Anger Management Forgiveness Spectrum
Another point of confusion with forgiveness for many people is that forgiveness comes in degrees. A lot of times people think about forgiveness as all or nothing, something you either do or you don’t do. I hear people say things like, “Yes, I did forgive him,” or “No, I didn’t forgive him.” Instead, try to think about forgiveness on a spectrum between 0 and 10. This is what I call, “The Forgiveness Spectrum” ranking.
Zero Forgiveness Spectrum
Zero is zero forgiveness. Zero means that right now you are actively trying to retaliate and hurt the person who hurt you. You are practicing vengeance. Ten, at the other end of the spectrum, is complete forgiveness and reconciliation, where you have totally worked through the problem with the person and now you are close friends. You might even say you are closer now to the offender than you were before.
Small Step Toward Forgiveness
With this in mind, a 1 might mean that you really want to kill the person and are even dreaming about it, but you aren’t actively trying to do it. This is where the elderly woman from the beginning of the chapter would be on the scale. Now you might be thinking, “That doesn’t sound like forgiveness to me! She doesn’t even belong on the spectrum!” But in reality, it is a small step since you are not actively trying to hurt them. It’s a tiny step towards forgiveness.
Five Forgiveness = Neutral
Think of a 5 as a completely neutral. You have no positive or negative feelings about the person. If you saw them in public you’d say hi, but wouldn’t feel happy, sad, or angry about it. In fact, you probably wouldn’t think about them at all. Most people who say they have forgiven their offender are really a 5 because they still have negative emotions towards the person.
Anger Management Forgiveness Spectrum Counseling
Are you having a difficult time forgiving someone and you know that your life would be happier if you could forgive? Please contact our center today to setup an individual counseling session with a qualified licensed counselor.