We have grown up with the lesson that forgiving someone helps us, more than it helps the ones that we forgive. But it’s not that easy. Getting closure, and moving on, is, as such, very hard. It becomes even harder when we have someone to blame.
This could be easier if we understood how our mind processes these feelings and what challenges us, when it comes to forgiving someone.
There are four categories of people, with regards to how they process loss and forgiveness.
A) The score settlers
These are the ones that live with a scoreboard in their head. They believe that good deeds deserve rewards, and bad deeds deserve punishment. They are least bothered about the intent and motive of the wrong-doer. They are not even interested in whether this affects them personally or this is just something that happened in their vicinity. They do not want to know how small or big the damage is. They do not care if the society approves of their attitude.
Often, we see such people acting grumpy and being irritable for most parts of their day, when they have a score to settle. It builds up an energy inside them that badly needs a release.
The truth is, the score settling attitude is a result of these energy build ups, and not the other way around.
Positive deeds create an overflow of positivity in them and negative deeds create an overflow of negativity, especially when they feel insulted. If the individual is not spiritually evolved, they might target anyone or anything that meets their eye.
Such people should resort to exhausting activities that are either productive or destructive in nature. Working out is a go-to option for such people. They could try screaming rooms, scrabbling sheets, and other such solutions that give them an outlet to that energy trapped inside them.
B) The community dwellers
These are the ones that make decisions based on what is socially acceptable. They believe in being safe and being a part of a community.
They sincerely oblige rules and regulations and they expect everybody to do so.
When someone violates a rule, however superficial the violation is, they get enraged. This rage is centred on their dependency on certainty that helps them feel safe and comfortable.
Their attitude toward forgiveness is directly influenced by the local law and their culture. In a culture where vengeance is the norm, they will seek vengeance. If justice is the norm, they will seek justice.
They are usually not impulsive enough to go about seeking vengeance on their own, and neither do they approve of such proud behaviour. They protest and struggle until the legal system does its job.
They should focus on getting back to their daily routine, and their responsibilities, as nothing encourages those more, to focus, than being organised. Often times, these individuals are religious and they believe in karma. They should reinstate their beliefs and faith.
C) The traders
These people are focused on reversing whatever damage they endured. Their attention never strays too far from the things that they are chasing. And vengeance means little to them compared to material well-being.
They are usually smart and creative. It bothers them the most when someone ruins their plans with their premature behaviour or an unhealthy obsession over following instructions. They believe in improvisation and risk-taking.
They focus on the big picture of their plans and when it comes to details, they only care about efficiency.
They usually have a sense of humour. At times, though, they too get stuck and find it hard to forgive someone. Focusing on fun activities and engaging themselves in entertainment helps them the best.
If the loss it too great to be done away with some fun, then they should try to initiate new projects and take up intellectual challenges. Their minds are tailored for solving problems, and they should do exactly that.
Dissecting the root cause of their loss, and understanding how someone managed to bring it to them, often helps them be assured that they won’t let it happen again. It might even fix the problem, which would just light up their world.
D) The conflict resolvers
They like to be in good terms with everyone, even with those they hate to their guts. This stems from the fact that they understand why people do things.
They may like it or not, but they do not judge. However, they do judge those who are judgemental.
When someone wrongs them, they try to understand why. If the action was accidental or misguided, they clear the air and get back to normal. It’s like nothing was ever wrong at all.
When the action was intended to harm them, they first wonder if they had done something to deserve it. And if they had, they would apologise and try to make amends. And when they can’t fix it, they understand the other person for not forgiving them.
If the other person is wholly, undoubtedly found guilty, they would just go as far away from the person as possible. To them, seeking retribution or revenge, is still prolonging the interaction. They hate the presence of such people, and they immediately cut ties with them.
They will probably think about them and forgive them in their minds later, with time. However, they would still be reminded of the pain, when their presence is felt again. These people are very sensitive and privacy is the one thing that helps them the most.