Try looking at anger in terms of the following 5 reasons for angry behaviors:
- 1 Seeking revenge. You feel hurt, so you want to get even and make things fair.
- 2 Preventing disaster. You feel helpless, so you want to take control.
- 3 Pushing others away. You feel discouraged, so you want to withdraw from life and avoid being judged.
- 4 Getting attention. You feel disrespected, so you lash out to be acknowledged or to prove your importance.
- 5 Expressing difficult feelings. You’re overwhelmed, so you want to reduce your discomfort.
One of the best ways to heal from anger is to forgive the people who hurt you. The act of forgiveness gives you new options for living your life on a much more realistic basis. Besides, if you don’t forgive old wounds, they’ll stay deep down inside you forever. Is that what you want?
Forgiveness has nothing to do with condoning or excusing the wrongs that were done to you. It means letting go of those old wounds so you can move on with your life. And forgiveness has nothing to do with assessing the degree of other people’s guilt, or the relative evil of their intentions. That’s because forgiveness is not about other people at all. You forgive others for your own benefit, not theirs. The people who hurt you don’t even have to know that you’ve forgiven their hurtful behavior. Your act of forgiveness is between you and yourself—it’s no one else’s business.