To this day, the sound of your sister’s voice makes you cringe. She betrayed you years ago, but you’re still having trouble getting over it. And you’re tired of it.
Research shows, though, that when you practice forgiveness, this can lead to healthier relationships, better mental health, and even a healthier immune system.
Forgiveness can be difficult, especially with the people you love. However, it is possible to grant forgiveness to someone who has offended you, which can benefit both you and them.
Here’s a rundown on seven tips for forgiving someone you love.
Let’s get started!
1. Recognize the Fallacy of Humans
One of the top tips for forgiving people is to recognize that no human being is perfect. As a result, humans can’t help but to make mistakes. And you’re not absolved from this.
When you acknowledge that everybody — including you — makes mistakes, you might be more sympathetic toward a loved one who has wronged you. And, in turn, you may find it easier to forgive them. After all, you would want to receive the same treatment if you had wronged them.
2. Recall When Someone Forgave You
Yet another way to make forgiveness easier is to remember a moment when you were forgiven for a wrong you committed.
Be inspired by somebody who managed to overlook a mistake you made in the past. You now get to “pay it forward” by forgiving someone who has wronged you. And you may find that engaging in this act of kindness makes you feel better about yourself moving forward.
3. Put Your Peace First
You can also find it easier to forgive others by prioritizing your peace. That’s because forgiveness is actually less about your offender and more about putting yourself first.
The person who has wronged you doesn’t even need to know that you are forgiving them. You simply have to make the personal choice to release your resentment toward somebody who has hurt you.
This will ultimately help you to more easily move forward from the situation that has been disrupting your peace for too long. You can finally trade your pain and frustration for greater peace.
4. Recall What You Appreciated About Them
Another tip for forgiving others is to remember what you embraced about the person who offended you in the past.
Whether it’s a romantic partner, relative, or friend, you probably liked something about them at some point. For instance, they might have been intriguing to converse with, humorous, or generous.
Ponder on what their strength was, as this will help you to view them positively for a second. This might make it easier for you to forgive them, as you may see them as a good person who simply made a mistake versus a monster with no redeeming qualities.
5. Recognize That Hurt People Hurt People
Keep in mind that people who are dealing with pain usually cause other people pain. Recognizing this may help you to cultivate compassion for those who have wronged you without necessarily minimizing or condoning their actions.
This is crucial because you cannot truly forgive somebody without compassion and empathy.
6. Start Small
Let’s say you’re having a hard time forgiving a large offense against you. It’s probably best that you practice forgiving smaller offenses first.
For instance, perhaps somebody cuts in front of you in line. Instead of retaliating against the person, practice compassion by recognizing that they may be in a rush due to an emergency that is stressing them out.
Likewise, if somebody scratches your car in the parking lot, recognize that they can’t help that they’re an imperfect person, and let your insurance company sort it out. Anger won’t fix the problem.
When you master small acts of forgiveness, forgiving bigger mistakes will come more naturally to you with time.
7. Communicate Your Forgiveness
Finally, you can more easily forgive a friend or loved one by expressing your feelings to them verbally or in writing.
For example, consider drafting a letter telling the offending party how they made you feel. This will allow you to express what you want to say without interruption or an explanation by the other party.
Letters can especially be helpful for offering forgiveness to toxic family members. Likewise, they can help you to show forgiveness to an ex who was abusive, an imprisoned individual.
If necessary, write out your letter today and wait to deliver it to its recipient when you are ready to do so. You can also have another individual deliver the letter for you if you don’t want to reveal your location to the recipient.
An alternative to writing a letter expressing forgiveness is to communicate your feelings in person or over the phone. If the person you’re forgiving has already passed away, you can easily complete the forgiveness process by speaking with a therapist, spiritual leader, or mentor.
How I Can Help with Forgiving Someone Who Has Hurt You
If forgiving someone is a struggle, I, Brenda Reiss, can help. As your leading forgiveness coach, I can help you to regain power over your life by practicing forgiveness.
With my help, you can learn how to let go of any grudges you hold against other people. Likewise, you can master how to forgive yourself and, in turn, transform yourself from a victim to a victor.
Get in touch with me to begin your forgiveness journey and start living your best life in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead.