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Forgiving Someone Else

Updated on March 30, 2013

Should You Forgive Someone Else?

Forgiveness is a personal thing.
Forgiveness is a personal thing. | Source

What is Forgiveness?

Forgiveness is the ability to let go of bitterness and resentment against someone else. You have been wronged. You feel hurt. You might feel like you want to get revenge, or get even. You might wish bad things upon the other person. You may want them to get what they deserve or hope what goes around comes around. You might be looking for ways to see them feel miserable.

When you can replace these feelings of anger, revenge, spitefulness, and negative thinking with goodwill and more positive feelings, and you can put to rest the offending things they did to you, you will allow yourself to move forward.

It sometimes can be difficult to forgive. You may not want to forget or condone what was done to you. You don’t want to know their excuses or rationalization for what they have done or how they have disappointed you.

Forgiveness is one of the most important life lessons to learn. People who have a more forgiving nature are more likely to be happier, have a more positive attitude, and be more content overall. Forgiving people tend to be more empathetic, and are usually more spiritual and have a better ability to re-establish closer relationships with others. They are less likely to be depressed, neurotic, hostile, anxious, hateful, angry, and negative. Forgiving helps people to move on. Those who have the inability to forgive others leads to over thinking, ruminating about revenge, dwelling on the negative, and living in the past.

Choosing to Forgive

Respect  yourself and then choose forgiveness.
Respect yourself and then choose forgiveness. | Source

The Power of Forgiveness

When someone offends us and we feel wronged, our initial inclination is to respond negatively. We immediately think, they are thoughtless or intentionally hurtful. But most people do not want to hurt others and they may not be aware that their behavior was inappropriate.

Forgiveness can be difficult because we may not necessarily want to reconcile with the other person. Or we may want to reconcile with them, but fear rejection or feel vulnerable because we don’t want to subject ourselves to being hurt anymore.

Forgiveness means letting go of an inner animosity that we may not be really ready to release. We have pain from the wrong that was done to us. What do we do with this pain. We have pride and we don’t want to be insulted again. We have boundaries that may have been crossed and we have emotions that we need to express. We may want to forgive, but we don’t want to absolve someone of the way they have wronged us.

Forgiveness is a brave thing to do.

People who are more empathetic tend to be able to forgive more easily. By putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes, and being able to understand their thoughts, feelings, and emotions, it becomes easier for us to realize that we all have our own story. This helps make us better able to understand where the other person might be coming from. It may help you realize that the other person might be dealing with stressful things that may contribute to their behavior towards you.

Empathy is a good quality to have, even if you are not going to forgive someone else. Empathy is the ability to identify with someone else’s emotions.

Forgiveness can involve expressing anger, and may even be necessary. It is okay to feel angry when someone has done something to you. it is okay to show the other person just how you feel. Honest expression of your emotions is a way to resolve the conflict in the relationship. It may even feel uncomfortable to be angry at another person but in the long term, things will be better, and your relationship will probably be stronger and more successful. Anger lets the other person know that their behavior is not acceptable.

So why is do we need to forgive? Harboring resentment and holding onto negative thoughts is just not good for us, now and in the long run. Dealing with transgressions that were done against us, makes us decide if we should stay angry and hold onto it, or let it go and forgive.

Forgiveness can be a complicated issue and much depends on the personality of the other person, the severity of the transgression, and how often it has happened.

There is power in forgiveness, yet it is so hard. Anger can be hard to let go of, even with the passage of time. If you are still angry, you can’t forgive someone. We might think that the other person doesn’t deserve our forgiveness. Sometimes we don’t want to forgive someone else because we don’t want to condone what they have done. We don’t want to let the other person off the hook, we may want to punish them for what they done. We feel harmed. We can’t forgive until we are ready. Holding a grudge is sometimes our only option to get satisfaction.

Feeling Hurt

Forgiveness can be complicated.
Forgiveness can be complicated. | Source

Forgiveness Helps You

To forgive, is to move forward, and give ourselves freedom and help ourselves heal..

There is great benefits to forgiving others. When we forgive we become more compassionate. When we forgive someone else we can let go of anger and feel greater joy.

If we believe that the other person won’t do it again, then, we believe that there is good in the other person. To forgive, we need to let go of our negative feelings and our desire to get even in some way. We let peace, joy, gratitude and hope dominate, instead of feelings of revenge and resentment.

We can be hurt by someone’s actions and words. Wounds that have no way to heal, unless the other person apologizes for their transgressions.

Consider how forgiveness can lead you down the path of physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

Forgiveness does not mean you are letting the other person deny what was done to you, or letting them justify that it was okay. It means that you are focusing on other positive aspects of yourself and others. And from the act of forgiveness, you can gain a better understanding of feeling empathetic and compassion for someone else. To rise above the moment, and be bigger than what has happened to you is a superior thing to do. The reward of inner peace is greater than all the satisfaction punishment could bring.

Forgiving Others

Forgiving and Relationships

When you know you are kind, you will have healthier relationships. Spiritually and psychologically, you will have a greater sense of well being. Having less negative thoughts will lead you to having less anxiety, less stress, and less hostility. Your blood pressure may be lower, you will have a better barrier against depression, and less risk of turning to drug and alcohol overuse.

When you ask yourself if the grudge is really serving a purpose, you will be more willing to let it go. Bitter feelings and that sense of injustice can stay with you and hold you back, and cause you to repeat this in many other relationships and experiences you continue to have. If you think about it, these negative feelings are probably stopping you from enjoying what is currently going on. To be in the moment, to enjoy the present, to let go of the past, and to march towards the future with bright and positive thoughts is all you need to embrace tomorrow.

By forgiving someone else, you might just be the bigger winner in this whole situation. Holding onto resentment may be right in some situations. It is a very personal decision. But if you are looking to forgive, which might be the reason you are reading this article, you might just find greater purpose in all the things you are doing. You might gain a greater connection with others. You might gain by enriching your own life, and feeling good about who you are.

To forgive, you have to be ready. It takes a certain amount of reflection, objectivity, and courage. It takes a sense of moving away from feeling like the victim and defining the event by what was done to you.

There are great challenges to being able to forgive. Sometimes it helps to see things from the other person’s point of view. Sometimes it means adjusting our view of the world. It may be helpful to figure this all out, by talking to someone you trust, a professional counselor, or a spiritual leader.

Even if the other person is no longer around, forgiveness, is still something within you, that you can do.

Sometimes it is just not right to forgive the other person. In an ideal world, we all would be able to forgive others. But this world is far from ideal. Whatever you decide to do, it is best if your decision comes from a point of respect for yourself. To honor yourself is very important for your self esteem in the long and short run.

Respect Yourself

Forgiveness is not about getting the other person to change anything about themselves. Forgiving someone else is really about what you gain. We are all human. You too,may be in the position of needing forgiveness. You would not want to be judged by a mistake you made in a moment that you said or did something wrong. Especially if this is not part of your normal personality. You can’t force someone forgive you, and to hold yourself responsible and full of regret and sorrow, if the other person is not receptive to you. It still goes back to respecting and understanding yourself. Being honest with yourself and the person you offended may bring you to a new level of communication that will can possibly improve the relationship you have.

Aside from forgiving others, it is important to forgive ourselves too.Sometimes we are angry at ourselves, and this can block our way towards our own happiness. It can be a challenging task to forgive ourselves, but in the long run, it is better for our overall well being.

When we appreciate all the beauty there is in the world, it helps create an inner peace and joy that makes us feel like the whole world is a better place. When we can see the beauty within ourselves, it can help us appreciate who we are. We are all special after all. Our world can seem like a better place when we forgive ourselves. Forgiveness is taking positive action towards a happier life. Forgiving yourself is a kind thing to do for you. It is a very positive thing that will lead to more positive things.

To Forgive or Not Forgive

Is there someone you will never forgive?

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    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Forgiving others is a way of moving on and sometimes one won't even want to forgive another, but holding onto grudges only holds you back from moving on.

    • toknowinfo profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Tom, Happy Easter to you too! I am happy you enjoyed this article.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Beautifully written article and very informative on the subject of forgiving . Well done !

      Happy Easter my friend Rhonda !


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