How is forgiveness made?

how to forgive
how to forgive

Alexandra Lynn LAMAS, young psychology student from California

“Hello, I'm Alexandra Lamas! It is a pleasure to be represented by MyPrivateCoachApp. I have been studying psychology for five years and I can tell you one thing: mental health is important. I am currently finishing my final year at the University of California, San Diego. It is an honor to be part of such a commendable university. Throughout my life, I have always been interested in human behavior and the functioning of the mind. For me, the spirit has always been a mystery, but I wanted to explore it. By learning about child development, interpersonal relationships, behavioral neuroscience and clinical disorders, I plan to continue my studies by participating in a graduate program in conjugal and family therapy or by pursuing studies in psychiatry for work with adolescents. In this article, I'm talking to you today about forgiveness.

As my journey progresses, I very much hope to help.

I believe that leaving the world better than what you have found is what it takes to hold real power. I am trying to reach this goal and reach it one day.

In our relationships with other peoples of the world, be they friends, family members or even strangers, we run the risk of feeling offended at some point. Most of our initial and automatic responses to the offense are to avoid or become revenge. According to the study, sorry: who does it and how does it do it? by Michael E. McCullough, these two classic responses are "normal and common, but can have negative consequences for individuals, relationships and perhaps society as a whole". Today, I wanted to explore, analyze and shed light on this notion. What makes someone better equipped to forgive? Are there individuals who have specific characteristics that help to forgive others? If so, what is the exact process of forgiveness? How do we do it?

A personal path

Before moving on to the application of forgiveness, I believe that defining it would be effective. I wanted to talk about the difference between forgiveness and reconciliation. Often, we think that forgiving is the same as restoring. Although forgiveness can restore certain circumstances, these terms are individual to each other. For example, you may want to reestablish a relationship, but have trouble forgiving a partner's wrongdoing. In addition, you can show forgiveness to a partner, but choose not to restore the relationship.  

So what does it mean to forgive? McCullough says forgiveness is a complex of pro-social changes in motivation. These pro-social changes are reflected in the indications of positive and useful behavior and in the goals of social acceptance. So who tends to make these pro-social changes in their own motivations, and how can this better help us understand what can encourage forgiveness or inhibit it?

According to research, agreeability and emotional stability are the factors most closely linked to forgiveness. This is known as the "forgiving personality". Those who have a more pleasant nature are very empathetic for others and are willing to share their resources with those who had not shown sensitivity in the past. On the other hand, those who are emotionally more unstable or, in other words, more likely to experience negative emotions are less likely to display forgiveness.

In addition, the psychological processes of forgiveness involve: empathy, attributions and assessments, and rumination. Empathy has proven to be the only psychological variable to promote forgiveness experimentally. What I found most interesting is that when a person feels offended and then apologizes, the oppressor implicitly expresses his vulnerability, while the very empathetic victim makes it explicit; the power of empathy in this example illustrates the motivation to forgive. 

With regard to attributions and assessments, those who attribute less responsibility to the negative behavior of the transgressor adopt a more tolerant attitude. This shows that those who show acceptance of something or someone who is honest or trustworthy, even if there are doubts, are the ones who forgive the most. Finally, rumination seems to be a very important factor in the forgiving personality.  

Rumination is a term that explains the experience of containing many intrusive thoughts about past events. How does this come into play with the forgiveness you ask for? Well, apparently those who think more deeply about wrongdoing are less tolerant, which can even lead to higher levels of revenge and avoidance. McCullough discovered that overtime with good practices to reduce bad thoughts about the transgression would ultimately lead to progression by forgiving the transgressor.

At the end of reading this article, I can't wait to share everything with you, because I believe that learning to practice forgiveness every day is only beneficial. Whether this forgiveness comes from you or those around you, appreciate it greatly. For one, it has been proven to transform your life for the better, but more importantly, it could transform someone forever. #mindovermoment

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do it. Hatred cannot chase hatred; only love can do it. "

Martin Luther King jr.