Emotional resentment: how to establish a culture of forgiveness

Is impossible to be happy if we do not forgive others and also, if we do not forgive ourselves. It is a necessary condition to have friends, love others and live a psychologically healthy life. Because without forgiveness resentment would settle in us, a disease of the soul and one of the main obstacles to happiness.

Emotional resentment versus forgiveness

For Max Scheller, resentment is a "psychic autointoxication," a poisoning of our interior that depends on ourselves. It is an emotional response maintained in time to an aggression perceived as real, even if it is not exactly so. This response consists of feeling hurt and not forgetting.


The essential thing is not the offense but the answer we give. The manifestations of a resentful person are mainly inside him, he is blocked for action, he locks in himself prey to his clouding. It does not have to emit unpleasant, violent or striking answers, being able to act with great subtlety, even with apparent delicacy, but its heart is hurt and does not respond with freedom; he is imprisoned by his own resentment. The disease is inside and is doing its work, it is corroding.

If we realize, by having resentment we are giving another person the power to curtail our happiness, we are giving him the key to our happiness. This should never be subject to or depend on circumstantial factors but rather we should discover thatto happiness nests within us; but you have to know how to discover it. By breaking with resentment and opting for forgiveness, we recover freedom.


Tips to say goodbye to emotional resentment

1. You have to learn to put yourself in the place of the other, before judging your actions. Almost all human attitudes and behaviors have an explanation.

2. If we have been attacked, the problem lies with the aggressor because he is the one who has acted badly. But we must be open to forgiveness and, even more, to reach out to her because she needs help and, possibly, our help.

3. Be clear that no one can hurt me if I do not want to. It is in our hands to raise a barrier against offenses.

4. No one is perfect, and to err is human. Sometimes problems arise from seeking exaggerated perfection in others when we are all fallible.

Culture of forgiveness

In order for society to be more livable, human and less hardened, a "culture of forgiveness" must be established. This means that forgiveness is a frequent and not exceptional practice. For this you must be willing to see the best in the other's heart and to be able to say "I know you are not like that, I know you are much better and I forgive you", wanting the best for those who have offended us and made mistakes.


Ignacio Iturbe
Advice: Julio Lorenzo Rego, author of the conference The therapy of forgiveness in a hardened society.

Video: Drop It - Joel Osteen


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