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Forgiveness and Self Esteem

Written by Karl Perera BA, MA, DipLC
Updated: November 17th, 2020

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In this short article I would like to show you how forgiveness and self esteem are connected and why you should be more forgiving.

Why is forgiveness important?

Forgiveness is a very powerful quality. When you forgive someone you reveal something about your inner nature. The ability to forgive doesn’t come easily to everybody and so it will set you apart and bring you respect.

If you cannot forgive others you will hold onto bad feelings and inner anger…

Unforgiving people often feel that they are victims of other people’s unacceptable behaviour. This victim mentality can become worse as they build up a list of things the other person has done and increase the resentment and anger inside. Forgiveness releases these negative feelings and helps people come together. Can you begin to see why forgiveness and self esteem are connected?

Forgiveness also demonstrates growth and maturity. It is not easy after all to let go of the bitterness and resentment that the actions or words of others cause, especially when they affect the course of our lives. Nonetheless, there are times we need to think of the bigger picture, and to have a little more empathy for those around us. Your actions or words from the past should not define you for the rest of your life. The same goes for others. We’ve all made mistakes, and the majority of us have probably done or said things they regret. Hanging onto the past and to the negative feelings associated with it does you absolutely no good. Forgiveness can truly set you free, as you make your peace with the past and prepare for a new and better future.

What benefits will being more forgiving bring you?

  • Your relationships will improve as you will forgive others their failings
  • Others will forgive you more when you act in a way that upsets others
  • You will grow and mature as a person and learn to handle your emotions better
  • You’ll become better at expressing your feelings with others
  • Know how to ask others for what you want and expect
  • Understand better why other people act the way they do
  • By forgiving you may learn more about yourself – what is important to you and what isn’t
  • You will gain tolerance of others failings
  • Other people are likely to become more forgiving towards you
  • Your friendships will become stronger and longer lasting  

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Why are forgiveness and self esteem connected?

Forgiving others is a kind and powerful act and the power it holds will benefit you and the other person. Your friendship will benefit and you too will feel happier inside. Your confidence will be boosted by your ability to resolve personal issues and your self esteem is going to increase as well.

A forgiving person is more popular and respected. You will like yourself and the world in which you live will be more pleasant… so start forgiving!

Who should you forgive?

A very simple answer here – everyone!

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“Two persons can not long be friends if they cannot forgive each other’s little failings.”

Jean de la Bruyere

“It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.”

Maya Angelou

How can you be more forgiving?

  • Recognize your own faults – you will then be able to forgive others their faults
  • Don’t place such high standards on others
  • Realize that your values are different from other people’s – don’t expect friends to hold exactly the same values
  • Try to see things from the other person’s viewpoint
  • Before condemning someone ask yourself if you are totally blameless yourself
  • What kind of a friend are you? Are you perfect? Would you like others to forgive you when you make a mistake? Then treat others the way you want to be treated.
  • Ask yourself what you gain by not forgiving someone – list the benefits and the negatives, (there will be many more negatives) – now ask yourself what are the benefits and negatives of forgiving that person, (you will see many more positives), so why don’t you just forgive..?

Get a copy of my audio “A More Confident You” – Discover simple, easy to remember tactics to skyrocket your confidence and self-esteem!

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Website Author and Editor Bio

Photo of Karl Perera, MA, DipLC Karl Perera is a fully qualified Life Coach (DipLC), Teacher (MA) and author of Self Esteem Secrets. He has taught at various universities including Durham, Leicester and Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge. He has run since 1997 and is an expert in Self Esteem and Self Confidence.

8 thoughts on “Forgiveness and Self Esteem”

  1. Graziella

    Thanks so much for that uplifting word Karl.

  2. Clarence warlick

    I identified strongly with the topic today…

  3. Charmaine

    Thanks for the good lesson sharing.
    Not easy but will try and eventually will see the result… lifetime learning lesson.
    : )

  4. Jola Animashaun

    Very nice and educative. Thanks for this Karl.

  5. Naintara

    What if a person hurts intentionally again and again? Do they deserve forgiveness ?

  6. karl perera

    Thank you Ganesh. How did your lesson go? It is indeed an important thing to ask young people to learn to apologize.
    Glad you both enjoy this website and that it helps you with your self esteem.

  7. Dima Karadsheh

    thank you very much for this wonderful article, i am following your website regularly and it is very helpful


    A very good post! Recently I taught a lesson for my students. That was ‘One minute apology’. I insisted the importance of the apology. This mail also will be helpful for them.

    Thank you for your valuable email.

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