It is always painful when someone you care about does something to hurt you, and there are often lasting repercussions. Feelings are wounded, unkind words are spoken and relationships are damaged.
If you feel a friend or family member is in the wrong in a dispute, it can be difficult to get past your anger to work out the problem, forgive and move on. Journal writing is a valuable tool in heated situations; it gives you the opportunity to express your emotions in a safe place, examine any deeper issues that might exist and figure out a way to resolve the conflict.
Find Your Way to Forgiveness With Journal Writing Therapy
1. Start by freely venting to your journal about the problem. What happened? In what context? Whom are you fighting with? Why are you upset? Is this a stand-alone event or is this part of a bigger issue? How did the other person’s actions make you feel? What do you want him to do to make amends?
2. Give yourself a few minutes to breathe and calm down. If you need to, take a short break and go for a walk, then come back to journal writing. Read your account of the conflict, and try to see it from an outside perspective. What role did you play in this situation? Do you share any responsibility in how the argument developed? Are there other factors to consider in your friend’s actions?
3. Put aside your friend’s actions for the moment, and write down what is most valuable to you in this relationship. Why is she important to you? How has she been a positive or supportive influence in your life in the past? Why do you want her to continue to be a part of your life?
4. Combine everything you’ve written so far into a simple script that captures what you want to say to your friend. Come from a place of love, but express how his actions hurt you and why. For example:
I value our friendship, but I was really hurt when you told Cindy a private secret I shared with you in confidence. I feel like you betrayed my trust and I’m angry, but I want to hear your side of the story and try to work this out…
5. Conclude your journal writing entry by releasing your anger and putting your forgiveness into words. When you’re ready, make a date to talk to your friend.
Have you used journal writing therapy to work toward forgiveness? Share your story in the comments.
Dealing with issues with grief? Identify and express your feelings in a safe and supportive environment with the help of our 7 Steps to Heal Your Grief self-paced journaling course.