Forgiveness is radical. Both forgiving and asking for forgiveness go against deeply ingrained psychological and political truths. We fight against it. We reject its premises. We think we want to be — or at least, want to appear to be — blameless at all times.
Admitting mistakes announces to the world that we are, after all, blameworthy. But forgiving others who have hurt us clears the playing field and introduces moral equity to the equation: By forgiving another we are willingly giving up claims to moral superiority.
“I apologize for any pain or unhappiness I caused you. I didn’t intend it. I’m sorry. I truly hope you will forgive me.” Once the other party understands that you are truly sorry for causing him pain, other details, explanations, and fine points may be discussed. But unqualified apology is so powerful an antidote to resentment and hostility that further explanations are often not needed.
Excerpted from the article:
Forgiveness: “I Am Truly Sorry for Causing You Pain”
by Roberta Maisel.
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