How to Forgive

“I’ll never forgive them for as long as they live!”

An understandable response to a totally crappy situation…

But how does being so angry about it make you feel?

What if I could show you a completely different way of viewing everything, like looking through a pair of magic, pink binoculars?

What if that new way of seeing things made you feel “nice and fuzzy” on the inside?

What if I stopped asking patronising questions?

Forgiving means letting go of anger or hatred directed at a person. It’s usually the last thing anyone feels like doing, even after their own death. But there is good news.

It is possible to forgive a complete A-hole.

That’s because forgiveness doesn’t excuse behaviour that was wrong or unfair. It doesn’t make it okay to commit genocide or steal cupcakes.

It just gives you the distance, presence, power and mojo to move on.

Letting go and forgiving is all about freeing yourself.

Why I wrote this blog

Learning how to forgive has taken me on a journey to hell and back, even passing through South Croydon! This is a photo of me taken just a few years ago:

I wasn’t quite myself and if I’m honest it even had some effect on my physical appearance. But look at me now!

Still not 100% but doing so much better than before!

The truth is that I’m not a guru or expert on this subject, far from it.

I actually decided to write about forgiveness because I really sucked at letting go and I wanted to figure out what I could do about that.

My own problems began when I started getting into quite extreme disagreements with people. It’s fair to say that politics isn’t my strong point. In fact if I were in a generous mood I might describe my social skills as “appalling”.

A mix of unrealistic expectations, bad luck, anxiety about dealing with other people and my own lack of diplomacy all combined to give quite a few people the impression that I might be one of the devil’s closer relatives.

So how did I get into so much trouble with the humans? Surely, as a plausible candidate for membership of their species, I could have figured out some way to get along? 

For months and months, I searched the unfathomable depths of my wicked soul trying to find an answer to that question. And then one day it hit me like a thunderbolt from heaven! All of sudden the real problem became clear.

I’m a moron.

It was that simple. All I had to do was learn how to develop the emotional intelligence to deal with people and their strange ways. And so it was that I took up the idea of writing this blog and embarked upon an incredible and rewarding journey of horrifying self-discovery.

After months and months of profound soul-searching, analysing, writing, rewriting and editing, I was shocked to discover that my blog had 3 pages.

It turns out that learning how to forgive people involved a serious amount of work! Maybe in the end it was my laziness that saved me from anger. I really can’t be bothered to hate anyone anymore. Not if it means I have to write another crumby page for this website.

But I’ve definitely made progress. I’ve gone from being “absolutely terrible” to “not particularly special” and I consider that to be an enormous achievement. And I already know I will reach mediocre before too long. Way to go me, the sky’s the limit!

Even my social skills have significantly improved and could now accurately be described as merely “questionable” rather than “hopeless beyond all human comprehension and conceivability”.

So if you’re looking for the world champion of personal development you’ve come to wrong place. Mediocrity is the next level I’m aiming for. If I took part in a “mediocrity competition” right now I’d probably come about half-way in the rankings.

It may seem odd but it can be strangely useful to learn from a hypocrite who still gets it wrong sometimes. And that’s why I am quietly confident that I’m not wasting your time here.

Anger can drive you totally crazy, I should know! But as disturbing as it may seem after all my experiences, I often feel as if I might be going completely sane.

How to Forgive

One thing I’ve learnt is that forgiveness becomes easier when you’re willing to learn how to do it, when you’re willing to enrol in the School of Cool.

I’ve written a series of long, tedious articles that I believe will lead you to that place.

My approach is a bit like learning a sport. When someone says “Stop being angry” or “Just let it go” it’s a bit like saying “Stop being bad at soccer”. Not great advice.

A more useful approach is to break everything down into key areas that you can work on improving, such as passing, tackling, goal scoring and fouling.

And of course it takes practice. If you can spend as much time thinking forgiving thoughts as you do thinking angry thoughts then forgiveness will usually start winning over anger.

We all have gaps in our emotional education: 95% of what I write will be painfully obvious to a toddler. But when you learn to “see the obvious” more often and more clearly then you’re closer to the goal.

So get ready for a painstaking journey through the dark recesses of your lovely brain!

Okay okay, I wanna know more! Hit me baby!

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Latest related thoughts


Forgiveness is something that means many different things to many 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. 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.


Human beings can sometimes behave in a way that is slightly sociopathic. But many of us need to go through at least one brutal experience of inhumanity before we can realise the true value that humanity offers the world.

To be on the receiving end of behaviour that is lacking in empathy can help you to sincerely consider, understand and regret those times in your own life when you also acted as if other human beings did not exist, were not as important as you or did not have real feelings.

The most humane and empathic human beings are those who are able to empathise with other people’s inability to empathise with them by seeing that lack of empathy as something that reminds them of their own ignorance in the past. Understanding and allowing people to behave without empathy for you is a test of true empathy, compassion and non-judgment of yourself.

Everything that I have experienced has led me to one very clear, very simple conclusion about life: all that really matters in this world is kindness. This is all I have ultimately learned from the kindness of others, from the unkindness of others and from my own mistakes. It's never too late and can never be wrong to be kind.

Kindness may never be in fashion but it is the true essence of humanity. It can dissolve anger, repair divisions, rise above judgment and make sense of everything that might otherwise seem a little pointless.

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"


10 thoughts on “How to Forgive

  1. 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”.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 :)

  4. 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?

  5. 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!

  6. Hey, there’s no need to forgive anyone or even yourself…that is if you’d rather suffer for the rest of your life. One fact to remember…”Forgiveness, not to be confused with condoning, is always for the forgiver…ALWAYS!” Namaste, Donny

  7. 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. 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.

More comments from this site

  1. How to Overcome Emotional Dependency
  2. 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 :)

  3. 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. :)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.....

  6. cc says:

    I have always expected the other person to be there for me emotionally when I'm in a relationship. Why do I keep having these expectations then feeling disappointed when they are not there for me?

  7. R P Evans says:

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

  8. 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.

  9. Roofia says:

    Great article, helped me a lot. Thank you!

  10. 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.

  11. Alynne says:

    Very informative!!

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  13. 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.

  14. Sarah says:

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

  15. How to Overcome Anger By Seeing it as Self-Punishment
  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.....

  19. 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

  20. Ian says:

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

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  22. Banana says:

    This was so very helpful. I'm in this position of rejection by someone I had become infatuated with - but my mind can't say 'Stop, this isn't real / reciprocated'. It's totally about other things / unrequited crushing. It morphed into feeling totally romantically and personally rejected by this fantasy. This article helped me bridge the mind- body connection I needed to "get a grip" and accept / understand / forgive/ let go of this experience. I am talking about the separation between what my mind knows and understands - rejection isn't about me necessarily or if it is, there are other ways to process the information. However, my body is all aflutter around this person - my biggest fear is seeing them with a significant other (I know that's nuts but totally normal to concoct this elaborate crush). The article helped my brain be the boss over how my heart reacts.

  23. Victor Ruiz says:

    Thank you to this site on how to forgive... Blessings!

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