Forgiving: Why forgiveness is so difficult

It is not easy for many to forgive and forgive . Especially since proper forgiveness-begging wants to be able. Already the wording makes it clear: It is a request, not an order . Those who ask for forgiveness appeal to the kindness and kindness of the one he has hurt or annoyed. This, however, implies that the one or the other has the choice to forgive or not. Often there are deep wounds and hurt if someone does not want to forgive. However, the injured person will be harmed himself. The good news: You can learn to forgive ...

Forgive and forgive: difference and definition
forgive forgive differenceThe verbs forgive and forgive are mostly used synonymously. Also, forgiveness is considered linguistically nobler than forgiven . Actually, there is a small but subtle difference.

Forgiveness is mostly used on smaller trivia. It contains the word "accuse someone". The one who suffered damage, takes back his charge by forgiving.
Forgiveness is religiously connoted. Someone who has made a mistake will be granted mercy. Forgiveness is judged by the psychological side to be a prolonged process that can happen regardless of whether or not the accused person understands his or her act.
A detailed definition of the difference we have in this PDF, which you can download HERE for free .

Forgive: sayings and quotes
It does not hurt to do wrong. You just have to be able to forget it. (Confucius)
You have to forgive. The life of man is too short for him to be able to bring it on with supplication and revenge. (Frederick the Great)
God has already forgiven me. It's his business. (Heinrich Heine)
To understand everything means to forgive everything. (Madame de Stael)
Forgetting and forgetting means throwing precious experiences out the window. (Arthur Schopenhauer)
Forgiveness is not foolishness, only a fool can not forgive. (Chinese proverb)
Forgiveness is the best revenge. (German proverb)

Why can not some people forgive?
To answer this question, we need to look more closely at what has happened before: One person was injured, hurt , by the act or utterance of another person. There are plenty of reasons for the resentment:

A colleague has your idea as his spent without clearing the facts.
Your partner forgot the wedding day.
A friend made a nasty remark in the argument.
On the one hand, there are behaviors that are perceived by society as unpleasant or offensive. On the other hand, insults are highly individual and related to one's own biography- one person may easily overlook something in the same thing, another takes it to heart.

Another reason why people do not forgive is that it's meant to be a punishment for the other one, motto: look how bad I am. This is intended to arouse guilt feelings in the other person. And you feel better about yourself - that's the idea. However, this bill rarely occurs.

Especially as in some cases the polluter may not be aware of his "guilt", as he or she classifies an incident as a trifle. As a result, there is no bad conscience at all .

The psychologist Kevin Carlsmith from Colgate University in Hamilton completed various experiments. But although his subjects said they would feel better after the atonement , each time the exact opposite happened.

As sweet as revenge tastes at first, its aftertaste is so bitter and long.

Smarter, however, is the attitude that the English statesman and philosopher Francis Bacon has already denounced: "He who takes vengeance is no better than his enemy; but if he refuses, then he is superior to him. "

Only the strong can forgive
Only the strong can forgiveBeing able to forgive - or forgive - is often a challenge to the forgiver . It would ultimately mean a tremendous relief, because most of the time we drag in thoughts for each person we know a few unpleasant events with us.

When something is said unspeakably within us, it stands between us and the person we should forgive. Often this is expressed in rejection and withdrawal - the contact may break completely. Especially with trivia is regrettable, because some offense can be traced back to a misunderstanding - but would have to be addressed just.

Apart from certain narcissistic traits, there are good reasons why many can not easily forgive:

False pride on both sides often prevents reconciliation: one may not ask for apology, the other may not grant pardon for fear of losing face.

Behind it lies the fear of the forgiver, that the other sees it as an encouragement for renewed action. True to the motto: "Was not that bad."

Another fear is that the behavior is judged correct if you forgive your opponent.

That's why it's better to forgive
The problem is that we are harming ourselves . The relationship remains burdened, the thoughts often revolve around the offense. Even if the contact is broken off without reconciliation, we carry this ballast with us.

Those who forgive put a line under this behavior. So forgiveness is less of a relief for the one who hurt us than for ourselves. For revenge robs energy that we could use more effectively. It puts stress on everyday working life as well as leisure time. And much worse: it harms your health.

The psychology professor at Concordia University in Canada, Carsten Wrosch, has been researching negative emotions for more than 15 years . Above all, he is interested in the effect of bitterness on our health. After all, it is the case that some people, after annoying events, become more bitter than a grapefruit , while others remain relaxed. Motto: If life gives you lemons, make lemonade out of it!

His research clearly shows that those who are vindictive harm their health: "Bitterness," says Wrosch, "especially when it becomes chronic, can have a significant impact on biological functions, weaken our immune system, or make us literally sick, not just mentally."

According to various American studies, forgiveness promotes good health :

It lowers blood pressure and cortisol levels (study from Michigan),
it relieves back pain and the risk of depression (Duke University study in Durham, North Carolina),
it promotes weight loss especially in frustissons (study from Italy).
On the other hand, people who do not forgive are plagued with stomach aches and insomnia in addition to the above symptoms, and on the emotional side, disappointment, hate, and / or loneliness are added when someone retreats with hurt.

In order not to let it get that far, the psychologist recommends to let go and leave the past behind. This is an important self-control and self-regulatory ability that can be trained - and much easier in life.

4 steps: forgiveness is learnable
Even if it is difficult: forgiveness and forgiveness are worth it for the reasons described. You can finish with one thing , the old wounds can heal and you get to your inner peace. First of all, this includes two things: empathy and self-reflection . Then follow these four simple steps:

Forgive In 4 steps graphic
Consider the incident and the person
Is it worth the trouble? Or was something thoughtlessly therefore said, what might not have meant it?
How do you relate to the person, is it important to you?
Make a conscious decision
You should have noticed for yourself that you consciously initiate this process and process the old insult and leave it behind. Take your time and keep the benefits in mind.

Try to empathize with the other person
Was there any good reason to act from her perspective?
Was missing the knowledge of certain backgrounds, so that she could not act otherwise?
Do you think the person acted intentionally or was it a mistake?
Likewise, you should acknowledge your injury, but also examine your own behavior :

Did I express myself unclearly?
Were there any comparable situations in which I supported this action?
What is my contribution to this situation?
Let go consciously
Instead of tormenting yourself with annoyance, you have decided not to let your life dominate, but to return to enjoyable things. It will trigger a feeling of liberation in you, because now you have control over your life again.

Once you have gone through this process, you can progress. Be aware that forgiving and forgiving are by no means a sign of weakness . It also does not mean that a thing is undone by doing so, or you retroactively endorse the behavior.

What it can mean is a degree for you. You can also think about the positive experiences you have had with the person in the past - under certain circumstances, such aspects can promote the value of reconciliation.

2 tips if it is difficult to forgive
forgive without apologyYou are determined to forgive a person, but realize that it is difficult for you? These two tips can help you to let go:

Writing is a creative process where you can let your thoughts run free. Writing is a relief and helps to avoid constantly falling into a mental carousel. For example, you can write a letter to the person you never send.

Access an object that you associate with the person or picture. Speak aloud: "I forgive (name of the person) the blame for (thing)." Presumably, it is not enough to pronounce these words only once, maybe you feel strange - that does not matter, make sure that you alone and are undisturbed and repeat the saying several times. Some people are auditory, that is, they need to hear things before they can grasp them.

Shit built: The request for forgiveness
A duty of forgiveness does not exist. Who puts too much pressure - Motto: You have to forgive me -, perverts the perpetrator-victim scheme and reverses it to the opposite: the victim becomes a culprit who is guilty if he or she does not forgive.

This is not only highly manipulative , but also doubly common:

First commit a misdeed that should be apologized for
then make his victim even a guilty conscience ... Outrageous!
This is perhaps augmented by an anglophone ventilated "Sorry!", Which is almost on a par with the lapidary "Tschulljung!" Or jovial "guilty". That one is actually forgiven, you can probably exclude confidently.

If anything, the request for forgiveness also includes a truly contrite "apology . " For whoever makes a mistake, breaks a promise or otherwise fails, charges moral guilt. This applies both on a small and a large scale and can ultimately happen to any of us. Nobody is perfect and such. Nevertheless, it remains - hopefully - a bad conscience. And we want to get rid of that as soon as possible.

There are all sorts of ways and means of doing this : making amends, for example. Or put on a sad face and give flowers. Of course you can go barefoot to Canossa as well. Or you ask for pardon, verbal, full of remorse and as credible as possible .

That works the fastest, works most sustainably and costs only two things:

and our pride.
For many, forgiveness is as difficult as it is forgiven
But that's exactly where the problem lies in learning to apologize and forgive: many people hate being confronted with their own imperfection .

Even worse: to have to publicly admit it. Our ego does not like that kind of thing.

Where there is an interesting phenomenon :

The more egal the people are , the easier the apology.
The more important these people are to us (or the favor of the public), the more we fight for our lost face - and only make it worse.
How hard is it for many people to admit to their partner that they made a stupid mistake?

In the job , it is not much different: admit Compared with the boss or (as chief) before the team messed up to have falls admit much more difficult than a colleague, whom we consider as neither competitors nor as an equal. How stupid!

If you make a mistake, ask for forgiveness. And quite fast and independent of the person. Not only does this prove human greatness (and a normal sized ego), but it is also a balm for relationships of all kinds.


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