What happens if I can't forgive someone?

By Emmanuel Collins

lets learn to forgive

what happens if i can’t forgive someone?

 Forgiveness can be challenging, especially if the person who’s hurt you
doesn’t admit wrong or doesn’t speak of his or her sorrow. If you find
yourself stuck, consider the situation from the other person’s point of
view. Ask yourself why he or she would behave in such a way. Perhaps you
would have reacted similarly if you faced the same situation. In
addition, consider broadening your view of the world. Expect occasional
imperfections from the people in your life. You might want to reflect on
times you’ve hurt others and on those who’ve forgiven you. It can also
be helpful to write in a journal, pray or use guided meditation — or
talk with a person you’ve found to be wise and compassionate, such as a
spiritual leader, a mental health provider, or an impartial loved one or

Does forgiveness guarantee reconciliation?

If the hurtful event involved someone whose relationship you otherwise
value, forgiveness can lead to reconciliation. This isn’t always the
case, however. Reconciliation might be impossible if the offender has
died or is unwilling to communicate with you. In other cases,
reconciliation might not be appropriate. Still, forgiveness is possible —
even if reconciliation isn’t.

What if I have to interact with the person who hurt me but I don’t want to?

If you haven’t reached a state of forgiveness, being near the person who
hurt you might be tense and stressful. To handle these situations,
remember that you can choose to attend or avoid specific functions and
gatherings. Respect yourself and do what seems best. If you choose to
attend, don’t be surprised by a certain amount of awkwardness and
perhaps even more intense feelings. Do your best to keep an open heart
and mind. You might find that the experience helps you to move forward
with forgiveness.

What if the person I’m forgiving doesn’t change?

Getting another person to change his or her actions, behavior or words
isn’t the point of forgiveness. Think of forgiveness more about how it
can change your life — by bringing you peace, happiness, and emotional
and spiritual healing. Forgiveness can take away the power the other
person continues to wield in your life.

What if I’m the one who needs forgiveness?

The first step is to honestly assess and acknowledge the wrongs you’ve
done and how those wrongs have affected others. At the same time, avoid
judging yourself too harshly. You’re human, and you’ll make mistakes. If
you’re truly sorry for something you’ve said or done, consider
admitting it to those you’ve harmed. Speak of your sincere sorrow or
regret, and specifically ask for forgiveness — without making excuses.
Remember, however, you can’t force someone to forgive you. Others need
to move to forgiveness in their own time. Whatever the outcome, commit
to treating others with compassion, empathy and respect.  

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