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

7 Ways to Truly Say You're Sorry

By Jen Kim on September 21, 2017 in Valley Girl With a Brain
Having trouble with apologies? You're not alone.

How to Leave a Toxic Relationship and Still Love Yourself

"I am leaving you for me. Whether I am incomplete or you are incomplete is irrelevant. Relationships can only be built with two wholes..."
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Willful Ignorance and Self-Deception

By Mark Alicke Ph.D. on September 10, 2017 in Why We Blame
Are you fooling yourself on purpose or unconsciously?

Pre-employment Psychological Screening for Cops

By Ellen Kirschman Ph.D. on September 05, 2017 in Cop Doc
Can pre-employment psychological screening of police applicants reduce reduce racism, sexism and homophobia? Let's separate fact from fiction.

30 Days of September Gratitude, Joy, Love, and Remembrance

By Rita Watson MPH on September 01, 2017 in With Love and Gratitude
With those glorious sunsets and bursts of golden flowers, September is a time to embrace our heritage, laugh often, and invite gratitude and love into our hearts.

The Blame Game: We Love to Blame Others, But Why?

By Rob Henderson on August 29, 2017 in After Service
Why do we love blaming others? Research explains this quirk in our psychology.

Does Testosterone Contribute to Men's Postpartum Depression?

By Darby Saxbe Ph.D. on August 26, 2017 in Home Base
Postpartum depression can affect dads as well as moms. Testosterone might play a role—and has some surprising consequences for the well-being of fathers and their partners.

Your Legacy After You Die: Will It Be Anger or Love?

By Robert Enright Ph.D. on August 20, 2017 in The Forgiving Life
When you die, you might leave a legacy of anger in the world that could be passed to your children. Or you could leave a legacy of love that is passed on as a gift to others.

Anger Over Trump’s Words Harms Our Health: Can We Forgive?

By Rita Watson MPH on August 17, 2017 in With Love and Gratitude
If we are angry about Trump's Charlottesville words, we can instead cling to the words of Nelson Mandela, as cited by Barack Obama in the most liked tweet in Twitter history.

The #1 Brain-Scrambling Apology

Let's de-code the most brain-scrambling apology of them all.

Who’s to Blame When a Child Dies in High-Conflict Divorce?

By Linda Esposito LCSW on August 11, 2017 in From Anxiety to Zen
Filicide is the most unimaginable crime perpetrated against children. The very act defies explanation, yet opening up the dialogue may be the only hope for the lives lost.

5 Ways to Turn Mistakes Into Valuable Life Lessons

You can gain a lot of wisdom from your mistakes. Here's how to learn the most from your blunders.

Two Weaknesses of Forgiving: It Victimizes and Stops Justice

By Robert Enright Ph.D. on August 10, 2017 in The Forgiving Life
Do you have thoughts about forgiveness that stop you from forgiving? You might want to carefully examine these thoughts to be sure you are not blocking yourself from healing.

Beware of the Two-Letter Word That Will Ruin Any Apology

Here's the two-letter word that means you've given or received a bad apology.

The Joys of Parenting

Is parenting overwhelming? Stuck in a negative rut? A few reminders and some good advice can help.

Procrastination Is Not to Blame

The shame of defeat can challenge our potential to look with interest at what has happened and to learn from it.

The Cure for Self Loathing? Self-Forgiveness

Self-loathing can take its toll on a person, robbing the self of vitality and happiness. Self-forgiveness can restore that vitality and set you free from the bondage of your past.

"I-knew-it-all-along": 3 Steps to Avoid Living in the Past

By Zack Carter Ph.D. on July 20, 2017 in Clear Communication
Does your hindsight 20/20 need a vision test?

Make Up or Break Up? 5 Ways Couples Reconcile After a Fight

New research has identified what men and women think are the most effective tactics used by couples to reconcile after a conflict.

Why the Apology You Didn't Get Matters

Questioning ourselves for being “oversensitive” is a common way that women disqualify our legitimate anger and hurt.

Relationship Communication Tools

That we sometimes miscommunicate is normal, but most issues can be avoided and harmony restored by just following a few simple guidelines.

Why Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

By Neel Burton M.D. on July 05, 2017 in Hide and Seek
The psychology and philosophy of forgiveness.

Independence Day Tips for Letting Go and Embracing Love

Researchers point to the value of a positive attitude, forgiveness, and kindness.
Arkady Lifshits/stocksnap

It's Not My Fault!

How to resolve conflict in a healthy way.

How to Reclaim Your Self-Respect After a Bad Breakup

By Jennice Vilhauer Ph.D. on June 24, 2017 in Living Forward
The one thing worse than ending a relationship with someone you love, it is hating yourself on top of it. Learn how to regain your self-respect and confidence.

You Are More Than Your Emotional Pain: You Are a Person

When you are in emotional pain, do your best to resist defining yourself primarily by that pain which you carry within. You are a person of great worth. Try to see this.

The Knee-Jerk Apologist

Why do some people apologize for everything?
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Finding Their Way Home: Posttraumatic Growth in Veterans

By Bret A. Moore Psy.D., ABPP on June 15, 2017 in The Camouflage Couch
The same skills forged in battle can be leveraged to thrive at home.

How to Recover From an Online Emotional Affair

Recovery from an online affair requires disabling more than an Internet connection. To rebuild relational trust, a straying partner must disable online emotional connections.