Forgiving someone who has betrayed your trust can be one of the most difficult experiences in life. Part of the challenge is that you will be met with a wide array of emotions; from shock, to sadness, to anger, to heartache. You likely find yourself questioning why it even happened, and how you can possibly forgive. It is understandable to feel overwhelmed in this situation, but forgiving the person is the best course of action for your overall health and wellbeing. Here is how to forgive someone who has betrayed your trust.
First, it is important to recognize that forgiving someone does not require condoning their behaviour. It is a deeply personal act that is purely for yourself, so you will not be seen as weak or belittling the situation. It is also important to remind yourself that you are not obligated to forgive and can make this decision on your own timetable.
Try to reflect on why the person may have acted this way. It is possible there were underlying issues that caused this betrayal, so it’s worth understanding the why behind it. Even though you won’t condone the act, you may gain some clarity on the situation by attempting to put yourself in their shoes.
Once you’ve done this preliminary soul-searching, it’s time to figure out the right approach for you when it comes to dealing with the person you are attempting to forgive. Depending on the type of betrayal, it could be beneficial to cut off contact with them. Written communication, such as an email or letter, may also be helpful if you want to express your feelings without confrontation. Talking it out can also be an effective approach, but it is important to be honest with yourself about whether that is best for you.
Lastly, remember to find closure on this situation by tending to yourself as much as possible. This may look like counselling, journaling or talking to a trusted friend. Engaging in activities to boost self-care, such as yoga or meditation, can also be beneficial.
It is essential to be open to allowing the process of forgiveness to take time and, above all, be kind to yourself. Forgiving someone who has betrayed your trust will likely be a difficult journey, but it can also be a powerful step towards healing.
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