Archive for June, 2023

I hurt someone without any intention of doing so. Yet, this person still is fuming at me and this really confuses me. I explained that I certainly did not mean to hurt her. I also apologized, but it seems to make no difference regarding her continued anger. What do I do about this?

First, you might consider forgiving yourself for the behavior even though there was no intention of acting badly. If you think this is appropriate, then I recommend trying self-forgiveness first. Next, do your best to be patient with this person because forgiving is this person’s decision and she obviously needs some time with her anger. If you can respond to her with kindness and respect, she eventually may see that forgiving is a viable and healthy response for the relationship.

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Would you please list for me all of your publications that deal with people in correctional institutions? Thank you in advance for this.

As you have requested, here are our five articles on the theme of correctional institutions:

Enright, R.D. Erzar, T., Gambaro, M., Komoski, M.C., O’Boyle, J., Reed, G., Song, J., Teslik, M., Wollner, B., Yao, Z., & Yu, L. (2016). Proposing forgiveness therapy for those in prison: An intervention strategy for reducing anger and promoting psychological health. Journal of Forensic Psychology, 1:116. doi:10.4172/2475-319X.1000116

Yu, L., Gambaro, M. Komoski, M.C., Song, J., Song, M., Teslik, M., Wollner, B., & Enright, R.D. (2018). The silent injustices against men in maximum security prison and the need for
forgiveness therapy: Two case studies. Journal of Forensic Psychology, 3:2, 137. DOI:

Erzar, T. Yu, L., Enright, R.D., & Erzar, K.K. (2018). Childhood victimization, recent injustice, anger, and forgiveness in a sample of imprisoned male offenders. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, June, DOI: 10.1177/0306624X18781782

Song, M. J., Yu, L., & Enright, R.D. (2021). Trauma and healing in the under-served populations of homelessness and corrections: Forgiveness therapy as an added component to intervention. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 28, 694-714.

Yu, L., Gambaro, M., Song, J., Teslik, M., Song, M., Komoski, M.C., Wollner, B., & Enright, R.D.
(2021). Forgiveness therapy in a maximum-security correctional institution: A randomized clinical trial. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy.

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I don’t want to lose more time with my father. We are not reconciled and I am an adult. He is adamant in not reconciling with me. He keeps claiming that he is right about what happened in the past and I have been wrong. I admit that I did my part to create this tension, but I am not the only one who acted inappropriately. What can you suggest so that we can reconcile?

First, have you forgiven your father for the past difficulties and have you forgiven him for his insistence now that only you behaved badly? After you forgive, you will need to exercise perseverance. By this I mean that you will need to be open to appropriate times for continuing the dialogue about the past with your father. This will take time and a strong will on your part. Look for even small openings from your father’s heart in which he might be seeing, even a little bit, his part in the past difficulties. As you admit your own part in those past difficulties and gently ask him about his own behavior, this may lead to his finally seeing that the challenges were a two-way street. If he does, then a genuine reconciliation may occur.

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I am interested in introducing forgiving into the workplace. Do you have any scientific evidence of the effectiveness of forgiving in the workplace?

Yes, we have a published article and here is the reference to it:

Zhao, C., Enright, R.D., & Klatt, J. (2017). Forgiveness education in the workplace: A new strategy for the management of anger. London Journal of Research in Humanities and Social Sciences, 17, 11-24.

Here is a link to that article:

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Future Forgiveness

Your practicing forgiveness now may pay unexpected dividends for you decades from now. As an example, a person visited me when her husband unexpectedly left her and her two children, whom she now is raising on her own. This is her view of the situation: “I have been practicing forgiveness now for many years under many different circumstances. Forgiveness has become my friend. I know how to forgive my husband. Had I not taken the time over the years to forgive different people, to nurture forgiveness in my heart, I could be in big trouble now, with a big bag of resentment that I could be carrying with me. This will not happen…..because forgiveness is my friend.” Each decision to forgive and each act of forgiveness now may pay great dividends for you and others 20 years from now.

Perseverance is a key. I have found that one of the greatest challenges to growing in forgiveness is a failure to adhere to practicing it as a moral virtue. People become distracted, they focus on new approaches to life, and they let forgiveness fade in them. As an analogy, how often do people take out a new membership in the gym, enthusiastically start a physical fitness regimen, and then slowly give it up? Diversions interfere and a habit of going to the gym never develops.

Developing a love of the forgiveness moral virtue is one way to avoid diversion, of avoiding distraction from the conscious and deliberate commitment to keep forgiveness as a vital part of one’s human interactions. As a person practices forgiveness over time, sees the beauty of it, sees the potential for aiding the self in reducing resentment and aiding others with the second chance, it is here that one starts to develop a love of the virtue. With the love now in place, perseverance becomes easier and it is easier to pass forgiveness to others.

from Pexels, used with permission

A love of the moral virtue of forgiveness can lead to it becoming a part of your identity, a part of who you are as a person. In other words, we all have a sense of who we are by focusing on what is important to us in life. Some may say, “I am a teacher,” or “I am the parent of two beautiful children,” or “I am a bicycle enthusiast.” We tend to look upon ourselves mostly through the lens of what we value. Once forgiveness starts to grow in you, then continued perseverance is more likely. The more you persevere in forgiving, the more you see its beauty and develop a love of the virtue. The more you develop a love of forgiveness, then the more likely it will become a valued part of who you are: “I am a forgiving person.” It is here that you want to give it away to others for their good. You then are helping people strengthen against the potential ravages of deeply unfair treatment from others that can lead to trauma within. Forgiveness is a protection against these negative effects. Persist in practicing forgiveness now, even for the minor annoyances, and protect yourself when deep unfairness comes; persist in practicing forgiveness now, and grow toward helping others to forgive, as a protection for them when deep unfairness visits them.

Forgiveness today is an investment in your future……and in others’ future.

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