How To Forgive With NLP:
a practical method of handling anger and resentment

How to forgive with NLP is useful for dealing with anger and resentment. This formula was developed by Connirae and Steve Andreas.

People struggling with how to forgive someone often get stuck because they think that by forgiving, you are condoning what that person did.  But that is simply not the case.

The goal of forgiveness is to liberate and bring peace to the person who feel the anger. Resentment will eat you up inside and it does nothing to harm the person who hurt you.

This technique is recommended for experienced practitioners of NLP.

How To Forgive With NLP

The short version of how to forgive with NLP is:

  1. You identify your current sub modalities for the person (or incident)  you wish to forgive.
  2. You find a model i.e. someone you were easily able to forgive. Perhaps a child who stood on your toe by mistake.
  3. You change some of the sub modalities of the person you want to forgive by using the model as a point of reference.
  4. Be sure to work through your objections as they come up.  
  5. By testing the sub-modalities and paying attention to how they change things for you, you will come to a place of peace.

Before you Begin

The first part of learning how to forgive with NLP is to get clear about what is important to you. You might ask yourself:

"What is important to me about letting go of this anger?" Why do I want to forgive this person?"

Whatever your answers are, ask yourself why that answer is important to you. Keep asking until you settle on your values and criteria around this issue. That will give you the motivation you need to work through the rest of the process.

Step #1: Assess the situation

Who is the person (or it could be an incident) you want to forgive?

Notice how you think about that person or event. Pay attention to the sub modalities of your perception 

For example, when you "see" them in your mind, how do you see them? Are they big or small, black and white or in color?  Where (e.g. at the 2 o'clock position, about 1ft in front of me ). How do you feel about them? Where is that feeling? What is the texture, temperature? How big? 

Work through these until you feel you have clearly identified a few sub-modalities to work with. For some people the visual aspects will be more clear, for others it will be more kinesthetic or auditory.

Step #2: Identify and Assess Your "Model"

Your model can be either:

  • Someone you used to resent but NOW you feel compassion and forgiveness for that person.
  • Someone who hurt you but you forgave them easily because you realized it was an accident.

Observe the sub modalities of this person, as you did in step 1.

Step #3: Compare the Two inner experiences

3. Compare the experiences in steps 1 and 2. Notice what is different.  Pay special attention to the location as that will typically create a shift.

Satisfy all objections - - before proceeding.

Step #4: Work through objections

An important part of learning how to forgive with NLP is to be congruent with the process. It is natural to have objections to this process. Instead of resisting those objections, work through them as they come up. I have this marked as step 4 but truly, objections can come up anytime in the process. When they do work through them by re-framing whatever is coming up for you. 

The more common objections are:

  • By forgiving you are condoning the behavior
  • By forgiving it says something about you such as being weak or stupid
  • It would encourage that person to repeat the harmful behavior

Step #5: Cross Map And Test

One at a time, test the sub modality differences. Make note of the ones that feel most powerful for you in moving from resentment to forgiveness. 

Step #6: Gain Awareness By stepping into the other person's shoes

In learning how to forgive with NLP, first take the observer position to observe the situation from a distance.

Then "step" into the other position and notice what you can learn that is new to you about their experience. How does this person experience thee situation? Given this person's background, limited knowledge and experience, can you see that he/she was doing the best they could with the awareness they had to work with at that time? 

Step #7: Perform alchemy

After you have resolved your inner conflicts, settled objections and learned from the experience, cross-map sub-modalities and enjoy the feeling of forgiveness or neutrality toward the person you resented.

More on Forgiveness

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