This Is How To Truly Forgive Someone
Forgiving someone who hurt us can be extremely hard, even for those of us who want to do it. There are so many areas in our own self that have been damaged, we sometimes deem it impossible to simply forgive someone and forget. But it can be done. This is how.
To Forgive Someone, You Need To Make These Two Steps
In a video posted by the School of Life, modern philosopher and author Alain de Botton explains that in order to forgive someone, you need to do two main things.
Frist of all, when we’re deeply hurt, it is easy to condemn the person causing us pain, be it a lying friend, a cheating girlfriend, a patronizing parent, or a rude colleague, classifying them as a ‘bad person’ and forgetting there is anything positive about them. This is perfectly natural, up to a point, because we feel the need to protect ourselves from further pain. However, not forgiving someone can, in fact, cause us more pain because we will keep the toxic feelings of bitterness bottled up inside.
Understanding Those Who Hurt Us
On the other hand, de Botton suggests looking for the reasons that made someone act the way they did. In his own words: “Behind every failing ― behind everything that’s wrong and infuriating about those we meet ― is a decisive trauma encountered before someone could cope with it properly. They are maddening but they got to be this way without meaning to. To forgive is to understand the origins of evil and cruelty.” It is through this understanding that we can find relief in our power to forgive.
Realizing We’re Fallible Too
The second thing we should do if we are to forgive someone is to remember that we are also fallible. Even if we try to be just and honest, there is surely an instance or two where we hurt someone’s feelings by making a thoughtless remark, left a lover who was still in love with us, been rude to a parent just because it was easier to take it our anger out on someone familiar. As the author puts it: “We must forgive because ― not right now, not over this, but one day, over something ― we need to be forgiven.”
In a nutshell, to forgive someone who’s done us wrong may not be the easiest thing in the world, but if we realize that no-one – not even our self – is one-sided and that we all make mistakes, then we can honestly utter the three most liberating words: “I forgive you”.