Forgiving by Communicating

The first step is yours. If you wait for “the other person” to reach out to you, you may never find the peace you need and deserve. Time is of the essence when reaching out. True, you can reach out at any time, even decades later, but the longer you wait, the harder it will be to take that first step.

The first step in reaching out is to ensure that the lines of communication are open and that the other person knows this. Communication is the essence of any relationship; without it, the situation becomes nearly hopeless, and the thought of reconciliation and forgiveness is even direr. Listening is perhaps the most important thing that you can do when reaching out to another person. You will need to understand the other person's side of the story, and oftentimes the only way to do this is to stop talking and start listening.

Following, you will find some helpful hints to aid you in becoming a more effective listener:

  • Stop talking.

  • Listen for what is not said.

  • Listen between the lines.

  • Listen to how something is said.

  • Give the other person your undivided attention.

  • Leave your emotions behind.

  • Don't jump to conclusions.

  • Ask the other person questions.

  • “Know how to listen, and you will profit even from those who talk badly.”

    — Plutarch

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