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Quick Test: What Is Your Forgiveness IQ?

Quick Test: What Is Your Forgiveness IQ?

It’s not easy to forgive when you feel slighted or wronged, yet we know that the inability to forgive makes us hold onto bitterness and negativity. For some, forgiving oneself for past actions and choices proves to be the most challenging of all. It is important to keep in mind that forgiveness is a choice and reflects a personal, conscious decision. The first step is to identify the essential elements of forgiveness, which can provide you with a basis to focus on the areas that need the most attention in order to boost your “Forgiveness IQ.”

For the following 10 questions, rate each item from 1 to 10 to find out your “Forgiveness IQ.” Rate your responses on a continuum from 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 10 (Strongly Agree).

____________________________________________________________________

Strongly Disagree  1   2    3    4    5    6    7   8   9   10    Strongly Agree

 

1. ________   I will not forgive someone if they are not sorry and do not admit what they have done.

2. ________   Those who have wronged or slighted me but take no responsibility for hurting me do not deserve to be forgiven.

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3. ________   I find that my lack of ability to forgive makes me stuck thinking about what happened in the past.

4. ________   I cannot forgive because I do not want to condone bad behavior.

5. ________   A difficulty in forgiving makes it hard for me to trust others.

6. ________   It is hard to forgive, because forgiving is letting someone off the hook and makes them no longer accountable.

7. ________   Forgiveness is something that you just feel; it is not a trainable skill.

8. ________   Since there is nothing I can do about things now, I tend to keep things in and do not share my hurt with others.

9. ________   If I forgive, that means I will be vulnerable again so I need to protect myself.

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10. _______   I cannot forgive myself for past mistakes, choices and failures.

 

Total Score: ________ How did you do?  The lower the score, the better is your Forgiveness IQ.  The following is a rough guideline on what your score means:

 

15 or Lower — You are a Forgiveness Genius: Congratulations!

 

16–29 — Strong Forgiveness Competency: You have given yourself the gift of forgiveness and you usually stay positive.

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30–49 — Moderate Forgiveness Competency: You have some work to do on becoming less negative and stuck in past resentments.

 

50–69 — Moderate Forgiveness Impaired: A difficulty with forgiveness has limited your ability to stay positive and live fully in the present

 

70–84 — Severely Forgiveness Impaired: Consider seeking professional help to give yourself the gift of forgiveness.

 

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85–100 — DANGER ZONE: A lack of forgiveness impairs your mental health. Seek psychological help.

 

The questions for this quick test identify the major stumbling blocks people often have when overcoming resentments, grudges and their own self-recriminations. Some major points to take away from this quick quiz are that forgiveness is a skill you can choose to develop; an inability to forgive holds you back from living a happy and healthy life; being unforgiving makes you a prisoner of your past, and forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself.

For the self-recriminators, work on forgiving yourself for not having the foresight to know what you now know in hindsight. We are all works in progress, and it’s time to let yourself off the hook and build on your regrets rather than live in them. Life is all about evolving and learning. If you made a mistake in the past, learn from it instead of living in it. Those who are defined by their past can not immerse themselves in life at present.

For those hurts from the past, make the choice to let lessons learned deepen you instead of weaken you. As you work on these points, take this quick test occasionally so you can remind yourself to keep on working to boost your Forgiveness I.Q!

Featured photo credit: http://pixabay.com/en/ via pixabay.com

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Judy Belmont

Mental health author, motivational speaker and psychotherapist

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

2. Pace Yourself

Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

6. It’s Not All About You

You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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