While we’ve grown up knowing that “communication is key” and that we should “forgive and forget,” I find that these two things are still some of the hardest life skills to master. Effective and genuine communication is crucial when you are seeking forgiveness. Let me share with you how to be an even clearer communicator to help you when seeking forgiveness or forgiving and in every aspect of your life.
Before engaging in a conversation with someone you are hoping will forgive you or that you want to forgive, be sure to thoroughly think about the points you want to make and how you want to say them. I’d suggest writing down little reminders so that you don’t forget or leave anything out.
How you say things is just as, if not more, important. Be genuine, but communicate in a kind and loving manner, because if you get defensive or raise your voice, then whomever you are talking to may shut down and stop listening. They would miss your whole message and nothing will have been accomplished.
If you are seeking forgiveness and want to apologize, you must be honest with yourself and admit your vulnerability. Get in touch with exactly what you are feeling and articulate that as clearly as possible to the other party. You must understand that your actions directly affected and hurt the other person.
Apologize. Explain that you are aware your actions were hurtful, you realize they’re upset, and it is completely your doing. Take full responsibility and tell them you want to make amends. Ask for forgiveness. People like to be asked not told, believe me.
The final stage is actual forgiveness. Forgiveness is a skill and it takes practice. Your relationship with the other person will reach a whole new level if true forgiveness is achieved. You have to work on being better and kinder and true to your apology.
Managing your expectations
Don’t think about the outcome of a conversation, especially when it’s concerning forgiveness. You can’t expect that the other party will react a certain way because you don’t know everything they are feeling and thinking. You are only in control of your own thoughts, feelings, and actions. Be present and just focus on making yourself clear and communicating in the tone you want and simply listen to what the other party has to say. If you expect a certain outcome, there’s a greater chance of being let down and disappointed. Expect nothing. It will make communicating in the moment a lot easier.
Asking for help
This is often the hardest thing to do for most people. We are a society that takes pride in individualism, being able to take care of things for ourselves without any help. However, I’ve learned that being able to ask for help is so important. There are many things in life that we can’t get through alone. It is okay to ask for help. First, you have to accept the fact yourself that you need help. Then think of the people in your life that you have infinite love for and trust with all your heart. The names that pop into your head, should be whom you ask help from. This communication skill will help you the most throughout your life, so warm up to the idea of it.
Practice communication and forgiveness in your everyday life. Read books to help you hone in on these skills and just keep in mind that being in touch with your feelings and conveying them genuinely is the key. Don’t be too hard on yourself or the other person. Open yourself to forgiveness and if you care about the other person, then communication and forgiveness should come easier than you think.