My friend and I have a lot of conflicts and yet I do want to reconcile in the hope that these conflicts will be reduced. What would you suggest if such a reconciliation will be kind of rocky yet we both want to try?
I would recommend two points. First, are you both willing to forgive each other first so that you do not bring a lot of anger into dialogue with each other? Second, and if you are willing to forgive each other, what are the small steps each of you can take to help the other feel more trusting? In other words, what have you been doing to damage trust and can you take a small step in a better direction? Is your friend willing to do the same by taking small steps to build up your trust?
In my culture, filial piety is very important. This is a strong loyalty toward parents. I am emotionally unsettled because of how my father treated me in the past. Yet, I do not want to reconcile with my father. Do you recommend that I forgive if I can’t reconcile?
You can forgive without reconciling. Because of the importance of filial piety, your emotions may become more settled if you forgive and then, because of the past treatment, you do not have to approach your father, unless you are ready to do so.
I was hurt by a friend several years ago. When I think about forgiving, I know we will never reconcile and so I get lazy about forgiving. What are your thoughts about this?
If you still are emotionally unsettled because of what happened between you, then you can forgive and it likely will be in your best interest to do so. Reducing inner discontent is one good reason to offer forgiveness to this person.
If a person’s actions are hurtful but there was no intention to hurt you, is this forgivable? In other words, does a person have to intend to hurt me to qualify for my forgiving?
There are examples of people not intending to hurt you that still are unfair. Because the actions are unfair, you can forgive, if you so choose. Here is an example: Suppose a person is texting on a cell phone while driving a car. The person goes through a red light, with no intention to do so, and hits your car and your leg now is broken. Even though this person did not mean to hurt you, the action was such that the person should have been paying more attention. Thus, this is an injustice, even without an intention to act unjustly. As an injustice, you can go ahead and forgive.
I am trying to find your journal article in which you worked on forgiveness therapy with men in a correctional institution. I cannot find that article. Would you please provide that reference?
Yes, here is that reference:
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. https://doi.org/10.1002/cpp.2583