Your Relationships: Forgiving

All relationships, whether they be between friends, family members, coworkers, or significant others, will encounter times of conflict. It’s simply human nature: two different people will not be in agreement 100 percent of the time. Some issues will, of course, be bigger than others, but the root of it all lies in the same realm. As such, you will find yourself faced with opportunities — opportunities to deal with this conflict and determine how you’d like to proceed.

A lot of conflict is easily dealt with. Slight differences in opinion, minor disagreements — easily let go, easily forgiven and forgotten. But you will definitely encounter more intense conflict, made all the more heated because it’s a matter of right and wrong – and of course you’re right.

At times like those, you have to decide: can the “wrongdoing” be forgiven? If not, can you move past it and keep your relationships intact?

The decision is ultimately yours. Depending on the severity of the wrongdoing, you may find it difficult to accept or forgive. You need to decide at that point if the relationship means more than the wrong.

If the relationship is strong, and means a great deal to you, attempting to move past it may be your preferred course of action. Perhaps having an honest conversation and trying to see things from the other person’s point of view can help. Knowing the other person’s reasoning and feelings can make it easier to forgive.

If the relationship was weak to begin with, or the severity of the wrong is very high, you need to decide if you want to put forth the effort required to salvage that relationship. With enough determination, chances are high that you can move past the conflict — as long as both parties are able to come to an agreement. But it won’t be easy.

A suggestion as you determine your course of action: don’t wait too long. The more time that passes, the harder it will be to put the past behind you. Time can leave a scar — and the effort required to salvage the relationship grows as time passes by. A hiccup in the course of a relationship — no matter how big a hiccup — is easier to move past than a days-, weeks-, months-, or even years-long span of time that ruptures the relationship completely.

And if you can’t forgive? Well, perhaps that relationship has run its course. Just make sure you’re moving on for the right reasons. Don’t let your pride interfere with a relationship worth saving. A bit of swallowed pride is easier to accept than the regrets that are sure to come.

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