels premature or just not right.[6]
If you aren’t ready to forgive someone, you don’t have to do it yet. If anyone pressures you, say “I’m not ready to forgive yet.”
You do not owe forgiveness to anyone else. If you do not want to forgive them, that is your choice.

Take the time to process your emotions. Sometimes, it takes a while to untangle all your feelings and figure out what to do. That’s okay. Give yourself time and space to process. Helpful processing tools include:[7]
Write in a journal about it.
Talk to a mentor or trusted person about the situation.
Express your feelings through artwork.
Spend some time focusing on something else, and come back later.

Method 2
Method 2 of 4:
Forgiving Others

Reach out to connect. As life gets busy, it is difficult to stay in touch with friends. When a conflict has occurred to push people apart, that connection becomes even harder to salvage. If you want to forgive someone, then take the first step in the process by reaching out. This act alone will help you to feel more open and optimistic.[8]
It is always difficult to take the first step, and sometimes you need to give yourself a push. Simply tell yourself, “Here we go,” and pick up the phone and make contact.

Ask to be heard. Whether you decide to set up a face-to-face meeting with the person, or communicate via telephone or electronic device, the goal is the same: ask the person for time to express your thoughts and feelings about the conflict.[9]
Assure the person that you are open and willing to hear what she has to say as well. This will allow the person to feel more open about the forthcoming discussion.[10]
If the person refuses to meet with you, do not despair. There are things you can do to move toward forgiveness regardless of whether the person complies. The act of forgiveness is designed to help you in the end. For example, use writing instead of direct contact to express your feelings and thoughts about the person. Writing in a journal helps to process your feelings and is effective.

Discuss the issue. Some discussions in life are harder to have than others. When a conflict has occurred and negative feelings have grown, it is difficult to start the conversation. The goal would be to frame the conversation and guide it toward a peaceful resolution to manage the hurt and disappointment you are feeling.[11]
First, thank the person for meeting with you.
Second, tell the person your goal is to hear each other’s side of the story and come to some peaceful resolution so you both can move on.
Third, tell your side of the story. Make “I” statements to describe your thoughts and feelings, without making accusations.
Fourth, ask the person if there is anything else you can clarify for him before he provides the details of his side of the story.
Fifth, ask the person questions that will give you the necessary information to understand his intent, motives, thoughts and feelings.

Apologize for your own mistakes. Most every conflict involves a misunderstanding or misconception of what someone did or said. There are things that you must do to loosen the tension in the situation. Taking responsibility for your role is an act that fosters the open communication that you want, and is necessary to reach a resolution.

Accept the other person’s apology. If you have discussed the situation and the person has extended a sincere apology, then accept it. Even if you have to force yourself to say the words, “I accept your apology,” this is a large step toward creating a sense of forgiveness for yourself. Here are some examples of things you could say:
“I accept your apology, and I forgive you.”
“I appreciate you saying that. Friends?”
“Thank you for apologizing. I don’t know if I’m ready to forgive you yet, but I will work on it. Please give me some time.”

Show your willingness to move on.[12] If you must or want to maintain a relationship with this person, then your behaviors must demonstrate that you are serious. Your relationship will improve when you go through the process of forgiveness. This includes not holding grudges and bringing up the past. It also includes your willingness to laugh and be lighthearted around the person. Moving past a conflict is a huge relief, so let that motivate your actions.[13]
As time passes and progress is made, you may notice you are still allowing feelings of betrayal to affect the way you treat the person. Perhaps it happens during heated arguments or discussions. You may not have processed your hurt feelings and still have some work to do. This is a normal reaction and can be managed by talking about your feelings with the person involved, or someone else.

Pay attention to whether they’re changing their behavior. Have you given them the chance to change, by letting them know their actions hurt you? If so, are they working to adjust their behavior, or are they doing it again without caring how it’s affecting you?[14]
For example, say that your sister made fun of your nose, and you told her that it hurt your feelings, you should pay attention to whether or not she does it again.

Method 3
Method 3 of 4:
Forgiving Yourself

Accept what you did and why it was wrong. Instead of making excuses for yourself, try to recognize that what you did wasn’t okay and why you shouldn’t do it again. If you wouldn’t excuse it from someone else, you shouldn’t let yourself off the hook, either.[15]
It’s easy to make excuses for yourself since you know yourself the best.

Recognize your flaws. All humans have flaws, and you’re no exception. Think about what you did and which flaws in your character made you do it. This will not only help you reflect on why you did what you did, but it can help you avoid situations like it in the future.[16]
For example, if you lied to a friend and said you were busy when you actually weren’t, you may have issues with letting people down.
Or, if you cheated on a test, you might be struggling in school or need extra time to study.

Apologize to anyone you have wronged. If your actions hurt someone that you care about, reach out to them and apologize. There’s no guarantee that they’ll accept your apology, but it can help mend the gap between you two and start the process of reconciliation.[17]
You could say something like, “Hey, I know I hurt you the other day when I lied, and I just wanted to reach out and see if you’re up to talking about it.”

Say the words, “I forgive myself.” While you might feel a little silly, speaking your forgiveness out loud can help you process and move on. When you feel like you’ve done all you can to make up for your actions, go ahead and forgive yourself for your mistake. Chances are, you’ll think a little harder before you make a mistake like that in the future.[18]
Think about every mistake you make as a lesson learned that could benefit you in the future.

Find a therapist if you’re struggling to cope. If you are having difficulty forgiving yourself and it is impacting your life in a negative way, perhaps it is time to seek professional help from a counselor or therapist. Therapies intended to promote forgiveness have been successful in helping people overcome past hurts and achieve peace and resolution.[19]
You can get a referral or suggestion from your physician, health insurance company, or a trusted family member or friend. However, if that is not feasible, contact your local department of mental health about counseling options.
If you feel you and your therapist are not a good fit, look for a different therapist. Every therapist is different and finding one with whom you feel comfortable is essential.
Try a therapist who practices cognitive behavioral therapy. Your therapist will help examine and dispel the negative thought patterns that you have developed.

Method 4
Method 4 of 4:
Moving On

Practice empathy and compassion. Both empathy and compassion can be learned. As with any new skill, you need to practice. If you are able to treat people the way you would like to be treated, you are more than half-way there.[20]
Take the opportunity to practice compassion when out in public. If you see someone struggling getting into the doorway of a store, rush to open it. If you see someone that looks like she is having a bad day, smile and say hello. Your goal is to allow others to feel the impact of your good deeds.
Expand your empathy by talking and, most importantly, listening to people outside your social circle. Try to strike up a conversation with a stranger once a week. Go beyond small talk and try to (respectfully) inquire about their lives and experiences. This will broaden your worldview and help you become more understanding of others.[21]

Question and adjust your perspective. You have probably been holding strong beliefs about a situation in which you were wronged by someone. Many times a person’s perspective is askew and needs to return to a balanced state. It is important to keep things in perspective, especially if yours is causing you harm.[22]
Is this important? Will I care about it 6 months or 6 years from now?
Is this worth my time?
Could I be jumping to conclusions? Could there be circumstances I’m not aware of?
Is this issue important to me, or should I just let it go?
Are my feelings or behavior holding me back from better things?

Make a list of the benefits of letting go of resentment. Think about how feelings of resentment might be shaping your life now, and how letting go could change things. Here are some things you might consider for the list:[23]
I can stop lying awake in bed, playing and replaying imaginary conversations in my head. Instead, I’ll just sleep.
I can stop feeling like a victim, and start feeling empowered to control my own life.
I can say goodbye to a bad chapter of my life, and start focusing on creating a good one.
I can focus less on this person’s past mistakes, and focus more on rebuilding a stronger relationship.
I can remember what happened without feeling helpless, and use the knowledge of what went wrong to help me spot and avoid similar problems in the future.

Try moving from resentment to gratitude. Over time, work on letting go of resentment, and looking for the upsides to the situation. Strong feelings are natural at first, but they can become toxic if you hold onto them forever. If you catch yourself falling into a trap of negativity, work on finding the good parts. This can help you reframe things and feel more positively about your life. Here are some examples:[24]
“I’m glad that I’ve finally finished the semester, so I don’t have to deal with that difficult professor again. She is not my problem anymore.”


Also read this…..

A Call of Forgiveness

Oh God our help in ages past

God Will Remember You In That Situation

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