The Nature of Forgiveness

Most psychologists recommend mustering up genuine compassion for those who have wronged us, and moving on from the past, instead of allowing bitterness and anger toward others eat away at us. Although burying the hatchet usually brings peace to the soul, there may be some exceptions to that advise, such as a case of sexual abuse. Sometimes a victim becomes more empowered when given permission to not forgive.

Equally, and perhaps more important, is learning to acknowledge your missteps and forgive yourself. Self-forgiveness is often the first step toward a more loving and positive relationship with yourself, and therefore with others.

Recent posts on Forgiveness

Tis the Season to Be

By Lori Russell-Chapin Ph.D. on December 12, 2017 in Brain Waves
Tis the season to be jolly. Is the act of forgiveness the key?

Are Judges Swayed by Apologies?

Apologies can do wonders for mending relationships. However, judges who hear a lot of apologies have their own perspectives.

Self-Blame or Self-Inquiry?

While self-blame is something to avoid, a self-inquiry into what they might have done to contribute to an unfortunate circumstance might prove extremely helpful.

A Good Apology Is Hard to Find

By Andrea Brandt Ph.D. M.F.T. on December 04, 2017 in Mindful Anger
Right now, it’s men’s apologies that are in the news. But, we can all take this moment to brush up on our apologizing skills, and recognizing when we have things to apologize for.
Miranda Wipperfurth/Unsplash

When We Need an Apology, but Are Never Going to Get One

What happens when we need an apology but are never going to get one?

Is Your Family a Forgiving Community?

By Robert Enright Ph.D. on November 29, 2017 in The Forgiving Life
Families can reduce the tensions in the home and create greater harmony between partners and among children, if forgiveness becomes part of the norm for healthy family functioning.
Eugenio Marongiu/Shutterstock

Forgiveness Is a Gift of Clarity to Yourself

By Tara Well Ph.D. on November 26, 2017 in The Clarity
If you're having trouble forgiving, remember it's a gift to yourself.

How Practicing Humility Can Help Your Love Life

In terms of dating and relationships, there is a lid that fits every pot and it is easier to find the lid for your pot if you’re not blowing off every lid with steam and arrogance.

Cognitive Dissonance and the Franken Sexual Misconduct Case

By Shawn M. Burn Ph.D. on November 18, 2017 in Presence of Mind
Democrats and feminists must honestly grapple with the uncomfortable feelings generated by the Franken case.

Oh No! Not Louis C.K.! A Star Admits to Sexual Misconduct

By Deborah L. Davis Ph.D. on November 16, 2017 in Laugh, Cry, Live
Louis C.K. is a talented and lauded comedian. What makes a good guy behave like a bad guy? And how can we come to terms with his grossly inappropriate sexual impositions on women?

The Mental Health Impact of 'Blame a Black Man Syndrome'

By Rob Whitley, Ph.D. on November 16, 2017 in Talking About Men
Data suggests that black men have high rates of wrongful conviction. This can ruin individual lives, creating fear and mistrust in black communities. This can damage mental health.

What is Redemption After All?

It helps to be a little more found than lost.

An Unexpected Apology from a Bike Thief

A short blog on an unexpected apology from a bike thief.

On Being Treated Unfairly: Don’t Let Them Win Twice!

By Robert Enright Ph.D. on November 11, 2017 in The Forgiving Life
Too often when people hurt us, we get so angry that we hurt others. "The bad guys" then win twice: first in their hurting us and then in our becoming injurers of others.

Sometimes You Just Have to Let It Go

Is it enough to forgive and forget?

American Bigotry: Now It’s Personal

By Rupert W Nacoste Ph.D. on November 09, 2017 in A Quiet Revolution
Today we are seeing the panic that results when a sense of group superiority is no longer supported by legal social structures.

The Ravages of Nature: Human and Otherwise

By Debbie Joffe Ellis on November 08, 2017 in Tried and True
When tragic events occur, we can choose to focus on what still is good in life, create stability within, and consequently cope well and act in more effective ways.

Five Types of High-Conflict Personalities

Understanding five high-conflict personalities can help us to be more careful and effective with those around us.

Roadblocks to Intimacy and Trust IX: Forgiveness, Finally

Closure for me would only be possible with a clear understanding of my mother’s pathology and its origins.

Power: Five Non-Traditional Views

By Robert Enright Ph.D. on October 30, 2017 in The Forgiving Life
Is your basic life-orientation to seek power over others or to use what power you have to be in service to others? Five ideas are presented to help you self-examine power.

The Normalcy of Sexting Among Teens

By Sue Scheff on October 29, 2017 in Shame Nation
Research says peer pressure is linked to growing sexting concerns with teens.

Learning to Manage Your Arguments

By Barton Goldsmith Ph.D. on October 28, 2017 in Emotional Fitness
Couples argue for many reasons, none of them good or excusable, but it’s just part of being in a relationship, right? Not necessarily, and here's why.
CHOATphotographer/Shutterstock

To Forgive or Not to Forgive

By Alex Pattakos Ph.D. on October 19, 2017 in The Meaningful Life
If you don’t learn from unavoidable suffering, then your life becomes meaningless.
Daxiao Productions/Shutterstock

The Key to Forgiveness?

By Tim Cole Ph.D. on October 15, 2017 in Intimate Portrait
How easy is it to forgive a partner? The answer depends on how much you still believe that your partner cares and wants to do right by you.

What Is Fairness?

In parental alienation cases, a presumption of equal blame can be unfair.

My Partner Cheated on Me — Should I Try to Make It Work?

How do we decide whether to stay or go after someone cheats on us? New research sheds light on the decision-making process and helps us understand our own relationships.

Don’t Just Blame Facebook for Fake News: It’s Us, Too

Is social media use a race to the bottom of our brainstems?

Why People Hold Grudges and What to Do About Them

When people hold grudges against you, it can be painful and confusing. New research shows there’s a reason they act this way. Understanding why may help you feel a bit better.

“You Need to Forgive!" and Other Lies That Hurt You

Encouraging forgiveness can leave the hurt party feeling emotionally unsteady and betrayed all over again.

Racism Is Everywhere…Is It, Really?

By John Staddon, Ph.D. on October 07, 2017 in Adaptive Behavior
Should some issues never be discussed because some ideas might lead to policies we don't like?