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Forgiveness and Well-being

Charlotte V. O. Witvliet
Lindsey Root Luna
All your life you’re told forgiveness is for you. But we’re never told why it’s for you. It means you’re working on owning your life.
Shani Tran
Therapist and Founder, The Shani Project
Forgiveness is nothing less than the way we heal the world. We heal the world by healing each and every one of our hearts. The process is simple, but it is not easy.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
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Forgiveness and Well-being

Charlotte V. O. Witvliet
Lindsey Root Luna
NO. of participants
Type of Evidence
Type of Paper
open access
sample size

Forgiveness can arise only in the context of an interpersonal injustice. The possibility of forgiveness emerges when a transgressor acts, or fails to act, in a way that is unjust and wounds a victim. The victim's perception of the injustice and the wound may differ considerably from how the transgressor or witnesses perceive it. Forgiveness theory and research point to the importance of focusing on the humanity of the offender, which resists totalizing him or her in terms of the offense. Within the social sciences, the measurement of forgiveness has received substantial attention. The science and practice of forgiveness are combined in research on the affective implications of granting forgiveness. The relationship between forgiveness and well-being also has been assessed using longitudinal designs. Fluctuations in forgiveness were related to subsequent increases in self-reported hedonic well-being. The emerging literature on seeking forgiveness is showing that it can have positive side effects similar to forgiveness granting.

Non-Region Specific
Mental Health Professionals
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