Forgiving someone is probably one of the hardest things we can do. It is a selfless act that requires compassion, which is why we should try to learn it. Your most hated person may not deserve your forgiveness, but the point is that you don’t deserve to be trapped in revenge and resentment, and ultimately damage our mental and emotional well-being. According to Lissa Rankin, M.D., “Forgiveness, on the other hand, is an offering of grace – and with that grace comes emotional freedom, liberation from the downward spiral of negativity that resentment breeds, and an opportunity for personal redemption.”
Forgiving Others At Work
We’ve had our fair share of co-workers or bosses who were rude and demanding. Some are there just to exist to annoy you or destroy your reputation by telling fake stories about you. I’ve had the awful experience of getting bullied by my boss a few years back. He would shout at me to get my attention and ask me for a cup of coffee even though I was doing something important. His feedback about my work was usually, “You did terribly,” or, “Was that your best?” I couldn’t even argue or question his feedback.
Silently, I would forgive him for everything, and I built strength and resilience through forgiveness. Eventually, I told him how much I appreciated his efforts to challenge me and help me become better, and for the opportunity to work with his team. And then I left the company. I left with more confidence in myself and more strength to face even the worst challenges.
Forgiving From The Heart – Not From The Mind
The first purpose for forgiving my boss was to free myself from the darkness that hatred and resentment can do to one’s heart. I refused to be a slave to someone’s unreal opinion of who I am. I also wanted to show others that conflict and other difficult situations can be fixed through forgiveness.
As what Melanie Greenberg Ph.D. said, “Many studies have shown that people who forgive are happier and healthier than those who do not.”
If I had thought about the act of forgiving my boss, I think I wouldn’t have been able to do it. I would have thought, “Why would I simply forgive him for allowing me to think negatively about myself and hurting me this way?” That is exactly why one should not use the mind to forgive. Forgiveness must not come from the mind but the heart – because it is in your heart that you feel the self-love and compassion. What my boss did to me was my boss’ behavior, not mine. Who knows? My forgiveness might be a way for him to learn the value of forgiveness.
Forgiveness Is A Choice To Be Empowered
Victor Frankl states that man has a choice, despite the most dreadful circumstances, to forgive to liberate himself.
In any kind of workplace, conflict cannot be avoided because people commit errors and mistakes. It is vital to accept your misgivings if you are at fault. It is healthy for a company to encourage its employees, particularly its leaders, to be strong enough to find ways to forgive and create strict boundaries that help avoid repeated violations. Leaders, like executives and company heads, who show responsibility and the ability to forgive are most likely capable of creating a better and more constructive future for their team and the rest of the company as a whole.
According to Jason Powers M.D., “Let go of resentments and attend to helpful thoughts. You’ll live better.”