How can I be a more forgiving person?

This is painful to admit but I have had a long time personality quirk of either holding long time grudges against people OR completely forgiving and forgetting about their transgressions only to have them screw me over again.

There is a difference between forgiveness and reconciliation. Forgiveness means you let go of the grudge and no longer let the person consume your mental space. That doesn’t mean you forget about the incident or even “let them off the hook”. But you just let it go.

Reconciliation is only possible if you confront the person about their wrongdoing or (best case scenario) they reach out to you to apologize. But that involves two people acknowledging something along with an sincere apology from the offending party. That’s not always likely or possible.

Anyway I used to be more happy go lucky and would just (often naively) quickly forget and forgive bs. But after having the same people screw me over me more than once I now just cut them out quickly if I felt disrespected. Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me. But I have trouble forgiving these people.

I have one chief struggle with a direct family member right now. She had for decades crossed the line on abuse but very rarely apologized. If she did apologize it was more for “optics” (more then one family member was angry at her) vs. acknowledging what she did was wrong.

I got advice from people I trusted about this. The conclusion is that I have to accept she will most likely never apologize or own up to her crap. The ugly truth is she doesn’t even know how to. But forgiving her so difficult. Especially when she knows deep down she was wrong but refuses to own up to it out ego.

How can I be a more forgiving person?
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