When somebody acts like a jerk it’s often because they don’t know how to handle adversity effectively or to control volatile emotions. Responding with compassion is best for everyone in this kind of situation. Remembering that you too have made mistakes makes it easier to empathize and forgive.
It’s worth noting that the tendency to assume that someone else is to blame whenever our feelings have been hurt is somewhat flawed. Not all of the people who’ve offended you intended to. Misunderstanding may be to blame.
A huge part of misunderstanding is miscommunication. The odds that I can form a perception, emotion, experience or idea into words and communicate it to you in a way that successfully conveys my intended message is slim to none. When we keep that in mind it’s easier to let some perceived offenses slide.
We also need to be able to extend the willingness to forgive to our relationships with ourselves. Forgiveness keeps us accountable for our behavior. It doesn’t erase it. But it allows us to frame our mistakes as opportunities to learn and develop emotionally, instead of falling into the trap of thinking that our mistakes define who we are.
Lastly, forgiveness has to extend to our relationship with a higher power. Forgive life for not being fair. Forgive the clouds for raining on your parade. Forgive whomever or whatever you can and act in a way to make the best of a bad situation.
BODY – MIND – SPIRIT