Can writing make you more forgiving?


It can; depends on what you write:

Forgiveness involves forgoing destructive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and, instead, engaging in constructive responses following an interpersonal offense. The current pilot study compared two expressive writing tasks with a control writing task to determine whether writing about an interpersonal offense promotes forgiveness of the offender. Participants who empathized with the offender and identified benefits of forgiveness experienced decreases in avoidance and increases in perspective-taking. Participants who wrote about their thoughts and feelings or about daily events did not experience such forgiveness outcomes. The implications of expressive writing for healing damaged interpersonal relationships are discussed.

Source: “Writing wrongs: Promoting forgiveness through expressive writing” from Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Vol. 25, No. 4, 625-642 (2008)

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