The How of Happiness – Dealing with Forgiveness (Part II)
In this blog I will give four strategies that folks can use to help them learn how to forgive.
4 Strategies for helping with forgiveness
1. Dr. Lyubomirsky, in her book, “The How of Happiness” suggests thinking about a time when you did something that you needed forgiveness. In this way Dr. L suggests that you get an appreciation what it feels like to be forgiven, to be on the other side of process.
2. Dr. L also suggests imagining having a conversation with the person who you are thinking about forgiving and imagining how they might respond when you are talking with them.
3. Another suggestion that is to write a letter to the person you are thinking about forgiving. Dr. L gives the examples of writing an email forgiving that person. My suggestion is to write two emails; one that says whatever you feel like saying and the second is rethinking how the other person will feel when they get your email. You may or may not decide to send that email. The question here is what will make you feel better.
4. Dr. John Gottman, a famous marriage therapy researcher, talks about putting yourself in the shoes of the other person who you are thinking of forgiving and seeing things from their point of view.
If you like these strategies you will be well served to read Dr. L’s book “The How of Happiness” to find out exactly how to do these activities.
Having given you these different strategies for forgiveness, the reality is that is not at all easy to forgive and though strategies are helpful, it is often necessary to be involved in therapy to work through the issues that have made you angry. Try using these techniques and if they work terrific, if not and if you want to have a shot at being happy, it can be very helpful to sit down with a professional who can walk you through your bad feelings and help you get past them.