Toxic forgiveness: What it means and why it's unhealthy for relationships - Hindustan Times
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Toxic forgiveness: What it means and why it's unhealthy for relationships

May 10, 2022 06:09 PM IST

Do you forgive quickly and pretend to forget people's mistakes? Expert on why it is doing more harm than good.

Are you someone who forgives people quickly for your own sanity and peace, but do not really forget what they did to you and the forgiveness weighs heavy on your mind? Forgiveness is said to have a therapeutic effect on people and letting is known to free one's mind of worries and stress that could have positive effects on physical and mental health. But does forgiveness always heal or can it be poisonous too? (Also read: Green flags to look for in romantic relationship and find if it has long-term potential, according to psychologist)

Does forgiveness always heal or can it be poisonous too?(Pixabay)
Does forgiveness always heal or can it be poisonous too?(Pixabay)

Pretending that things are okay and accepting people's faults without them mending their ways could do more harm than good as per experts. Forgiveness can be healing, but it can be toxic too in certain situations, when people either rush through the process or do not understand the abusive pattern it has brought in their life. Repeat of offence, followed by an apology is the most common and toxic pattern that one can invite in their life.

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Nedra Glover Tawwab, Therapist and NYT Bestselling Author, Relationship & Boundaries Expert in her recent Instagram post says toxic forgiveness is not a realistic approach to move forward and one should take time to rebuild trust and not take decisions in a hurry.

The author and the therapist says, "people aren't forgiving and forgetting; they are forgetting and repressing."

"Toxic forgiveness is an unhealthy way that people pretend to be unharmed, over it, or forgetful of the offense. Forgiving to keep the peace or people pleasing is not healthy for your mental health or your relationships," says the expert.

Tawwab suggests people to take time to "process your pain, slowly rebuild trust, and decide if you need to show up differently in the relationship."

While forgiving people is better than holding grudges forever, in some cases forgiveness can be unhealthy too if it harms your mental health is long term.

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