I clearly understand that forgiveness and reconciliation are not the same in major ways. However, if you forgive someone to the point that you really want to actively engage with the person, then, what would be the appropriate way or a wise way to seek reconciliation. Of course, the other person needs to acknowledge his wrongdoing and desire to change because reconciliation is a behavioral coming of both parties, but do you just patiently wait (in love) or do you actively initiate reconciliation? What would be the ways of reconciliation in the process of forgiveness?

I would recommend approaching the other person after first forgiving him or her so that you do not initiate the interaction with resentment in the heart.  Then I would carefully—carefully—explain that you are hurt.  In other words, you do not accuse, but explain how the person’s behavior has affected you inside. Psychologists call these “I-messages.”  An “I-message” is seen as less confrontational than a “You-message” in which you point out that person’s weaknesses.

Then I would try to see where the person is with regard to the seeking forgiveness process.  If the person denies all wrongdoing, then he or she is at the very beginning of that process.  If he or she acknowledges wrongdoing, this is a big step.

Then you can see the extent to which the person is willing to practice the “three Rs” of remorse (inner sorrow for having hurt you), repentance (wanting to change), and where appropriate recompense (making up to you for the damage done). Once you forgive and he or she practices the “three Rs,” then a true reconciliation is likely to occur.

Please follow and like us:
Categories: Ask Dr. Forgiveness


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *