Tagged: “paradox of forgiving”

How does my giving a gift to the one who hurt me break the power that the person has over me?

This gift-giving is part of the amazing paradox of forgiving: As you give to the other, it is you who experiences healing.  Our science supports this view.  As people go through our Process Model of Forgiveness, they tend to reduce in anger, anxiety, and depression and to increase in self-esteem and hope.  You can read a description of some of these studies in Enright and Fitzgibbons (2015), Forgiveness Therapy. Washington, DC: APA Books.

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Can you comment on giving a gift to someone whom you choose to not have any further contact with?

There seem to be two questions here: 1) Should I consider giving a gift to someone with whom I choose not to have any further contact; and, 2) How can I give such a gift?  Here is my answer to the “should” question: Forgiveness is about giving, even to those with whom you are angry and estranged. This is part of the paradox of forgiving: As you reach out in goodness to those who were not good to you, then you experience psychological healing. Therefore, it is morally appropriate and psychologically prudent to consider giving a gift, if you choose to forgive. The second question, regarding how it is even possible to give a gift to someone whom you will not see again is this: You can contribute to a charity in the person’s name. You can pray for the person if you have a religious belief.  You even can say a kind word about the person to someone else.
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