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How to Forgive in the Face of Conflict

jean pierre fumey




Has someone ever hurt you at the workplace or home? If so, you clearly understand the pain you felt that time and days after. This pain varies from person to person, as well as who is the person behind it. The pain is especially deep when you’re hurt by a parent or spouse that betrays your trust.

It’s also painful when you’re harshly bullied at work, in school, or neighborhood or wrongly judged for what you didn’t do. Because of this, some people have lost their jobs, were demoted, or sued for a mistake they didn’t commit. Possibly they were not able to defend themselves or prove their innocence.

When our colleague hurts us, they badly disrupt our inner world. It makes it hard to concentrate on our work or anything else apart from our pain.

However, holding on to it hurts our relationships with others, and we are cognitively and emotionally hobbled. So the best medicine for such pain and hurt is forgiveness.

The article will tell you how you can forgive in the face of conflict.

Keys to Forgiveness

Understand What Forgiveness is and Its Importance

Forgiveness simply means extending mercy to those who have wronged you even though they don’t deserve it. When people forgive, they don’t show that they are condoning the mistake or pretending it didn’t happen. They do so because they also benefit from this process of forgiving others.

Conflicts contribute to lack of trust, unhealthy anger, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem or self-loathing, as well as lack of confidence.

Forgiving in the face of conflict increases your self-esteem as well as inner peace, strength, and safety. In the workplace, resolving misunderstandings promptly, followed by forgiveness, will help you continue working with other team members like you did before the conflict happened.

It also helps you to move on with your life with purpose and meaning. That means you will accept new tasks or projects from the same supervisor who handled the conflict and possibly laid the blame on you without feeling defeated or not worthy. So you’re the first beneficiary of forgiveness.

Be a Forgivingly Fit

Following a new physical exercise routine is not easy, especially in the first few days. However, with time, effort, and patience, you begin to love doing those stretches, lifting weights, etc. You didn’t wake up one morning and started loving the physical exercises you do at the gym; you just started slowly.

The same applies when it comes to forgiveness, you have to slowly build your forgiving heart muscle and add regular workouts in your day-to-day life.

It begins by refraining from talking negatively about the incident and the participants. However, this doesn’t mean you praise them or say good things about them. It means you make conscious efforts not to say or comment badly about them.

This begins by recognizing that each individual be it your boss, colleague, friend, spouse, parent, sibling, or child, is special, unique, and irreplaceable.

While these are excellent ways of strengthening your forgiveness muscles, pride and power may work against you and weaken your efforts causing you to hang on resentment because you feel entitled and inflated.

Analyze Your Inner Pain

Ask yourself what is hurting you that much. It’s possible to assume that you know what is hurting you, while it’s not true. You may have been hurt by a statement or action that seemed unjust, or someone who seems to me overly critical about you, yet they are not.

Analyzing what hurts will help you identify the exact reason why you felt hurt, acknowledge it, and look for ways to forgive so that you can experience emotional healing.

Invite Other People’s Strengths

You might be dealing with pain because of an injustice you encountered at the office. It might be you were framed, discriminated against, sidelined, bullied, and more. While forgiving such offenses even after resolving the conflict might need some time. That’s OK. Each person has their own timelines, but the bottom line is forgiveness.

To some people, though forgiving others doesn’t come easily, and so they may need other resources. This doesn’t mean they are a failure at forgiveness; it means forgiveness is a process that requires patience, time, and determination.

It may call for surrounding yourself with wise people. These are not sympathizers but good people who can support you as you continue with your journey to forgiving others.

However, surrounding yourself with the wrong group may cause your anger to grow and end up inflicting pain on others because of harboring resentment.

Forgive Yourself

You might have seriously broken your personal standards, which might have contributed to having this conflict. For instance, it might have been reported that you’re discriminating against others at the workplace or covering up for those engaging in wrongful conduct in the office or more.

Now, when this is brought up to your attention, you might have been offended, which might have led to a misunderstanding. Such actions may make you feel like a failure and cause you to slide into self-loathing.

Such an attitude may make you not feel lovable, and so you might oversleep, overeat, overdrink or indulge in self-punishment activities. This can have a detrimental effect on yourself; however, showing yourself self-compassion may soften your heart and cause you to forgive yourself.

Next, you will have the courage to seek forgiveness from those that you harmed, as well as seek ways to right the wrongs. Just like yourself, others may not be willing to forgive you outrightly, and so you may need to practice humility and patience.

When seeking forgiveness from others, offer a sincere apology, don’t give conditions, and have reasonable expectations.


Forgiving yourself and others in the face of conflict, particularly in the workplace, can be a huge challenge. However, with patience, humility, and effort, a person can build their forgiveness muscles the same way a person benefits from a routine workout.

Evaluating the actions or statements that hurt you and surrounding yourself with people who readily forgive can hasten the forgiveness process and help you live a meaningful life.

Jean-Pierre is a polyglot communication specialist, freelance journalist, and writer for with over two decades of experience in media and public relations. He creates engaging content, manages communication campaigns, and attends conferences to stay up-to-date with the latest trends. He brings his wealth of experience and expertise to provide insightful analysis and engaging content for's audience.

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