We’ve all been in situations where we’re waiting around for an apology, that deep down we know is never going to come.
It is one of the most difficult things to have to deal with, because you end up blaming yourself, and beating yourself up over the fact that you never got an apology that you know you deserve. It takes an incredibly strong person to be able to forgive, especially when the recipient is in no way apologetic. I’m one of the worst for this, so really, I’m in no position to be giving advice on the matter. But sometimes it actually helps to hear it from someone else, and to hear how strength in this area of your life can empower you, not destroy you. Beating yourself up over something, when you’re not even the person in the wrong, doesn’t make sense, and all it does is cause so much unnecessary worrying. It drags out the issue, and causes you hurt for far longer than it needs to. I don’t forgive people easy – but sometimes you have to forgive, for your wellbeing and your sanity.
So, how do you forgive?
One of the first things I noticed, is that living well is the best form of revenge. If you live your best life possible, and push that person to the back of your mind, you will soon come to realise that actually, you are better than they are. You have the chance to live your life with a clear head, free from any guilt of causing somebody hurt and not even being sorry. When the person that has done you wrong sees you living your life to the absolute fullest, they will feel that intense feeling of guilt, knowing that they caused you all of that pain. Not to mention you will start to naturally feel so much better if you force yourself to continue with your life as normal. And of course, as well as this, it will probably really p*ss them off that you’re moving on with your life, without letting them drag you down. Either way, there is nothing but a positive outcome of you living well, and being the true you.
Come to think of it, by holding a grudge and refusing to forgive the person who’s done you wrong.. who are you hurting? Because, I can assure you, it’s not them. I would place a large bet on the fact that they don’t care if you accept them or not, they’re going to continue with their life anyway. If you choose not to forgive them, you are actually the only person being affected – you are the one letting that grudge eat away at you, and at your happiness for that matter. It’s time that you did yourself a favour, and made the conscious decision that you are not going to let that person have such a hold over your life and your emotions, because you are far better than that. You need to forgive yourself, before you can even consider forgiving anyone else.
One of the main techniques I have used in the past is to write an angry letter. This can be addressed to anyone – the person who has done you wrong, yourself, and inanimate object – anything, it’s your letter. This needs to be one of the most emotive and detailed letters that you’ve ever written. You need to get out every snippet of anger that you have for the person holding you back, and be completely honest and open in the way in which you write it. Whether you decide to show anyone this letter is up to you, the importance of this technique is just writing it. Once you have done with it what you wish, you need to destroy it, in any way you want. You can burn it, rip it up, screw it up into a ball and throw it in the bin, the freedom is yours. You’ll be surprised how much better you will feel for simply getting out all of these emotions onto paper, this is a wonderful technique for any strong and overpowering emotion that you are feeling, as it can really put your mind at ease. By doing this task, you are opening yourself up to forgiveness, making it much easier for you to forgive the one who isn’t sorry.
Lastly, (and possibly one of the most important steps in forgiving somebody who isn’t sorry), feel sorry for them. Feel sorry for them because in the grand scheme of things, they lack the basic human compassion to be apologetic for their own wrong-doing. Feel sorry for them because they aren’t half the person that you are. Feel sorry for them because now they have lost out on the chance to still have you in their lives. At the end of the day, you are the real winner in any situation where somebody isn’t apologetic for their wrongs, because you are far better off to not have somebody like that in your life in the first place. In some ways, it is better to find out earlier rather than later, because now you know who that person truly is.
Benefits of forgiveness.
Holding on to these negative grudges can have a serious impact on your health, both physically and mentally, and you could be holding yourself back from positivity. There have been a huge number of studies relating to the impact that forgiveness can have on your mind and body, so taking on the above tips for forgiveness can and will improve your quality of life.
Fewer anxiety and depression symptoms.
When we hold grudges, we are holding back on our chance to feel happy. When somebody isn’t sorry for their wrongdoing, we often blame ourselves, overthink the entire situation to think how we could have prevented it, and have a fear that we will do the same again with somebody else. By realising that this isn’t your fault, and you have nothing to blame yourself for, will relieve a whole host of feelings that are so closely associated with depression and anxiety. This can include isolation, fear of the future, worry, and so on.
Forgiving people can have an impact on the amount of stress we are feeling. By constantly going over our negative thoughts of self-blame, without realising it we are actually adding to the stresses that are already in our lives. This can easily become a constant cycle, if it isn’t interrupted by forgiveness.
Improved anger management.
This might not be appropriate for everybody, but by holding a grudge you are manifesting more anger into your thoughts, behaviours and actions. If you are able to forgive, even to those who aren’t sorry, then you will find that anger no longer takes control of you.
Lower blood pressure.
Symptoms of anxiety can often lead to increased blood pressure. If you’re overthinking a situation where somebody has done you wrong, you are assessing every part of it to figure out what you should have done instead so that it never happened in the first place. Feelings like this can amplify stress and anxiety, and therefore your blood pressure. By forgiving people, you are able to put these emotions aside, and have an lower blood pressure and improved physical health as a result.
Although you were never in the wrong, by forgiving somebody who wasn’t sorry, you will learn to accept situations as they are, and deal with them accordingly. As time passes, you will learn to love yourself for putting yourself first, and will come to realise that you are much better without that person in your life anyway.
Forgiving someone who isn’t sorry is one of the most difficult things to do – especially if the person in particular is very close to your heart. Hopefully the advice I have given will help you to overcome it in your own way, and rise above it. You are better than anybody who belittles you, remember that.