How to forgive yourself? 4 psychological keys

Some people find it easy to forgive those who have hurt them, but ironically they are incredibly critical of themselves. They are not able to forgive small mistakes, which they deeply regret and cause them great discomfort.

Guilt is a human feeling of great social importance because it allows us to assimilate the ethical and moral code as we grow up, seeing which things are good and which are bad. However, if we cannot recover after making a mistake, we have a problem.

In this article we will see how to forgive yourself, Understand the function of guilt, the phases of forgiveness and the things we can do to achieve self-forgiveness.

    How to forgive yourself? psychological keys

    Forgive yourself it is a fundamental thing to enjoy good mental health and inner peace. It is one of the best gifts we can give ourselves, because it is a source of emotional stability, although of course it is not an easy task.

    It requires well-developed aspects such as humility, patience, and self-esteem, aspects that are closely related to personality factors that act as a protection against psychopathology.

    Nobody is perfect. We’ve all at some point made mistakes, mistakes that reverberate through our minds, Martyring us for the evil we have done. This, in a way, is normal, because among the gifts available to human beings, in addition to intelligence, there is a good memory, an ability that is sometimes placed against us. This memory, combined with a somewhat masochistic tendency, likes to remind us over and over again of something bad that we find it hard to forgive.

    Is it wrong to feel guilty?

    Guilt is a key mechanism in our learning. It is thanks to this emotion that our consciousness is formed, Set limits on whether our motivations and behaviors are appropriate or not.

    According to Erik Erikson, healthy guilt is a feeling that develops around the age of three, acquiring a very important role in our ability to communicate with others, acquire socially appropriate behavior and internalize social norms.

    When this emotion is not properly developed, problems arise in the internalization of the ethical and moral code., In view of the relational difficulties that result from it. One of the main characteristics of psychopaths is the absence of healthy guilt. We don’t have to walk to the other end either. To feel guilty about everything and in front of everyone is pathological behavior, the symptom of a serious personality problem, various frustrations and urgent psychological intervention.

    What should be clear to us is that feeling guilty is usually a good indicator that we have done something wrong, or at least it makes us feel that we have somehow broken the norms. ethical and moral.

    It means that we are aware that we must have done something wrong and, feeling guilty, we move to correct our mistakes. We can try to fix things by apologizing or taking other steps to reduce the discomfort and remorse.

    The problem is when the guilt comes over us in an extreme way. We feel guilty about things that are already in the past, letting them torment us over and over again and go into an endless loop. It is this vicious circle that does not allow us to live our life to the fullest., Trap in the past and not let us progress.

    What does it mean to forgive yourself?

    It should be made very clear that forgiving yourself is not synonymous with justifying inappropriate behavior or stopping remorse. Forgiveness involves, above all, recognizing the negative emotions that a mistake made in the past produces in us and yet deciding that we are losing strength in our present.

    Forgiveness is not a sudden process. It takes a lot of progress, especially if the act to be forgiven is complex. It is very likely that it will take a few years for us to fully heal wounds that we consider serious. At other times, either because of the characteristics of our own act of forgiving or because of the way we are in terms of personality, our ability to forgive ourselves will be easier.

    It is very important that, in order to forgive ourselves, we change our perspective on the situation we are living in.. We need to give ourselves permission to move forward and overcome what has happened, to live in the present, to try to achieve total peace and to open up to a future without pain. It also means overcoming resistance to change, which is never easy.

      The phases of self-forgiveness

      Forgiving yourself is a complicated process, often more difficult than forgiving others. This process includes the following phases.

      1. Recognize the truth

      The first thing to do is recognize the truth. We have to be honest with ourselves and, in case it is true that we have done something wrong, don’t be fooled. We can’t forgive ourselves for something if we don’t know what to forgive.

      2. Suppose this has happened

      Every action has a reaction. Our wrongdoing has negative consequences, which are the real facts that we regret. What we did wrong ended up happening what our consciousness cannot tear away from. Taking responsibility for what has happened is courageous and we have to face what that entails.

      3. Contact with our emotions

      We need to get in touch with the deepest emotions that motivated this behavior that we now regret. To know which emotions have influenced our behavior, it is essential to look back and ask yourself questions about the style.:

      • Were we angry and said something ugly to our parents?
      • Were we tired and didn’t feel like cleaning the house?
      • Were we sad and carried away by the fridge?

      It is normal that the actions we regret later were marked by a strong emotional component, mainly of a negative nature. We behave in such a way that when we are emotionally stable, we do not.

      4. Let us feel

      We are imperfect beings. Sometimes we are happy and other times we are sad, which influences our behavior. It is this emotionality that endows us with the most important characteristic of our existence, our humanity.

      Accepting our imperfections, the fact that we can feel a wide repertoire of emotions and that we don’t always behave in the best way is a key aspect in being able to forgive ourselves. Self-criticism must give way to compassion for ourselves.

      What can we do?

      There are several strategies we have for forgiving ourselves. All of them can help us speed up the process of self-forgiveness.

      1. Sorry

      It makes sense that, to forgive yourself, you have to apologize to the person you hurt, if that’s the case. The apologies should be deep and sincere. They should also be without expectations: if we apologize and the other person still feels hurt, it’s normal that they still don’t dare to forgive us.

      Everyone can experience the situation and progress at their own pace, and we must accept that. No matter how long it takes to forgive ourselves or how little it takes to forgive ourselves, the act itself will help us speed up our healing process and surely that of the other person.

      2. Talk about it

      Sharing the experience is essential to be aware of what happened and to put into perspective. Talking about it allows us to discuss it with people who should preferably be in our trust.

      We can explain this to a friend who gives us confidence and compassion and maybe tells us that he also went through a similar situation and how he overcame it.

      3. Go to therapy

      Another option, highly recommended, is to go to therapy and speak to a psychologist.. This professional will approach what we cannot forgive from a more neutral and impartial perspective, select the most appropriate clinical strategies for the particular situation and remedy them.

        4. Write a letter of apology

        A very useful strategy is to write a letter of apology, especially if what makes us feel bad is something that we feel cannot be fixed. This is especially recommended in cases where we cannot speak to the person we think has hurt., As a deceased family member or someone with whom we have severed all communication

        For example, it is possible that before the mother died, we fought with her. Not apologizing to her in life makes us feel bad and we cannot forgive ourselves. We can’t talk to him, but we can write the letter and apologize, make peace peacefully.

        This technique doesn’t just work with the dead and people with whom we can no longer speak. It can also be done with someone with whom we can easily strike up a conversation. The idea would be the same, only we will have the option to decide whether or not to deliver the letter to the person we consider fraudulent.

        final thought

        As with forgiveness in general, forgiving yourself is not an easy process. It’s a long way we’ll have our ups and downs, With a marked emotional charge but which, if done right, will help us leave the pain behind.

        By forgiving ourselves, we break free from the heavy shackles of the past and make our present and future a little lighter, happier, and more enjoyable, because life is about that: being able to enjoy it.

        Accepting that we did something wrong, consciously or unconsciously at the time, is healthy, mature and responsible action. People, unless we have a problem, don’t behave badly towards others because we do: there’s always a reason, either because of a negative emotion or because we didn’t know how to behave better.

        It’s finding out what we’ve done wrong that makes us grow taller and avoid making the same mistake in the future.. Forgiving ourselves is the step that will lead us to good mental health and inner peace.

        Bibliographical references:

        • German, M., Amberg, I., Zimprich, D. and Fincham, FD (2007). The role of beat forgiveness and relationship satisfaction. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, vol. 26, no. 2, 2007, p. 199 – 217.
        • Enright, Robert D .; Fitzgibbons, Richard P. (2015). Forgiveness therapy: an empirical guide to resolving anger and restoring hope.
        • Finkel, EJ, Rusbult, CE, Kumashiro, M. and Hannon, PE (2002). How to Deal with Betrayal in Close Relationships: Does Engagement Promote Forgiveness? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 82 (6): pages 956 to 974
        • Hall, J. and Fincham, FD (2005). Self-forgiveness: child son of the investigation into forgiveness. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, vol. 24, no. 5, 2005, pages 621 to 637.

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