You are invited to participate in a voluntary, confidential, first-of-its-kind research study about your driving behaviors and attitudes toward those who have deeply hurt you in the past and your current emotional state. Participation simply involves the completion of a number of simple-to-answer survey questionnaires.
“Those who participate in this study will be part of a select group whose survey answers will help us construct study data and develop interventions,” according to Jacqueline Song, Principal Researcher for the International Forgiveness Institute (IFI). “This project is likely to have life-saving implications that will stretch around the world but we need help to accomplish that.”
You are eligible to participate in the study if you can answer “Yes” to these five questions:
- Are you age 21 or older?
- Are you a resident of either the United States or the metro Manila area of the Philippines?
- Do you have a valid driver’s license?
- Can you read and understand English?
- Do you have Internet access in order to complete the online surveys?
If you answered “Yes” to those questions, you can be one of our select participants and you could win a cash prize or a gift card.
Six Reasons Why You Should Participate in This Research Project
- US participants who complete the survey will be entered in a random drawing to win one of ten Amazon Gift Cards ($20 value each); Filipinos who complete the survey will be entered to win one of 20 cash prizes of 500 Philippine pesos.
- You will have an opportunity to participate, at no cost and only if you choose to, in the interventions that are developed as a result of the research data acquired.
- You will receive our immense appreciation for helping us help others.
- You will acquire the self-satisfaction of demonstrating your compassion and willingness to help others around the world.
- You will be a participant in a life-changing project designed to improve the human condition.
- You will have an opportunity to spend some valuable time reflecting on your thoughts and feelings about yourself and others.
Final notes from the Principal Researcher:
- One of the survey questions asks you to share a personal experience of a deeply unjust event or pattern of unfavorable events that happened to you in the past;
- We expect that most participants will be able to complete the online survey in 60-90 minutes;
- To avoid distractions, we discourage use of a mobile phone to answer the online survey questions; and,
- Please share this invitation with others who meet the criteria listed above.
Can I be perfectly fine without forgiving a person who acted unjustly against me? In other words, can the anger just vanish?
We have to make a distinction between healthy anger and unhealthy anger. Healthy anger occurs as a short-term reaction to others’ unfairness. The anger emerges because the one being treated unfairly knows that all people are worthy of respect, even oneself. Unhealthy anger occurs when the initial reaction of healthy anger does not end, but intensifies and remains in the person’s heart for months or even many years. At that point, the anger can have quite negative effects on one’s energy, ability to concentrate, and on one’s overall well-being. Healthy anger is normal. Unhealthy anger needs attention and amelioration.
In your experience, are people more critical of others who are unjust or of themselves when they break their own standards?
I find that people are more critical of themselves than they are of others. Many people find it difficult to welcome themselves back into the human community once they have behaved badly. I discuss this issue in a Psychology Today blog centered on self-loathing here:
In the past, I used to engage in what the expression is called “killing them with kindness.” It actually has been my mode of revenge, as I harbored deep anger while faking kindness. Is it possible to transition from fake kindness to the real thing?
Yes, it definitely is possible to change from a fake kindness to genuine kindness. We have thinking exercises in which we ask the one who is forgiving to see the struggles in the one who acted unfairly. Oftentimes, a person who is cruel to others has a history of being abused. Such an insight within the one who forgives (toward the one who was unfair) is not fostered to excuse the unjust behavior, but instead to see a genuine person, a hurting person, who is engaging in the injustice. As you begin to see a genuine person, one who has wounds and may be confused and frustrated, then a genuine sense of kindness toward that person can emerge. It takes time and so please be gently with yourself as you examine the true personhood of the other.