COVID-19 Resources: Learn how to apply character strengths to boost resilience and support others.
“I forgive others when they upset me and/or when they behave badly towards me, and I use that information in my future relations with them.”
Become Aware Of Your Strength
What is Forgiveness?
Forgiveness means to extend understanding towards those who have wronged or hurt us. It means to let go. In many cases this is the letting go of some or all of the frustration, disappointment, resentment, or other painful feelings associated with an offense. Forgiveness, and the related quality of mercy, involve accepting the shortcomings, flaws, and imperfections of others and giving them a second (or third) chance. As the expression goes, it is letting bygones be bygones, rather than being vengeful. It is a process of humanizing those who have led us to feel dehumanized.
It is important to distinguish forgiveness from:
- condoning (removes the offense)
- forgetting (removes the awareness)
- reconciliation (restores the relationship)
Explore Your Strength
Reflect on how you’ve used forgiveness in the past, in everyday life and during special or critical times.
Apply Your Strength
How can you make the most of forgiveness in your everyday life? In the moments that matter most? Here are some ideas.
- Take 20 minutes and write about the personal benefits that resulted from a negative incident.
- Think of someone who wronged you recently. Put yourself in their shoes and try to understand their perspective.
- Make a list of individuals against whom you hold a grudge. Choose one person either to meet with personally to discuss your grudge, or visualize a conversation in which you practice forgiveness and letting go.