If Forgiveness is your top strength, you are good at forgiving those who have done you wrong. You always give people a second chance. You believe in mercy, and not revenge.
Forgiveness falls under the virtue category of Temperance. Temperance deals with strengths that protect us from excess. It is the practiced ability to monitor and manage one’s emotions, motivation and behavior in the absence of outside help.
It is important to distinguish forgiveness from:
condoning (removes the offense)
forgetting (removes the awareness)
reconciliation (restores the relationship)
Instead forgiveness is a strength that we employ to protect ourselves from the feeling of hatred. It is a specialized form of mercy; a general concept of feeling kindness and compassion towards others.
The Ultimate Act of Forgiveness
Let It Go.
Exercises for Boosting Forgiveness
Take 20 minutes and write about the personal benefits that resulted from a negative incident.
Think of someone who wronged you recently. Put yourself in their shoes and try to understand their perspective.
The Straight Story
In My Country
No Man’s Land
Movies are an art-form highly suited for inspiring character strengths and helping in the discovery, understanding and exploration of these positive aspects in human beings. Ryan Niemiec (VIA's education director) and Danny Wedding explore 1,500 examples in their book Positive Psychology at the Movies, 2nd edition (2014). They explain that the best positive psychology movies meet the following criteria:
- Strong portrayal of a character's signature strengths which are critical to the character's identity;
- Depicts conflict/obstacles that challenge the character;
- The character uses strengths to overcome the adversity;
- The film's overall presentation is uplifting or speaks deeply to the human condition.
- The film holds great potential to generate cinematic elevation (i.e., it causes people to feel motivated to do good and increases their altruism) or cinematic admiration (i.e., it causes people to want to improve themselves and copy the model).
Let it Go – Idina Menzel (from the movie, Frozen)
Redemption Song – Bob Marley
Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word – Elton John
Forgiveness – Sarah McLachlan
Angelina – Bob Dylan Forgive Me – Evanescence
Please Read The Letter – Allison Krauss & Robert Plant
Let’s Stay Together – Al Green