Health & Well-Being

Forgiving

It’s what we do for our own mental health.


In every relationship there are times when our partner will do things that we perceive as offensive, insensitive, or just plain stupid. When that happens, it’s not uncommon to become insulted, hurt, or angry. We say “perceive” to emphasize the personal nature of how we interpret situations. Not everyone will regard the same words or deeds as hurtful; some are thicker skinned or won’t take many offenses personally. Nor will we always interpret words and deeds in the same way — it can depend on the context. An off-hand comment or a joke at our expense might be ignored or even taken as funny in some situations, but as a major insult in others.

When we go for the insult interpretation (and we do have a choice), most of us, especially if we have a healthy relationship, will confront our partner to let them know we’re not happy. But even if the problem is dealt with and resolved, affronted partners might continue to hold in their heads the thing that upset them. The accompanying negative feelings can affect how we think about and treat our partner, and they can form the basis for holding a grudge, and that’s never good.

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.

         – Mahatma Ghandi



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