Family & RelationshipsHow to Forgive Someone Who Did You Wrong
I thought I’d met ‘the one’ but he lied about having a wife and kids. Can I forgive him?: Ask Ellie
Q: This just happened to me: I thought I’d met “the One” and moved in with him after two weeks of dating. We lived together for three months, and I was the happiest I’d been in a long time. I saw my entire future with this guy and we agreed we both wanted a family together. I’m 33, he’s 31, and I want kids in two years, but he insisted on four years as there’s a lot he still wants to do before settling down. I was so in love, I was willing to wait. He told me he’s never had a girlfriend before (only friends with benefits) so asked me to be patient with him. He’s very traditional and wants a stay-at-home wife. After one month together, I lost my job and was a full-time housewife.
We all know that letting go of a perceived slight is a lot better than harboring a grudge, but let's be real here—forgiving someone can be very, very hard to do. However, holding onto all the times that someone has wronged you can have a negative effect on your health, and people who forgive others often report that they later feel happier, and even lighter, in a sense.
In fact, a 2015 study on forgiveness and physical activity showed that when participants who remembered a time when they refused to forgive someone, they judged hills to be about 5 degrees steeper than those who recalled making amends. Forgivers also jumped an average of 3 inches higher in a fitness test than their still-bitter counterparts, suggesting that ill will can literally bring you down.
Is it wrong to block on social media?
Social media. Whether it's Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin, or some other platform, people are spending a good portion of their days scrolling through feeds, posting items, and occasionally finding themselves agitated by something they see online. According to Statista, a provider of market and consumer data headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, the usage of social media worldwide was 135 minutes per day in 2017. In spite of occasional calls to boycott one site or another, overall usage appears to be holding steady.
Plus, when you hold a grudge, you tend to stew over it. This can deplete the availability of certain cognitive-boosting resources in your body—like blood sugar—that help you cope with physical challenges, says lead study author Xue Zheng, Ph.D.
RELATED GALLERY: Why you still can't forgive yourself for something you did 10 years ago (provided by Prevention)
So how do I let go of a grudge?
Forgiving someone who betrayed your trust isn’t easy. But you can start by following what many experts call the REACH model of forgiveness:
1. Recall the event as accurately—and objectively—as you can.
2. Then try to empathize with the person who did you wrong by looking at what happened through his or her eyes.
3. Remember that forgiveness is an altruistic gift. Think about a time when the roles were reversed and someone forgave you.
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I'll take a side of fried Oreos, too.
4. Commitment is crucial. If you spend too much time mulling over your plans before acting, you can stress yourself out even more. So follow through now: Tell a trusted friend your game plan, or work things out with your wrongdoer face to face.
5. Then hold on to that forgiveness. Your pain is likely to bubble up again at some point, but when it resurfaces, remind yourself you’ve chosen to reap the rewards of reconciliation instead of sulking.
RELATED VIDEO: 10 celebrities who stayed friends with their exes (provided by Women's Health)
A 'never event' in modern medicine: Doctors say they mistakenly operated on wrong kidney.
The kidney patient, Carla Miller, sued a Tennessee hospital for the botched 2017 surgery. She died in May, but her lawsuit continues.
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