The Nature of Forgiveness

Mustering up genuine compassion for those who have wronged us, instead of allowing anger toward them to eat away at us, is the course of action recommended by most psychologists. An exception to the belief that burying the hatchet brings peace to the soul may be sexual abuse: Some victims of these crimes are empowered when given permission to not forgive.

Recent posts on Forgiveness

Trauma, PTSD, and Memory Distortion

One of the cruelest aspects of PTSD is that traumatic memories intensify over time, contributing to its progressive nature. This phenomenon may have once had value for humans.

Forgiveness Goes Beyond Three Words

Forgiveness is not a feeling; forgiveness is an action.

Holding the Mast in the Dark Night Sea Storm

When we fight, it can feel like we are adrift in a violent, dark night sea storm.

How Does Forgiving Someone Affect Their Behavior?

By Art Markman Ph.D. on May 04, 2016 in Ulterior Motives
Forgiveness is a statement that the particular bad behavior will not affect the relationship going forward. How does this affect the behavior of the person forgiven?

How Do You Forgive Even When It Feels Impossible? (Part 2)

I'll explain what I mean when I use the word "forgive," why I recommend the healing power of forgiveness, and how to heal even when you don't feel you can forgive.

The Art of Friendship in Marriage

Friendship is not always sweet, warm, and secure. There has to be room for confrontation and the darker parts of life.

Why Should We Forgive?

Forgiveness is an act of love, strength and a gift from which no one benefits more than ourselves.

Sobering News on Suicide

By Elias Aboujaoude M.D. on April 24, 2016 in Compulsive Acts
The Internet has not lived up to its promise as a suicide prevention tool

The Most Important Part of an Apology (and the Least)

Science explains how to say 'I'm sorry' in a way that will repair relationship.

6 Science-Based Ways to Say “I’m Sorry” Effectively

New research has pinpointed the 6 key elements to an effective apology. Interestingly, 'requesting forgiveness' is the least effective way to say "I'm sorry."
J. Krueger

Notes From Hohenschönhausen

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on April 11, 2016 in One Among Many
You have heard of the Stanford Prison Study. Textbook, right? Now consider Hohenschönhausen and enter the world of the Staatssicherheit.

The Formula for the Good Enough Apology

The formula for a good enough apology seems pretty straightforward. Why is it so easy to get it wrong?

Does Love Really Mean Never Having to Say You’re Sorry?

By David Ludden Ph.D. on April 10, 2016 in Talking Apes
Both the victim and the perpetrator bear considerable psychological burdens until the atonement-redemption cycle is complete.

Why Kids Blame and Lash Out—and How to Help Them

Our blaming others when we’re upset isn’t so different from our child blaming her brother when she’s upset. Hopefully, we’re able to bite our tongue so we don’t go on the attack.

Shame and the Pendulum of Blame

Often, our targets of blame are determined primarily by our states of mind rather than any objective reality.

Spring Cleaning For Our Lives: A Checklist for Couples

By Suzanne Gelb PhD JD on April 03, 2016 in All Grown Up
Does your relationship need a little more sparkle and sweet connection? A spring cleaning checklist for our live can be really helpful!

Victimology: The New Way to Play the Blame Game

By William R. Klemm Ph.D. on March 29, 2016 in Memory Medic
The need to walk on eggshells in social interactions makes us isolate ourselves into enclaves of like-minded people.

9 Mental Habits That Will Make You Bitter

By Andrea Bonior Ph.D. on March 26, 2016 in Friendship 2.0
Few actively choose to become bitter, hardened people. But in the face of pain, it can sometimes feel hard to prevent. Here are some tricks to help you stay open to life.

Science Reveals the Benefits of Prayer

By Clay Routledge Ph.D. on March 21, 2016 in More Than Mortal
Are your prayers doing any good? Science suggests that they are.

Here's the Apology You Should Never Make!

Sometimes the only good apology is getting out of the other person’s space.

Where Do Fears and Phobias Come From?

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on March 08, 2016 in Think, Act, Be
Like most things, it's a combination of genes and environment—but "Nature-vs.-Nurture" is only part of the story.

Does "Forgiveness" Make Sense?

By Susan Rako M.D. on March 07, 2016 in More Light
Is forgiveness possible?
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Cutting the Puppet Strings of Praise and Blame

If we want to be happy, we have to cut those puppet strings. We have to stop caring about whether people approve or disapprove of us.
HOUSTON, TX – FEBRUARY 25: Republican presidential candidates, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Donald Trump argue during the Republican presidential debate at the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston on February 25, 2016 in Houston, Texas. The debate is the last before the March 1 Super Tuesday primaries. (Photo by Michael Ciaglo-Pool/Getty Images)

Reluctance to Blame the System

By Peter A. Ubel M.D. on February 26, 2016 in Scientocracy
If we voters don’t demand that candidates lay out specific ideas of how to change our healthcare system to promote efficient spending, we will have no one to blame but ourselves.
ZVIKA LAHAV Pikiwiki Israel/ Wikimedia Commons

8 Key Traits of Paranoid Thinkers

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on February 24, 2016 in Science of Choice
Paranoia is not a flaw of character. Paranoid individuals tend to have false ideas about the world and people.

What’s Really to Blame for Our Skinny Obsession?

By Mairi Macleod Ph.D. on February 24, 2016 in Sexy Science
Our idea of the perfect body is being shaped by what we see on our screens. The call is ever more urgent for more aspirational images of normal weight people.

What I Learned About Anxiety by Giving a Talk on Anxiety

By Steven C. Hayes Ph.D. on February 23, 2016 in Get Out of Your Mind
34 years ago, I screamed as I hit bottom inside my struggle with panic. By giving a talk on that experience, I learned three things that speak to the nature of anxiety and panic.

Achieving Sobriety With Support, Strength, Self-Forgiveness

By The Resilience Regiment on February 23, 2016 in Voices in Recovery
The Resilience Regiment speaks with Hotel California by the Sea

Why Forgive Trump? He Hasn’t Earned It.

By Marty Babits on February 23, 2016 in The Middle Ground
When confronted with wrongdoing some people come clean, others use a disingenuous defense.

"A Wretch Like Me"

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on February 22, 2016 in How To Do Life
How much fallibility should we accept in a stranger? In a spouse?