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There's no evaluating forgiveness or the lack thereof from a disinterested, third-person point of view. My scenario misss this because it talks about me being the last, presumably unreasonably, holdout to forgiveness.At the same time, the scenario also imagines that I’m the only one who has been directly harmed.Even on this approach forgiveness would sometimes be totally self-defeating and would do nothing, in the long run, for one’s own mental health. Imagine a person who is fully repentant for a wrong done. They’ve done everything possible to make up for their transgression. But you’re going to insist that you don’t forgive for the sake of the offender or even in response to the reformed moral qualities of the offender.
But the difficult work is worth it: Decades of research from the field of positive psychology has found forgiveness can improve depression, anxiety and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Forgiving can bestow personal peace and even improve physical health. Because forgiveness is not about making other people feel better about their transgressions.
If a co-worker once stole an idea, say, and you’ve been denying him or her credit on other projects ever since, it’s time to change your tactic.
The negativity and anger you cling to won’t do you any good in the long run, Enright says.
It seems to me that if you can’t bring yourself to forgive somebody who is fully and sincerely repentant, there’s something wrong with you. He will dig in his heels here and insist that while being unable to forgive might be some kind of psychological failing, it’s not a moral failing. And they are trying to lead me to the point of forgiving him too. Won’t they try to get me to see the error of my ways, to see the perpetrator in a new light?
But is that enough to show that forgiveness is sometimes the morally right thing, the morally required thing? He will grant that getting to the point of forgiveness can be really hard, even when you think it would be a good thing to do. But if there is an error of my ways that everybody sees except me, doesn't that show that maybe I've missed something of moral significance? When somebody wrongs us, negative emotions can eat away at us.Suppose somebody does some terrible wrong to me and is totally unrepentant. On the other hand, you could think that when you forgive, you shouldn’t do it for the sake of the wrong-doer.Only somebody who has walked in my shoes -- that would be me and me alone -- can do the forgiving on my behalf. Isn’t it possible for me to forgive the murderer on behalf of my brother? He will say that I can forgive the murderer for what he did to me --- deprive me of my beloved brother.What I can’t do, he will say, is forgive him for what he did to my brother. But think about self-forgiveness in response to this line. You feel a sense of guilt and remorse way out of proportion to the harm you caused. It can be a healthy thing to forgive yourself, to let go and move on.If you can’t get there on your own, then maybe you need the help of a therapist. Perhaps if I saw it, I would be morally required to forgive him (or at least to try) -- just like everybody else?But the crucial point for him is that we don’t them. Suppose somebody has done me some serious wrong – maybe he’s seriously betrayed my confidence. The problem with this set up is that you could argue that it makes no sense.All of the participants were then guided through a mock fitness test in which they had to jump as high as they could five times. D., co-founder of the International Forgiveness Institute in Madison, Wisconsin, and a professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, divides the process of forgiveness into four steps: Be honest with yourself about your anger and hurt, and assess the full damage the injustice has caused in your life.The participants who had written about forgiveness jumped significantly higher than those in the unforgiving set. If a parent made you feel inadequate growing up, does your self-esteem still suffer?This week’s episode is about “Forgetting and Forgiving.” Frankly, though, the ‘forgetting’ part is sort of throw-away. One could, I suppose, think that there are times and situations when forgiveness just isn’t called for. If we let go of our anger and resentment, we experience healing and reconciliation.