How to Forgive

Welcome to the website about everyday forgiveness, detachment and acceptance. It's taken me about a year to write, edit, present, update and condense the content, all which can be read in the course of about a day, and I am still working on improving everything.

Forgiveness means many different things to different people. It can mean letting go, healing pain, changing focus, finding freedom, understanding humanity or embracing harmony or hope in times of great trouble. Sometimes, the next step is simply realising that you don't have to hate someone.

It may seem as if forgiving is excusing but that is far from necessary. Forgiveness is above all something you do for yourself. However you look at this concept, it's something powerful that can be studied, developed, practiced and deepened for the sake of a more peaceful life and a better world.


  1. Roman Arian says:

    Love the content and the writing style :-) Step by step. Similar to the journey I am walking. RA

  2. From Stockholm says:

    Just wish to tell you that your blog is very intelligent, insightful and well-written, and I absolutely love it! I have gone through so much professional literature on psychology and neurobiology while making the same journey as you did, and I must say that finding and reading your blog was a sheer pleasure because you somehow manage to bring out the core of it and present it in a manner that makes me think that "I couldn't have said it better myself".

  3. NMB says:

    I find all your articles to be right on and extremely inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing. I needed some guidance or a reminder and you provided it. You made a difference in my life. Thank you.

  4. Agata says:

    Hi there, just wanted to thank you for the posts. I came across some of them and they are really helpful. Thank you a bunch :)

  5. Jane says:

    Hi! Your articles are brilliant! Thanks for putting them online, I'm finding them helpful at a difficult time. How did you figure this stuff out?

  6. Lesley says:

    I would like to express my appreciation for your blog!!! Stumbled upon it doing a search the other day looking to understand why 'bad things keep happening' to me...your article was like a light going on in my head...went on to read your other pages about forgiveness and letting go...again, this is exactly what I have been needing to hear.

    Don't want to over egg it but for the first time in months I feel I am gaining perspective and feeling hopeful again...can only thank you for the part your writings have played on my journey. You are a wise man who writes from the heart and your words have touched mine. I thank you very much and wish you many blessings...keep up the blog please!

  7. Dmitri Trollakov says:

    I am like very much this blog, it is make me feel like real man. Now I can wrestle krokodil and drink vodka through nose without make feel many insecure. People are laugh but I think of your quote Jesus and Gandhi and realise is very clever mens. Thank you for advices to forgive, motherland is proud of you.

  8. Steve Miller says:

    I’m 59 years old and a writer friend sent me to this website after I said how frustrated I am with convincing people of their stupidity. I’ve been unforgiving ALL my life.

    Most of my life I thought the place to learn to improve would be in a church. Instead, I generally found a greater density of unforgiving people, or at least people who seemed to specialize in seeking ways to be angry at Outsiders. [Please hear me out.]

    Then I saw a Non-Christian article that said the indisputably unique thing about Christianity is that it’s the only religion whose book (bible) carries the entire writings of another religion’s book (the Old Testament). Seventy-three percent of the bible isn’t Christianity! THIS CAUSES SPECTACULAR CONFUSION.

    The Old Testament has references (prophecies) that Another Method will come. The New Testament explains that the old way was never meant to be the Answer, but to demonstrate that human nature’s methods don’t work. It also says this new way seems like foolishness because it works from the inside–in our heart.

    I now see this new method of Love & Forgiveness is saying the same thing as this blog, but this blog gets to the point very clearly. I don’t intend to “advertise” another source for insight, so I’ll just say the only preacher I’ve found to be as clear is named Tchividjian. If you reject preachers, then stick with ALL the articles in this blog.

  9. Di says:

    I have to say… you've got an amazing talent… you write beautifully and set things out so logically and clearly… it was an absolute pleasure to read everything... so articulate, thought provoking and wise too… loved it all! Keep up the great work, you may just save a few of us from needing that lobotomy! ;-)

  10. Vita says:

    Thank you very much, you are so perfect in your insights and writing. I am so gratified reading your sharings. Thank you and Bless

  11. Renata Stec says:

    Thank you. From my heart. Thank you and thank you.

  12. Maggie says:

    Every item is packed with amazing wisdom and there is so much here to learn. Thank you for all your time and effort to share this with us. I really appreciate it.

  13. About this website

    I hope you find my articles to be generally reasonable, well expressed and relevant or useful. Here are a few things you might like to know about this project.

    1) My approach is avowedly secular

    I am inspired by a vast range of influences from psychology to stand up comedy and occasionally draw upon ideas that can be found in religions such as Buddhism and Christianity. However, nothing I say rests on supernatural beliefs since it is based solely on common sense, logic and observation.

    The value of a secular guide is that it should make sense to just about anyone – religious or otherwise – who wants to explore how to forgive. Forgiveness does not exclusively belong to any religion and I have readers from all faiths as well as Atheists, Agnostics and those with no particular affiliation.

    2) The focus is on everyday clarity rather than radical forgiveness

    This site deals with how to forgive people on a familiar, everyday basis rather than how to forgive the most atrocious crimes imaginable, such as a murder or genocide. It’s particularly relevant to people who would describe themselves as sensitive, depressed, anxious, angry, lost or traumatised.

    I refer to many principles that can be applied to the worst situations imaginable. But my focus is on the general question of how to forgive human beings for being the way they often are rather than how to deal with worst case scenarios that I am obviously not in any way qualified to address.

    3) No website can “make” you happy

    The aim of this site is merely to point you in a reasonably good direction and to untangle your mind from any forms of emotional confusion or disturbance that I am able to recognise as rationally unnecessary in the long run, based on my own limited experience and understanding.

    Contentment in life cannot be achieved without a good balance of different elements aside from practicing and then partially ignoring what you read in this website. They might include exercise, meditation, distraction, therapy and even something good occasionally working out for you!

    4) The advice you’ll find here is very “pic ’n’ mix”

    The site includes lists of what might be called “cognitive realisations”. Since everyone is different, it’s necessary to include tips that will be “obvious” to you but not to others and to list points that will be “obvious” to some people but not necessarily to you. You just have to trawl through it.

    There are a lot of “nuggets” of possible wisdom on this site but they may not all be new, effective or relevant. You can pick out whatever you feel is useful and works for you at this stage of your journey. If anything is too obvious then just skip it and if anything does not work for you then don’t use it.

    5) The answer to one article often appears in a different article

    I could have simply created a huge, one-page article entitled “How to forgive everyone and accept everything” listing all the points together. Instead I chose to divide the content into different topics because that seemed like a pleasant and useful way to break up the information.

    But the result is that, when writing any article, I sometimes leave out points that have already been dealt with in other articles in order to avoid too much repetition. And so I recommend reading most of the main articles in case you find the overall theme and approach to be relevant.

    Like this website?
How to Forgive is now on Google+ and Facebook
My favourite quotations

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that"

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong"

Mahatma Gandhi

"Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do"

Jesus Christ

"Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much"

Oscar Wilde

"It's not a crime to be an A-hole"


More comments from this site

  1. How to Overcome Emotional Dependency
  2. palak says:

    Found answer to each and every question. It was as if someone was listening to me and answering accordingly. Every line, every thought is just amazing. I have decided to read this article every morning to lead an actual positive life ")

  3. Anam says:

    Thankyou for helping me. A very positive article indeed. Thanks again!!

  4. Ella says:

    This article is incredible! This is the most useful, helpful info that I have ever come across. It feels as if it was tailor made for my very circumstances.It has opened my eyes fully! Thank you so very much!!!!! I can see happiness & contentment heading my way. I am so grateful!

  5. Otniel says:

    How I wish I ran into this article a few days ago. There is no point in self-pity now. This is the most powerful article I have read. Before reading this, I had no idea that I was co-dependent. 100% of what is written here, describes my behaviour. It's really incredible how you have organized and put into words in a very logical and eloquent manner what we dependent people go through. I am printing this and carrying this every where with me. In a sort of way, it will become a Bible to me. It will help me to be reminded of the options I have. My most sincere appreciation for this article.

  6. dhootun nicolas says:

    Very good article,i felt in love 7 months ago with someone and came emotionally dependant...we broke up and even after 3 months im still trying to go through this..but i deducted through this article that im going through this slowly but surely....those small quotations will certainly helps me for my next relationship...thank you by the way for the article....

  7. Zewdi says:

    A wonderful educating and helpful article I will recommend to people who really struggle with own emotional challenges. Thank you so much to put out this kind of information to the public.

  8. Tom says:

    Wow, I've never found anything as useful / relevant to me as this on the internet. I'm putting as much of this as I can into practice. Thank you!

  9. Jenna says:

    This was absolutely wonderful thank you so much. This is so important for everyone.

  10. Michael Rama says:

    Thank you for this article. Made me realized what really is the cause of my loneliness, and despair.

  11. Manju says:

    Truly an awesome article. Thank for making me so delightful. Life is all about happiness so why one should waste on these silly and unworthy things? CHEERZzzzzzz

  12. Belaserra says:

    This article has me in tears at just how much it hit home and how timely it is that your words of truth and wisdom have come into my life. As someone with deeply entrenched emotional dependency and abandonment issues, recently experiencing an unexpected rejection by my long-time significant other has felt completely unmanageable and the pain intolerable. I've struggled my whole life with dependency, never having had any tools or coping skills to see me out and to a better life - nor even realizing it was possible. Stumbling upon this article has given me the hope to go on and may well have changed the course of my life. Thank you for giving me and so many others the keys to be able to finally experience freedom!

  13. Sophie says:

    I don't normally leave comments on things like this but your article is so accurate and has been an incredibly helpful and useful read, so I just wanted to say, thank you.

  14. Bek says:

    Thank you for sharing this article. I have been suffering major depression and anxiety which is mostly caused by my dependancy on one person and my views on outcomes. I really feel this could be the turning point of making my own happiness. I will be reading this many more times. Much appreciated :)

  15. Robi says:

    Thank you. It was as though this was written just for me. So insightful. I will need to print this and read it over and over and over ... So many beautiful golden nuggets, I will need to take my time to absorb them all. :)

  16. Macy says:

    Thank you for spending the time and effort to write this. I have reach a similar conclusion to my emotional and mental state right now. It was nice to see an article that clearly breaks down the various issues and cycles that the mental state goes through and help warn yet reaffirm on certain traits and characteristic. I am glad I took the time to read.

  17. A marie says:

    I'm so glad I read this,, it helped me so much with all that's been going on with me. I knew that I had become needy, but this really summed me up... a real eye opener..... this just changed my view.....

  18. R P Evans says:

    Thank you for this beautiful article. It has brought me insight and peace.

  19. Faz says:

    Dear me, reminds me of myself relying on my husband for 12 years of my life. I was a happy, cheerful girl and we shared few wonderful years together. I don't know what got me on to depending so much on to him. But looking back I am ashamed of myself, of the agony and stress I caused him through my emotional dependency on him. I can't thank you enough for such a wonderful article, it has surely changed my perspective on life.

  20. Roofia says:

    Great article, helped me a lot. Thank you!

  21. Daniel says:

    This is an absolutely amazing article. A lot of what I've read here is really painful stuff to read because it taps into some very deep insecurities that I've never had the courage to tell myself, but I feel that recognizing those insecurities for what they are is the way forward for bettering myself in the long term. Experiencing this very pain is actually surprisingly liberating because it provides me some catharsis. I believe that pretty much anybody who comes across this article will discover something invaluable about themselves. Thank you for writing and sharing it, whoever you may be.

  22. Alynne says:

    Very informative!!

  23. sam says:

    This has been so good for me this morning. I have recently walked away from a 10yr relationship since i realised that i had erased most of my identity and uniqueness and replaced it with neediness and dependency. I long to crawl back to my formal safety blanket but i know i must weather the storm. This article means so much to me in this time, that i am not alone in this behaviour. I left to save myself and also her, since it will always end in tears if you rely on someone else for your happiness. Blessings and strength to all on this board x

  24. Jay says:

    This was extremely helpful and has given me so much to work with. I took a long time reading just so I could soak up the full insight. I have struggled with emotional dependency for so long even though I'm very independent in every other way. It can become sort of a shame inducing secret how much I long for certain people to fill parts of me and take up a lot of time and energy. I feel like I finally have some concrete steps to help myself out of it.

  25. Mittie says:

    My husband and I just separated on May 2, 2015. We have been married for 14 years. We were fighting/arguing a lot. I talked to a friend and was asked to write him a thank you letter and I did. From there I started thinking of the things that drive people away from me when I found this blog. Ever since it has opened my eyes a lot. It sure did help my husband and I both when I wrote him a 3 page thank you note. Then I found things on here to boost my self esteem as well. It shocked him cause I too am negative most of the time. We both thought the other person was controlling when in hindsight neither of us knew how to communicate at times without it sounding negative. I hope this helps you in your journey as well.

  26. Raquel says:

    This surely helps me alot as i am struggling now... I just ended a friendship because I'm being too dependent on him and it's not helping me to grow as an individual. I developed anxiety/depression for being emotionally attached. Thank you with a grateful heart because this is what i need at this moment... Your words are what i needed to hear to overcome this.. More power to you and God bless!

  27. janerose says:

    It jus occurred to me that most times i give my all with the expectation that i will have the same or more back,that's being over optimistic.its not important any more,from now on its me myself and I.THIS IS A GOOD Blog i had withdrawn from my social life but now i have a reason to enjoy every bit of it, Thanks

  28. Me says:

    This article is amazing. I woke up with a pang of deep anxiety like I do most mornings since finding myself without my beautiful and loving friend who has offered me so much support over the last 5 months. This morning I reached to my phone and found this article. I'm now feeling calm and more in control of my emotions. I will read it again and make notes. For anyone interested; I am 27 and feeling incredibly lost. I am struggling to know what I want to do with my life after losing and pushing away everything I once had. This includes a great friend and musical partner I've know since college, first ever girlfriend of 3 years and recently this other girl who I got to know when I has very vulnerable and quickly became attached too. She has now distanced herself from me because I became too negative and unproductive and I've been draining her. She now has a new job opportunity and is making radical and positive changes in her life and has relied less on me and more on her longer term friends. I'm also having to address a marijuana (skunk) addiction - a drug I've used to mask my own emptiness and stagnant my unfulfilling life. I've lost my drive, direction, passion, sense of humour and realise I'm more miserable and depressed than ever before. I met this girl when I isolated myself away from my family and felt so lucky to have found her. We had many adventures together and talked lots about the fun we would have in the summer (lots of festivals and some travelling). She was very taken with me, was very supportive and made me feel alive again telling me I was special. We had an intense and amazing time together but I rapidly blew it by not getting on with my own life enough and depending on her to make me happy. She started to realise I wasn't getting the fundamental things together in my life that we both agreed I needed - friends and a job (I quit mine soon before meeting her because it was causing me depression). She became my mentor more and more and I was draining her. I was offering her less and less. It's heart breaking and I've never felt so lonely and disappointed in myself. I became heavily attached to this person and now I don't have her. Wow never again will I rely so much on one person or thing again. Lesson truly learnt and now I now strive to rebuild my life more realistically.

  29. Daan says:

    Thank you so much for writing this article. I just realized this not so long ago, but I am suffering from this persistent problem for quite a few years now and it's really breaking me up lately. It stops me from being the happy, positive and optimistic person I am in my core. I realized it's really unhealthy and I'm so glad I stumbled upon this magnificent article. It is full of hope, encouragement and contains simple yet really effective tips. After the moment I have finished it yesterday i felt different. Since then I felt better, this awful feeling was suddenly not so present anymore. This article has affected me a lot and helps me already. To make it work even more I'm going to print all the separate statements and hang them on my wall in my bedroom. This way I will be reminded of the simple ways that lead to recovery of this problem every single day and I think it will help a lot. Thanx again for writing this article. And to everyone who has read this too and is trying to overcome this problem as well: I wish you all of the happiness and luck in the world. You are not alone. It will get better.

  30. rachel b says:

    Thank you! great article,and very very relevant to my personal situation. its the most helpful piece of writing regarding emotional dependency,an issue I have been struggling with all my adult life so far,ive ever come has given me lots of hope!

  31. Bethany says:

    This is probably one of the best self help articles I have ever read. Thank you. I am going to read it every day and get these messages to stick!

  32. Erica says:

    This article is awesome.! Very informative with lots of great advice.

  33. Francis says:

    Very nice article. Read it for the 3rd time now and it helps each time... I hope someday i'll be able to live with myself and be at peace! Maybe with time, it'll happen. I wish it for everyone in my situation.

  34. Bv says:

    So true... Even I am in the path of changing myself. It looks so difficult but I want to do it for myself. Moral help definitely matters

  35. Rafal says:

    Awesome article how not to be needy ! Thanks

  36. Jules says:

    Thankyou for a well written article. So many useful tips and ideas. You should do presentations for teens and adults - everyone can learn a great deal for your insights.

  37. Jen says:

    Thank you so much this is really handy for someone like me who is struggling over my personal life decisions.

  38. Saumya says:

    Well this was something that has made me complete. I know that being a teenager is like being a person from another planet, thrown here to suffer at this point in time when i have to make my career and focus on living a quality life. This has given me a great insight on how to manage everything. After all, there will be a new day and I sincerely hope a day to turn a new leaf in my life. I always knew i just cannot rely on anyone be it my parents or friends and I know I have to face it all my own. SO A VERY BIG THANKYOU FOR MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN MY LIFE. ALL THIS IS MIRACULOUS AND HELPFUL!

  39. salma says:

    Great article !

  40. Tony says:

    I too have found this blog really helpful & it gives me some useful tips on how to recognise and control my own emotions. I have been struggling with things for years but didn't understand exactly what I was struggling with and why, let alone how to deal with it. I have been receiving support from various Christian sources for my issues and have made great progress. Having started down this path and shared my struggles I have found myself wondering why those I have shared with, including my wife, do not seem to understand my 'need' to talk things through as much and as often as I do. This can leaving me feeling more alone and quite down. Emotional dependency was mentioned to me by a minister a few months ago and having felt left alone while trying to talk things through with my wife last night I had a restless sleep and woke early so decided to explore the topic more. There are definitely several traits here that I recognise and suggestions of things I can do to help myself. I would normally look almost exclusively for help from Christian sources but this blog seems to be a really helpful source for anyone struggling through life with some form of emotional dependency.

  41. Kate says:

    I had already recognised this quality in myself a while back, but this is the most articulate and informative explanation I've seen or heard. I love that its written I'm such a way that is positive and encouraging and allows the reader to acknowledge that many people are doing the same thing and feeling equally as guilty. I think I'll have to read and re-read a few times but I'm hopeful I can get some control back of my life and my emotions.

  42. Kate says:

    I stumbled on this article today whilst trying to find some relief on google rather than making yet another phone call to burden a friend with my emotions. I've been reading this article for hours, writing notes and feeling relieved, but worried about how long I will go before reverting to old thought patterns. I'd be happy to keep in touch and hear how you are going, if you think it could help.

  43. Nema Toulie Deen says:

    Thank you! I feel better already and am going to be coming back to this article over and over again through my self healing journey

  44. Tania says:

    Thanks so much for this article. I have been going through so much in the past few months, and I believe that I have developed a sense of dependency on my male companion which I feel has pushed him away. I am not as bad as I thought. I just need to put things into perspective. I will definitely save this for future use. Thanks again

  45. Brianna says:

    Thank you so much for putting your thoughts, experiences, and advice out here for everyone to see and learn from. Ive ruined a lot of relationships with people by being needy and dependent on them for happiness and it took til now, losing Someone i heavily relied on and loved to leave me to realize that i needed to make a huge change in my life so i can better my future and current relationships with others. Youve been a great help and i appreciate it very much.

  46. Felix says:

    Thank you very much. This article is very helpful.

  47. Lilly says:

    Thank you for posting such a clear message, that we are enough to create our own happiness, in the meaning of self-worth. It is really helpful. I am sure everybody has time to time some doubts about emotional stability and independence, no matter how strong they can seem to be from outside. Thanks again! :-) I have needed it.

  48. ik says:

    I was drowning in self-pity and feelings of rejection and unworthiness because of (what else but) a man. Reading this article, the very realisation that I convinced myself of 'Him or there's no happiness for me ever!', has helped instantly. I am a high achiever, consider myself a person who can see the bigger picture and can put things in perspective, have a beautiful healthy family who love me, and here I am dependent on his 5 minute a week attention! To be clear, he is a lovely man, and this is not intended towards blaming him. But I do find myself resenting him, even stalking him. I am now fine and calm after reading the article, but very VERY embarrassed. The healthy embarrassment though, because I feel armed with help tools-I have copied the article to refer to it when I get overwhelmed by neediness. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for preserving my sanity!

  49. Felicia says:

    I loved this article! This morning I woke anxious again, reading this helps.

  50. Cloud says:

    Wow, this article was fantastic. Really inspiring and helpful.

  51. Amy says:

    Outstanding article! Thank you!

  52. How to Stop Hating Everyone
  53. John says:

    I can certainly relate and believe that you may find some of the answers in the rest of this site. It's good that you recognise the extent to which your needs shape your interpretation and expectations. I hope that you eventually find a wonderful connection. In the meantime, it may also be worth deepening your forgiveness of people's limitations whilst embracing a good-humoured appreciation for "three star quality" friendships.

  54. misanthropicmary says:

    I really enjoyed this post, and particularly liked your analogy on how we should view life as a "game" that people have different rules for. The only thing I have left to mention is: what if there are no sweet berries in sight, and only poisonous ones in your area of the woods? It's hard not to become demotivated to find the nutritious, deliciously sweet berries that may be hidden in some other part of the forest if you are trapped in one particular place. I find it very difficult to connect with most people, but when I find someone that "gets" me, I am almost always betrayed in some way or discover to my dismay that the person did not value our friendship as much as I did. Perhaps my version of "connecting" is different to their version? Perhaps I am so starved for affection and so seldom experience care and kindness, that I interpret considerate and loving actions to mean more than they actually do?

  55. Anonymous says:

    Less time with people=less stress, less anger, less frustration.

  56. Nancy says:

    Wow, you are so smart!! Everything you just said its exactly what I think, but I can never explain it!! Keep up the good work.

  57. Sarah says:

    Just had to comment and say that I love this. This helped me a lot. So thank you for writing and posting.

  58. How to Overcome Anger By Seeing it as Self-Punishment
  59. Anonymous says:

    Self soothing seems like a great way to need people less and avoid them more.

  60. Mary Romo says:

    This is exactly what I needed to read. I have been so angry and it wasn't going any where. I see that it is self punishment. I am going to practice this. Thank you for this.

  61. Nat says:

    This changed my life. Thank you. I am so excited to practice it after two years and a half of being so angry. Or as you put it- punishing myself. I feel that the stone in my stomach is dissolving.

  62. Sarah says:

    Very insightful! This is exactly what I've been needing to hear and read to help me through forgiveness so I can move on with my life. I will be re-reading this until I've made all the changes and become truly happy from within! Thank you.....

  63. Robyn says:

    Thanks so much! This came at a time when I needed it most. You've given me hope that I can overcome this beast! xx

  64. Ian says:

    Excellent resource, provided a process that enabled me to deal with an unpleasant situation. Thanks.

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