How To Forgive Someone Who Has Hurt You? It is unavoidable to be wounded by others. It makes me feel bad. And that terrible sensation might linger for a long time. Forgiveness, according to Fred Luskin, Ph.D. ’99 is a fundamentally simple (but not easy) approach to feel better.
In the most basic terms, argues Luskin, creator of the Stanford University Forgiveness Projects and author of Forgive for Good,
After you’ve been wronged, forgiveness means letting go of negative sentiments or the desire for vengeance. He explains, “You’re letting go of your internal anger, hatred, and self-pity about a prior incident.”
How To Forgive Someone Who Has Hurt You?
Become enraged, hurt, and depressed.
Grief and fury are natural and appropriate emotions when someone harms you, according to Luskin. It’s the same with self-pity! And there’s no predetermined time limit for working through and processing the pain. “Forgiveness is allowing unpleasant sentiments of wrath and sadness to enter your life and then letting them go because you are at peace with your existence.”
Consider if your rage is productive or detrimental.
According to Luskin, constructive rage addresses a problem in the present by motivating you to respond correctly to a threat. Destructive rage is a pattern that repeats itself with no beneficial outcome.
Don’t worry, you’re not implying that the offense was acceptable.
One of the most common misunderstandings regarding forgiveness, according to Luskin, is that it entails endorsing the offender’s actions. “Forgiveness, in reality, implies that you do not condone it. You are aware that what you are doing is improper or unsuitable, yet you choose to purify your heart. And You don’t offer any explanations for your actions. You simply accept it and move on.
Use stress-relieving methods.
If a family member says anything upsetting at the dinner table, Luskin says one of the easiest things you can do is take a few deep breaths. Stress-management strategies quiet your body’s fight-or-flight reaction, allowing you to maintain your composure and retain your cool.
Remind yourself why you want to be with this person.
When someone you care about hurts you but you want to keep the relationship, Luskin says it’s important to remember the good the person has done for your life. “People are not replaceable. It’s vital to remember oneself that you have one parent, one mother, one closest friend.”
Define your limits.
When someone with whom you have a relationship has hurt you, some gentle boundary setting may be necessary. But, according to Luskin, this does not imply chastising, criticizing, or disowning individuals. “Learn to say, ‘What you just done isn’t OK.’”
Recognize that you’re telling a story that can be changed.
Our brains are designed to keep us safe from danger, Luskin says, and so a lot of the stories we tell ourselves are not accurate. “We simplify to emphasize the danger. To keep ourselves secure, we construct these illusions in our heads.” According to Luskin, the easiest method to forgive is to rewrite the tale.
Make yourself the hero.
Luskin says that attributing your present distress to something that happened in the past is a way of making yourself a victim. “If I say, ‘The reason I’m sad right now is that my wife left me three years ago,’ that’s creating victimhood,” he says.
A more truthful statement, he says, would be something like, ‘The reason I’m unhappy now is that my wife left me; I didn’t have adequate resources for dealing with it, and in the years since I haven’t figured out how to make peace with that.’
‘The reason I’m unhappy today is that my wife left me; I didn’t have enough means for coping with it, and I haven’t worked out how to make peace with it in the years afterward,’ he adds.
“When you tell yourself, ‘The only person who can save me is myself,’ you develop a heroic efficacy that tells you, ‘I have to solve this problem.’ “I have to figure out how to be OK and joyful in a life that involves a traumatic divorce,” he adds. You acquire a sense of self-resilience when you can accomplish it.
“The ability to forgive leads to greater efficacy in dealing with one’s life. You gain a sense of, ‘I know I can cope with difficulties,’ rather than being constrained or scared.’ That is perhaps the most significant personal benefit.”
Read also: Forgiveness: What It Is & What It Is Not