Forgiveness is Not the Same as TrustWritten by Susan Dunn, MA, Emotional Intelligence Coach
In a presentation other day which rambled over topics of self-help, speaker at one point asked group, “Why do we forgive?”
“For ourselves,” group muttered.
“You’re only third group I’ve spoken to who’s known that,” speaker replied.
FORGIVE FOR YOURSELF
Most of us do realize these days that we forgive for ourselves. The perpetrator of act requiring forgiveness has done what they’ve done, which largely can’t be undone, and probably are getting on with their life. If we continue to harbor rancor and resentment, we make ourselves doubly victim. Whether or not we forgive other person makes difference mostly to us, not them. If we do forgive, we can then, like them, get on with our lives.
Forgiveness, then, can be unilateral. While sometimes we will do this with another person, listening to their explanation and/or accepting their apology, and saying words, “I forgive you,” we can also do this without other. We can do this on paper, journaling or writing person a letter we never send, in a therapist’s office, confiding in a trusted friend, in our own minds, or in prayer or meditation.
TRUST IS BILATERAL
Trust, however, is another thing.
Whether act requiring forgiveness is a lie, 10 years of drinking, or an extramarital affair, if relationship with other person is to continue, forgiveness is just beginning. Regained trust is goal, and another beginning.
When you seek to forgive a person who’s harmed you and to continue in relationship, you need to work on trust aspects. Understand that this, unlike forgiveness, is not a “given.” You can grant forgiveness. The other must earn back trust, and you have a right to expect this be done.
Haven’t you heard someone who’s had an affair saying, “It’s like she doesn’t trust me. I told her it was over. I don’t understand why she’s so suspicious.” And then they go on to name acts of offended spouse they consider “paranoid,” such as monitoring cell phone bills, checking on time away from home, and watching closely at social functions.
Trust is hard to build, very hard to rebuild once shattered. If you want to earn back trust, here are some things you will have to do, consistently and over time. The onus is on you to over-communicate and over-act until fragile thread of trust becomes stronger.
The Benefits of Emotional IntelligenceWritten by Susan Dunn, MA, Emotional Intelligence Coach
While we all, at some level, understand that we’re motivated by pain and pleasure, it’s amazing how we can learn, especially in our Western culture, to ignore concomitant fact that moving toward pleasure makes us feel good, and is good for our health, while moving toward pain does opposite.
Yes, “no pain no gain” has its place. It fits for cognitive learning experiences, like struggling to learn a new language, or new theory; and physical endeavors, like weight lifting and increasing your ability to jog, but when it comes to emotional experiences, we don’t benefit from negative. It takes a tremendous toll.
One of immediate goals of emotional intelligence is to increase your self-awareness. Not to point where you spend all your time analyzing yourself and looking inward, but enough so you can assess quickly your emotional states, and, more importantly, cost they have for you.
WHAT DO YOU FEEL?
At rudimentary level, you can learn by asking yourself several times a day, “How am I feeling?” Don’t answer it superficially, but rather at level of how you’re feeling physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. In this way, you can learn physiological signals to your own emotions. For instance, I have talked with people who didn’t realize their stomach was “in knots” because it always had been, and that’s way they thought it should be. Or you may not connect that sudden pain in your neck with proper antecedent. I remember driving back to town with a friend after a weekend away, and as we got closer to home, she started talking about her boyfriend, and not in very positive ways. As she did, she started stroking, twisting and ‘cracking’ her neck, which was evidently getting tighter due to fact that her boyfriend was sounding to me, at any rate, like proverbial “pain in neck,” though she wasn’t aware of it until I put two together for her. Up to that point in trip she had been pain-free. This is not a good sign re: relationship!
WHERE DO YOU FEEL IT?
When you begin to recognize physical signs quickly, you can do what it takes to protect yourself. We say that certain people “drain us,” and this means drain important energy we could be using elsewhere to better advantage.
WHY DO YOU FEEL IT?
The next step is to ask yourself WHY you feel that way. Emotions are often complex and when you learn to sort through them, you find that some variables that contribute to them can be changed or avoided, such as being too hot, or too lonely; but that in other cases, there’s nothing you can change, such as a person or situation that continually drains your energy. No matter how else you’re feeling, even if you’re completely rested and feeling great, you find this person or situation always has same result. In that case, if toll is high, and you pay price every time, wise choice would be to eliminate this situation or person.