It’s always good to know how to forgive a promise breaker since some of the people who constantly break their promises can be family members or very close friends who you cannot remove from your life. I know how disappointed, ignored or unimportant you might feel every time someone doesn’t keep their promise and that’s why it can be very hard to forgive them. Yet, there are times when you don’t have any other option left. The only thing you can do is to learn how to forgive them (and this doesn’t necessarily means forgetting what they’ve done or letting them get away with their misbehavior) and how to accept them for who they are. Francois de La Rochefoucauld once said that “We promise in proportion to our hopes, and we deliver in proportion to our fears.” and I tend to believe that he was right. Here are a few helpful tips on how to forgive a promise breaker that I think you should always consider:
1. Don’t Suppress Your Feelings!
One of the first things you should do if you want to learn how to forgive a promise breaker is to never suppress your feelings. Allow yourself to feel anger and even emotional pain since it’s absolutely normal to feel like this. By allowing yourself to feel angry, you’ll avoid a potentially huge conflict by not keeping all those unpleasant feelings bottled up. In order to forgive someone for their actions, you shouldn’t suppress your feelings or sweep them under the rug because you should let them know how their behavior affects you.
2. Reflect on the Way Their Actions Make You Feel
Okay, so one of your loved ones broke a promise they made you. How does that make you feel? Was that thing really so important to you or didn’t it really affect you so much? Do you feel sad, lonely, angry, depressed or lost? Try to understand how that broken promise impacts your life because sometimes things might seem more important than they really are.
3. Think about the Reasons Why That Person Didn’t Keep Their Promise
Before accusing someone of something they did to hurt you, think first about the reasons they had for not keeping their promise. Did they really try to fulfill their promise? Did they have a justified reason for not doing so? Have they broken their promises repeatedly no matter what the circumstances were? Try to listen to what they have to say and understand their point of view before you decide if there really is something to forgive about their behavior.
4. Show That Person How Their Actions Made You Feel
If someone very close to you didn’t keep their promise, talk to them and show them how their actions made you feel. If they promised to help you with your charity work and they didn’t fulfill their promise, show them how their actions didn’t only affect you but the people who you were trying to help as well. Let them know you felt disappointed and lied to and that their actions really upset you.
5. Let Go of Your Resentment
Being angry doesn’t solve any of your problems and it won’t make your friend or family member keep the promise they made you since you cannot change the past. It can be quite difficult to let go your resentment, especially if that person has hurt you before in your past and they’ve constantly broken the promises they’ve made you. Tell yourself that what’s done is done and that everyone deserves a second chance, even though their actions really hurt you.
6. Write Them a Letter
In order to vent all your anger and resentment, you could write them a letter but never send it because this exercise is for therapeutic purposes only. Just put all our feelings on a little piece of paper, so you let that person know how their behavior made you feel. This way, you can let go of all your negative feelings and you will be one step closer to forgiving them.
7. Forgive Them
I know it can be difficult sometimes but the best thing you could do in such a situation is to simply forgive them. Be compassionate and just say those magical words out loud because they really have a liberating effect. Do it for yourself first and then for your loved one. Try to put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself if you are being too judgmental or harsh, because maybe that promise they made you wasn’t so important after all.
Follow Anthony Hitt‘s advice and “Keep every promise you make and only make promises you can keep.”. Have you ever broken a promise you’ve made to a loved one? Do you regret your actions? Have you ever forgiven a promise breaker? How did you do it? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section!