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Increase Frustration Tolerance: Fostering Forgiveness

Maybe someone accuses you of untrue things behind your back.

Maybe your business partner steals from you. Maybe a manager fails to uphold a promise. Maybe your partner has an affair. In cases involving a personal betrayal, keep in mind one important fact: Forgiveness is not the same thing as forgetting.

Forgetting is repression and when something is repressed, it is just bottled up. And as long as those emotions, such as anger, are stuffed inside, forgiveness remains impossible. Forgiveness is a powerful concept, attracting the attention of the world’s great religions. “Love thy neighbor, as thyself.” “Be kind to them that abuse you.” “Put not out the mote in thy neighbor’s eye, when you have yet to put out the beam in thine own.” While some often think of religious teachings as limited to the ethical and moral realms, when you look at the power of forgiveness, you can recognize its value for anger management, as well.

Forgiveness is not denying what someone did or condoning it.  It is not a matter of right and wrong. Forgiveness it is the ability to let go of your feelings about a person or event, so you can move on with your life. Their negative behavior caused you pain, and you are making the choice to let your anger and pain go.  It is for your benefit, not theirs. That’s because forgiveness is healthier than holding a grudge. Why? Because the bitterness of a grudge works like venom that poisons your life and doesn’t hurt anyone but yourself.

Seeking revenge or wishing harm to another depletes your energy and prevents your pain from healing. By increasing your tolerance, you can learn more about the world, discover new opportunities to grow and stay healthy. Forgiveness allows you to let go of the past, while you continue to live effectively in the present.

Here are some choices you can make to foster forgiveness:
1. Identify the hurt and pain (what someone just said or did) as antagonism because that’s what it is. It was not said or done for you, its serves their own agenda.
2. Put your hurt and pain in its proper perspective – they made an immature, childish statement or action. It does not deserve the attention and energy you are giving it.
3. Are you going to let your hurt determine your response or will you choose to use your adult judgment? Are you going to let your anger control you or are you going to manage it?
4. Identify that this is an opportunity to allow others to be responsible for themselves.
5. Muster up the courage to take the risk of doing something new. You can choose to say, “I don’t know what you are trying to accomplish.” or “What are you trying to achieve?” You are not attacking. You are telling the truth. When you say, “I hear what you’re saying,” or “I never thought of that.” you are not saying that they are correct in the facts, merely that you heard what they said.
Increase Frustration Tolerance: Fostering Forgiveness


Aaron Karmin


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APA Reference
Karmin, A. (2019). Increase Frustration Tolerance: Fostering Forgiveness. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 19, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/anger/2019/09/increase-frustration-tolerance-fostering-forgiveness/

 

Last updated: 24 Sep 2019
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network (blogs.psychcentral.com) prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.