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Forgiving To Keep A Lifelong Friend

Forgiving To Keep A Lifelong Friend

Forgiveness is a very tricky thing. To truly forgive someone, you have to acknowledge that they did something bad or maybe even downright terrible to you, but look past it to value the things that they offer, all the while trying not to lose your dignity. I’ve had to forgive someone I was angry with at several different times in my life, for entirely different reasons. Here are some tricks I’ve learned throughout my life on how to forgive in a way that maintains your dignity and avoids losing a friend.

1. Remember your bond.

One time I was in a major feud with my own sibling. I didn’t think what he did was right, or fair, or even justifiable, but what I did to forgive him was remember how important a relationship between brothers is. Not only did we grow up together, but we would continue to see each other whether we wanted to or not, probably for the rest of our lives, due to family. That’s not even to mention the important fact that I love him, and could remember the good times with him that far outweighed one thing that greatly offended me. Since I was able to forgive him, my brother has become one of my closest friends if still not necessarily one of my favorite people.

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2. Think about worse things that have happened to you.

I forgave one person for something pretty bad they did to me almost immediately because I couldn’t imagine not having them in my life at the time. That made me realize that what a former buddy of mine did to me that caused me to stop talking to him paled in comparison to what I was so willing to so quickly absolve. I got in touch with him as soon as I came to that realization and our friendship became stronger despite the fracture. Always remember what you’ve been willing to forgive in the past before sacrificing a strong friendship just because of temporarily hurt feelings.

3. You don’t have to actually tell your friend that you forgive them.

This staple of forgiveness is understood by far too few people in the world. You should forgive because of what it does for you, not for the sake of the one who offended you. Sometimes you would lose respect in their eyes if you reached out to them and told them that you forgive them, especially if they didn’t do anything to earn that forgiveness. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t let go of your anger towards them quietly.

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The real power of forgiving someone else is to let yourself stop having negative emotions towards them that weigh you down. Making the offender feel better can sometimes be a plus, but in some cases it’s not your duty to absolve them of their guilt. As confusing as it may sound, you can be ready to forgive someone before you’re ready to tell them about it.

4. Think about what you’d lose.

Sometimes your pride, as valuable as it might be to you, isn’t worth what losing a friend would cost you on a social, emotional, or personal level. Even if you’re really angry with another person, you have to maintain a sense of pragmatism before you throw a friendship that’s spanned years out the window. Remember all the good times you’ve had together. In a lot of cases all of those good feelings will outweigh the nasty ones you’re experiencing at the moment. The importance of a good friendship is rarely overstated.

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Even if you don’t think your friend really deserves forgiveness, keep in mind that you’ll be the one who suffers the most from holding on to your anger.

Featured photo credit: forgive/timlewisnm via flickr.com

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Matt OKeefe

Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 15, 2019

41 Beautiful Pictures That Show What True Love Is All About

41 Beautiful Pictures That Show What True Love Is All About

Some things in life are hard to describe, yet we can recognize them when we see them.

Love is one of those things.

True love comes in many different forms, but here are some that many of us know well.

True love means supporting those who can’t support themselves

supportive couple

    A young man comforts his date in Times Square, New York City. Image by mbtrama

    strong hug

      A young man holds his significant other close to him. Image by Brad Fults

      running help

        A young track competitor helps one of her injured opponents over the finish line. Image from ViralNova.com

        feeding kitten

          A soldier in the Korean War takes time to feed a baby kitten. Image from US Naval Insititute

          It’s having the perfect selfie partner

          mom and daughter selfie

            A mother and her daughter take a selfie together. Image by Andrew Fysh

            girlfriends

              Two young girls pose for the camera. Image by Rolands Lakis

              selfies

                A happy couple takes a picture together. Image by Kayla Heineman

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                selfie

                  Two best friends take a selfie together. Image by Jason Wahido

                  dude selfie

                    Friends take a selfie together. Image by Glenn Scofield Williams

                    It’s all the warm fuzzies

                    12748262703_84c008f4e5_z

                      A young man spends time with his dog on a beach. Image by Magdalena Roeseler

                      DSC06952

                        A pet owner hugs his dog while on a day trip in San Francisco. Image by Taro the Shiba Inu

                        It means having a friend to photobomb you

                        photobomb

                          A boy makes a funny face as he poses for a picture with his brother. Image by Michael Bentley

                          old man photobomb

                            A man photobombs his wife while their grandson snaps a picture. Image by Frank

                            family photobomb

                              Family members photobomb their relatives’ Thanksgiving day family photo. Image by Beth Scupham

                              boyfriend photobomb

                                A friend photobombs the photographer and their friend, the woman in the foreground of this photo. Image by Lachlan Hardy

                                True love means being there even when life gets unbearably hard

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                                shoulder to cry on

                                  A family watches the Vermont National Guard depart for Afghanistan. Image by The U.S. Army

                                  flood dog

                                    During a monsoon in the Philippines, a boy carries his dog to safety. Image by Romeo Ranoco

                                    A woman is rescued from flood waters by a resident standing on top of her car during heavy rain in Chalandri suburb north of Athens

                                      A man helps a woman out of her vehicle during a flood in Chalandri, Greece. Image by John Kolesidis

                                      lunch

                                        A woman has lunch with her husband every day, even after he’s passed away. Image from ViralNova.com

                                        hug

                                          A woman hugs the mother of 6-year-old Noah Ponzer, who was one of the victims of the Sandy Hook shootings. Image by Spencer Platt

                                          rubble

                                            An Oklahoma couple pauses while trying to salvage belongings from a family member’s home after a tornado. Image by Adrees Latif

                                            sister and brother

                                              A girl puts her arm around her little brother as they wait outside of Sandy Hook Elementary after gunshots are fired. Image by Reuters.

                                              headstone

                                                A woman sits at her husband’s grave the day before their wedding anniversary. Image from NBC news

                                                It means taking the time for long goodbyes

                                                110321-N-BT887-100

                                                  A man says goodbye to his son before deploying. Image by Official U.S. Navy Page

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                                                  national guard goodbye

                                                    A South Carolina man says goodbye to his son before deploying for Afghanistan. Image by The National Guard

                                                    saying goodbye

                                                      A Sergeant hugs both of his sons before being deployed to Afghanistan. Image by The National Guard

                                                      And cherishing reunions

                                                      husband home

                                                        A woman hugs her husband as she sees him for the first time since his deployment to Iraq. Image by The U.S. Army

                                                        boyfriend home

                                                          A young  woman hugs her significant other as he returns home for Kuwait. Image by The National Guard

                                                          mother hug

                                                            A mother drops to her knees as she hugs her son on her return home from the Persian Gulf. Image by The National Guard

                                                            True love is letting yourself feel young when they’re around

                                                            elderly women

                                                              Two friends on their smartphones. Image by Robert Neff

                                                              feeling young

                                                                A young couple getting their picture taken. Image by db Photograph

                                                                sprinkler dad

                                                                  A father plays in a sprinkler with his daughter at Millennium Park in Chicago. Image by Ben Forsberg

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                                                                  subway couple

                                                                    A young couple on a subway enjoys sharing time together, while the girlfriend’s father sneaks a photo of them. Image by Gareth Williams

                                                                    wheelchairs

                                                                      A couple holds hands on a fall day. Image by David Amsler

                                                                      It’s letting yourself be silly… just because they’ll enjoy it

                                                                      silly faces

                                                                        A grandfather makes faces at the camera with his granddaughters. Image by Tim Pierce

                                                                        vote for pedro

                                                                          A woman’s father wears a Napoleon Dynamite t-shirt to make his daughter laugh. Image by emdot

                                                                          True love is allowing yourself to show how you really feel

                                                                          date night

                                                                            A young couple kisses in the back of a restaurant in Washington, D.C. Image by Derek Key

                                                                            playing violin

                                                                              Violinist Nancy Dinovo plays at a memorial service for the victims of 9/11. Image by Christopher Morris

                                                                              True love is timeless

                                                                              old friends

                                                                                Friends spending some time together. Image by Cristian Bortes

                                                                                sitting around a fire

                                                                                  A group of friends sits around a campfire eating. Image by New Old Stock

                                                                                  elderly couple

                                                                                    An elderly couple walks down a street together. Image by Matteo Paciotti

                                                                                    Featured photo credit: Matteo Paciotti via flickr.com

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