Is Forgiving Always The Right Thing To Do?

Written by on July 18, 2012 in Relationships - No comments | Print this page


To forgive is to let go, right?  There are plenty of programs out there to help you forgive and move on, but is forgiveness really necessary?

The literal definition of forgiveness is “to grant pardon for or remission of.”  Make your own definition.  Forgiveness does not necessarily have to mean condoning or excusing a wrongdoing.  You are letting go and getting past the situation.  You may have experienced profound hurt and are questioning how anyone can treat others so callously.  Reflect on it and come to an acceptance.

That brings us to another question.  Should you always forgive?  Forgiveness sounds nice and it may seem like “the right thing to do.”  What if the person keeps physically and verbally abuses you over and over again?  When you forgive, you release your anger and open yourself up again to accept him back.  You can bet that he will do the same thing to you again.

In those kinds of situations, anger is a defense mechanism.  Use it.  You need it to survive emotionally.  Forgiving him shouldn’t be the same as giving him permission to hurt you again.  Be strong at the places where you feel broken.  Instead of forgiving him, forgive yourself.  Forgive yourself for allowing someone to treat you this poorly and promise yourself to never let it happen again.

Forgiveness should be determined on a case-to-case basis.  Use your judgment to decide.  If you hold onto every perceived wrongdoing a person has ever committed, it will consume you.  You are giving the wrongdoer power over you.  You don’t want resentment and grudges to cripple your life, but forgiving could also just mean coming to terms with what happened, letting go, and moving on without having to be friends or boyfriend/girlfriend with them again.

What is your definition of forgiveness?



About the Author

M. Yu

M. Yu is a single, working professional who lives in New York City. She has eclectic interests, ranging from cancer research (her day job) to traveling to writing for the Relationship Category on QLR. She has an active dating life and views every life experience as a learning lesson. View all posts about healthy relationships.