At some point in our lives, we meet people that hurt us, tarnished friendships, relationships that didn’t last the way we expected them to be, or any experiences yielding trust issues. These are just some of the encounters that sometimes let us question humanity, and when meeting new people we are always guarded and doubtful because of the hurtful situations people have brought in our lives in the past. But then again, it is socially and psychologically healthy to let go of these negativities, move on with our lives and welcome the future full of hope and optimism. So what are the key ingredients in achieving this and what are the dos and don’ts that we should keep in mind as we embrace our readiness and sincerity when it comes to forgiving someone? Here are some of the key factors to keep in mind.
Do not hold grudges.
According to John M. Grohol, Psy.D., “The challenge with anger is finding a way to express it in a way that doesn’t make others want to shut down or become defensive or scared.” Cultivating negative emotions doesn’t make you better but rather a bitter kind of person. It is unhealthy to hold grudges as sometimes heinous crimes and murders in the history of mankind were rooted from grudges. When you allow yourself to be consumed by anger, you might be predisposed to committing bad behaviors. If it is essential to detach yourself for a moment from the person who caused you pain and the distance is helpful as of the moment, please do so.
Do not stalk.
Sometimes we have the tendency to stalk our enemies, check on what they’re up to and compare our own life with theirs. There is nothing helpful at all with this kind of behavior. All you have to be mindful about is your own life and that is all that matters. With the advent of social media, more and more people instead of using this platform to develop themselves and make friends, are utilizing it as a tool to stalk their enemies, sometimes even using fake accounts, creating stranger chat rooms just to ruin them. This is very unhealthy and pointless, so cut it out.
Do not wish them ill.
Wish them well. It may be very hard to forgive somebody, especially if the pain they afflicted on you was almost unbearable and has damaged your views about people and life. However, by letting go of all the heartaches and pains, taking account of your own happiness by wishing them well with their lives is a key factor in achieving peace. A blissful and blessed state of your mind and spirit. As they say, karma has its own way of dealing with things. What you give to the world will always come back to you. “Understanding underlying aspects of our anger and understanding our role in our relationship is a key to treating anger and understanding it as an attempt to communicate something or not getting our basic needs met in our relationships,” says Zuzana Sakova, LPC
Do not be naive.
Because of the trauma probably we become more cautious with our acquaintances. Maybe that experience taught us not to be naive. Perhaps it can serve as a guide for our future experiences – not to trust and not to be trusted right away. That in order to know a person better, we must invest in spending more time with them evaluating their consistency when it comes to their thoughts, words, and actions. We must first assess their values and on how important it is for them to be credible and be a person of integrity.
According to Roya R. Rad, MA, PsyD, “give yourself permission to do some serious emotional healing to become your happiest self and remember, it is a process more than a destination.” It may not be an easy feat to forgive people and forget the pains of the past but we owe that to ourselves. We owe that to the beautiful people with kind hearts who have tirelessly kept their faith for humanity by continuously doing good in many aspects of their lives. That is the kind of people worth emulating, the kind of people we look up to who are all deserving of respect. Even if there are bad ones, there are more good ones. Keep on doing the good deeds.