Why We Refuse to Forgive

Why we refuse to forgive

Why we refuse to forgive

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to explain and reveal the reasons why we choose not to forgive.

First a quick update:

“America’s obsession with young girls”
Miley Cyrus has been harshly criticized for her photo shoot for Vanity Fair. She apologized but how did this happen and why? Listen to the interview I gave to the ladies of XM radio’s Broadminded visit to Radio-Interviews. I also reveal the psychological motivations behind John McCain, Barrack Obama and Hilary Clinton’s run for President, what all three have in common, and the behavioral similarities between Hilary Clinton and Eleanor Roosevelt.    I have something very special to announce in the next few days, so please keep an eye on your inbox, and remember to add this email address to your spam white list.

Now let’s talk about the reasons we choose not to forgive those people that we believe have hurt or wronged us.

Most of us have heard the teaching, “Love thy neighbor as yourself.” That means before you can be kind to the person next door you have to be kind to yourself. Before you can forgive them you have to forgive yourself. You cannot show or demonstrate to anyone else what you cannot show or demonstrate to yourself. For that reason, I teach that every relationship begins with you.

So why do we not want to forgive the other person who hurt us, did something horrible to us, betrayed us, cheated on us, lied to us, rejected us, treated us poorly or abandoned us?

There are many reasons:

  • We expect everyone to be perfect and we want them to change
  • We want to punish: “I’m not going to let him or her get away with that.  No way!  I’m not going to encourage that sort of behaviour.”
  • We fear that if we do forgive them we are condoning their actions and their behaviour and we’re saying it’s OK for them to do that
  • We want to keep ourselves safe. We want to protect ourselves because we think if “I forgive that person I might let that person into my life and they might hurt me again”
  • We want to teach that person a lesson.  “You know what?  I’m going to teach you a lesson.  You’re not going to do this to me again.  I’m going to make you suffer.”
  • We want them to feel our pain. “I’m going to let you know how much you hurt me by how much I am going to hurt you.”
  • Our upbringing has taught us not to give people a second chance

Another key reason is that we might subconsciously believe that we were responsible, that we did something wrong and we don’t want to face it. So, we project our own feelings of inadequacy or lack of self-worth onto the other person. For example, one of my clients was betrayed by his girlfriend and even though he logically knew he did nothing wrong, subconsciously he thought that maybe there is something wrong with him – he wasn’t good enough – not rich enough, not successful enough. He also subconsciously felt that because she failed in her actions it was her fault – he should have been able to change her old pattern and behavior.

The problem with a lack of forgiveness is that although we think we’re hurting the other person we’re actually hurting ourselves. We think, “Hey this person did this to me.  I’m going to dump him. I’m going to break off the relationship or divorce them and I’m never going to talk to him again.  That way I’m going to punish them.  I’m not hurting myself, I’m hurting them!”

It might be true that you’re hurting them by cutting them off, by dumping them, by ending the relationship and maybe even by not talking to them but that person doesn’t necessarily know what’s in your heart and what’s in your heart is in your heart and it affects you.

So it easy to walk around with the resentment, the blame, the bitterness, the anger, the frustration, the vindictiveness and the desire for revenge, not realizing that these are all poisons and toxins in your body. They hurt you more than they hurt the other person. So forgiveness is ultimately for you, so that you can find peace of mind.  Now if you’re still unsure whether this is true think about what it was like before you got angry at that person when you were in a good relationship.  It felt good didn’t it?  Then when the bad happened and you started to get angry and you said “I’m never going to forgive them, you started to feel bad didn’t you?”

So it’s true that you do get more of what you focus on but also the emotions in you will start to eat away at you. For example, if it’s anger, it’ll start to eat away at you. It will turn into, it will transform itself into, a physical illness, into a physical ailment.

–The above is from my new upcoming three CD set, live presentation and workshop: “The Secrets to losing weight, being thin and loving your body.” Look for it in the next few weeks…

Remember to check out my Blog on my website to read my past Success Newsletters, post your comments and take a few exciting quizzes.  If you have received this newsletter as a forward and would like to receive all of my newsletters please enter your email address on the home page.

I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & Clinical Hypnotherapist
www.patrickwanis.com

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5 replies
  1. Avatar
    Patrick says:

    Dear Elaine,

    I appreciate the way that you express people’s challenges and obstacles to forgiving. It is true that what most of us don’t realize is that forgiveness is for us. Forgiveness sets us free.

    Thanks for contributing your perspective and experience.

    Patrick

  2. Avatar
    Elaine says:

    It is an erroneous belief that by forgiving others. “I lose out”, “I am weak” or “I give in easily and make life easier for the offender.”
    I used to think like that before. But I have learnt to let go after looking at things/people as “what happened” and “what is”. I am able to let go easily and forgive self and others.
    Having get here, i experience freedom, joy and self expression.

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