Are you one of those who wait for an apology before forgiving a person?
If you have ever had to wait for an apology that is not forthcoming, you will agree that forgiveness takes a bit of effort.
Typically, it is almost like we only consider forgiving a person after they must have apologized.
The apology somehow stands as the conviction you need to be certain a person is remorseful. It is also at this point that you either accept an apology and forgive or request for more time.
However, what do you do when the apology you expect is not forthcoming?
First instinct will be to fight several attempts to let go and you struggle with feelings of anger, hurt or both. When this lingers it becomes unhealthy and affects your mental health.
Why You Should Forgive Even Without An Apology.
Holding a grudge is like allowing a person live rent free in your mind.
You run through different emotions when you see or think about them and this builds animosity/negativity unintentionally.
This negativity sometimes blocks your opportunity to key into positive affirmations and your conscience will always remind you of unresolved issues.
It is always a better option to let go of occurrences that upset you just by forgiving. Easier said than done right?
Think about it this way, Forgiveness does not have to happen only after you get an apology. The truth is, if you decide to wait for an apology, you will hurt more if it never comes.
For your mental health, make a conscious effort to always choose peace of mind, drop the weight of anger and unforgiveness. It helps you more than the person who offended you.
Thought Process to Help you Forgive a Person Who is Not Sorry.
According to Wikipedia, Forgiving someone involves the intentional and voluntary process by which the ‘victim’ undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as resentment and vengeance, and does this with an increased ability to wish the offender well.
While it is certain that you are the victim and have been wronged, forgiving someone means letting go of all wrong doings by person.
This includes letting go of your expectation of better behavior or apology.
If you intend to forgive a person who is not sorry, the tips below will help you make up your mind:
1. People are a replica of how they are trained.
While we all expected to behave in a civil manner, it is also important to note that people will always act out what they are used to seeing.
For instance, if a person grew up in an environment where verbal or physical abuse is constant, it is possible that this attitude will be replicated towards others.
People pick up bad habits from different places and if they are not taught to unlearn these bad habits, it may become a lifestyle for them.
Unfortunately, you still hear some people make statements like – it is too late to unlearn a bad habit even after they have been called to order.
For your sanity, just remember that you are never the problem. The problem is clearly from the person who failed to realize that personal growth involves learning, unlearning certain habits and relearning.
When you realize that people are sometimes a replica of their home training, it is easier to forgive them. Remember, you are not the problem and they are only displaying a faulty upbringing.
2. Your Mental Health and Space is Your Priority.
I am very enthusiastic about mental health awareness and I always advocate that everyone puts theirs first.
When your mental health is important to you, you understand that it is unacceptable to bear grudges or hold on to hurt for too long.
Being mentally aware encourages you to let go of negativity and this involves forgiving those people who have failed to acknowledge that they hurt you.
Forgiving a person who is not sorry does NOT mean you are enabling their bad behavior, it just means you are mentally aware and you are your own top priority.
Again, because you are your top priority, think about your mental health and move on without expectation. Take care of your mental health and space, it is your responsibility.
3. Be the Bigger Person.
You must have heard this line a lot, but it truly helps to be the bigger person.
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong – Mahatma Gandhi
If you have been faced with this situation, you know It takes a lot of self control, confidence and high self- esteem to walk away from a person who wronged you especially in the heat of the moment.
You have the right response and perfect comeback, but you also know to behave better and not stoop low.
Since you crossed the first hurdle of not being confrontational or violent, you also have the inner strength required to forgive.
Be the bigger person and remind yourself of the qualities that make you an exceptional example to others.
If this helps, being the bigger person shows that you are in control of your emotions and that is a rare quality. Keep it up.
4. Forgive and Forget?
Good to forgive, best to forget – Robert Browning
This quote by Robert Browning is an important aspect of forgiving a person and I know it might be the most difficult part.
Forgiving and forgetting gives room for true freedom especially if the person involved is someone you love dearly or will see often.
You may be tempted to completely ignore a person who you do not have to see everyday or live with, but is this truly the best option?
Forgetting does not change the fact that you were hurt, but it gives you the chance to start a new beginning and make better decisions.
If you choose not to forget, you will find yourself amplifying those instant flashes you get of the times you were hurt.
Once you forgive willingly, make a conscious effort to avoid dwelling on the past.
Related: Forgiveness is Freedom
5. Everyone makes Mistakes.
This is the part where you are reminded that you are not perfect.
As you go through your daily activities, It is impossible to be 100% prim and proper and not hurt a number of people.
If you expect to be forgiven when you err, it is only fair that you forgive others when they do something wrong.
What makes you different is your ability to acknowledge you are wrong and apologize.
Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Have you had to forgive a person who is Not Sorry?
How do you feel after forgiving a person?
Do you have any experience you want to share?
I will love to read from you.