Archive for August 13, 2012


Today I’m adding the third bullet to the guides for someone who’s trying to help a friend or acquaintance work through the issue of whether and how to forgive. Maybe to get oriented, you might want to read the blog from two days ago.

Following are the first three suggestions for the helper from pages 4-5 of When to Forgive..

  • Be a good listener. Telling his or her own story is absolutely crucial to a person’s recovery from the effects of an offense. Encourage giving details, but don’t press your own advice or suggestions. Ask questions that encourage going into depth, but be sensitive to the person’s own self-regulating system. Don’t push beyond what he or she is ready to report. There are situations of extreme trauma where the victim is better off not remembering what happened.”
  • When your friend is asked to ‘probe the wound,’ ask for as much detail as possible. In fact, you may know the situation well enough that you can remember some things your friend has forgotten. But let your friend be in control of how much he or she can tolerate.
  • You can discuss and help clarify, but don’t impose your own view. You can also help your companion fend off the efforts of others to dictate their beliefs.

Over the next few days I’ll be adding more bullet points. In the meantime, I’d love some feedback. Examples of helping or being helped would be wonderful.

Posted August 13, 2012 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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