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EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM. For a printable version of this presentation (without pictures), click here. Office of Human Resources Making a Positive Difference Every Day Quality, Service, Education. Office of Human Resources Employee Assistance Program. FORGIVENESS.

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employee assistance program

EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

For a printable version of

this presentation (without pictures), click here.

Office of Human ResourcesMaking a Positive Difference Every DayQuality, Service, Education

slide2

Office of Human Resources

Employee Assistance Program

FORGIVENESS

An EAP Lunchtime Learning Session

Presented by Debra Rozanski, Ph.D.,

Coordinator, Employee Assistance Program

slide3

Office of Human Resources

Employee Assistance Program

“Everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea…

… until they have something (or someone) to forgive.” C.S. Lewis

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Office of Human Resources

Employee Assistance Program

What does forgiveness mean to you?

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Office of Human Resources

Employee Assistance Program

FORGIVENESS IS NOT…

  • condoning or excusing an action.
  • self-sacrifice, swallowing your true feelings or playing the martyr.
  • about reconciling with the person who hurt you or telling them that you forgive them.
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Office of Human Resources

Employee Assistance Program

Forgiveness is not, continued

  • telling yourself that what happened doesn’t matter, or that it’s alright for someone to have violated or betrayed you.
  • easy; it cannot be forced and must come in its own due time.
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Office of Human Resources

Employee Assistance Program

  • FORGIVENESS IS….
  • giving up the hope of a better past.
  • a process of letting go of negative emotions that have taken over your life.
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Office of Human Resources

Employee Assistance Program

Forgiveness is… continued

  • something you do for yourself; for your inner well-being, not for the person who betrayed you.
  • a commitment to change; redefining old belief patterns
  • freedom from behaviors that have been driven by bitterness.
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Office of Human Resources

Employee Assistance Program

WHAT IF I DON’T WANT TO FORGIVE?

  • When we hold on to pain, grudges, bitterness and hatred, it can have negative effects on our lives in many different ways.
  • When we’re unforgiving, we are the ones who pay the price, over and over.
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Office of Human Resources

Employee Assistance Program

What if I don’t want to forgive… continued

  • Anger and bitterness become the norm; they permeate every relationship and every new experience we have.
  • Our lives may be so consumed by the bad feelings that we become immobilized and can’t enjoy the present.
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Office of Human Resources

Employee Assistance Program

IT’S EASY TO BE UNFORGIVING

  • The people most likely to hurt us are those who are most important and closest to us.
  • When we are hurt by someone we love and trust, it makes what they did more painful and extremely difficult to overcome.
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Office of Human Resources

Employee Assistance Program

It’s easy to be unforgiving, continued

  • Anger and resentment become our armor, serving to protect us from further hurt.
  • They remind us to never trust or be vulnerable again.
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Office of Human Resources

Employee Assistance Program

IT MAY BE TIME TO CONSIDER FORGIVENESS…

When you find that the hurt or anger is always on your mind.

When your friends/family tell you that you have a chip on your shoulder or suggest that you need to “get over it.”

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Office of Human Resources

Employee Assistance Program

It May be Time… continued

When people you care about are avoiding you because they no longer enjoy being around you.

When you experience angry outbursts with little provocation.

When you find yourself feeling misunderstood much of the time.

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It May be Time… continued

Office of Human Resources

Employee Assistance Program

When you find that you are drinking more, smoking more or using drugs to numb your pain.

When you note that you’re not only angry and bitter, you’re also depressed and anxious.

When you find that you are consumed by a desire for revenge and want to hurt the person who hurt you.

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Office of Human Resources

Employee Assistance Program

It May be Time… continued

You note that you’re automatically thinking the worst about people or situations before you really know what they’re about.

  • You find yourself regretting the loss of a valued relationship.
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Office of Human Resources

Employee Assistance Program

It May be Time… continued

You’ve started to feel that your life lacks meaning or purpose.

You no longer feel a connection with the religious or spiritual beliefs that once comforted or guided you.

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Office of Human Resources

Employee Assistance Program

THE BENEFITS OF FORGIVING

Helps build a stronger immune system.

Decreases chronic feelings of stress.

Reduces constant feelings of anger; negative feelings become more manageable.

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Office of Human Resources

Employee Assistance Program

The benefits of forgiving, continued

Lowers heart rate and blood pressure.

Lowers risk of alcohol/substance abuse.

Reduces feelings of bitterness, resentment, depression and other negative emotions.

Reduces chronic pain.

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Office of Human Resources

Employee Assistance Program

The benefits of forgiving, continued

Increases potential for new friendships.

Improves quality of current relationships.

Renews sense of spirituality and faith.

Improves overall sense of psychological wellbeing.

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Office of Human Resources

Employee Assistance Program

WHAT IF IT’S “UNFORGIVABLE”… What Are My Options?

You can stay angry.

You can withdraw from the source of the pain.

You can tell yourself, “I can forgive, but I can’t forget.”

You can work towards forgiveness.

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Office of Human Resources

Employee Assistance Program

ACHIEVING FORGIVENESS

Know exactly how you feel about what happened and be able to articulate to a trusted friend specifically why you are hurt.

Make a commitment to yourself to do what you have to do to feel better. Forgiveness is for you and not for anyone else.

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Office of Human Resources

Employee Assistance Program

Achieving Forgiveness, continued

Forgiveness does not have to mean reconciliation with the person that hurt you, or condoning their actions. What you are seeking is peace.

Forgiveness is the peace and understanding that come from focusing less on blame and changing your perception of the event.

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Office of Human Resources

Employee Assistance Program

Achieving Forgiveness, continued

Get the right perspective on what is happening. Recognize that your distress is coming from the hurt feelings you are experiencing now.

Be aware of old hurts that may be compounding the current one, possibly distorting what just happened. If the source of old wounds has never been forgiven, it will continue to rule your life.

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Office of Human Resources

Employee Assistance Program

Achieving Forgiveness, continued

  • Whether the wound is old or new, if you find yourself getting upset every time you are reminded of the event, try attending to the feelings as soon as possible.
    • Consider using a simple stress management technique (like deep breathing or meditation)to soothe the hurt feelings.
    • You may have to repeat this many times on your path to forgiveness.
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Office of Human Resources

Employee Assistance Program

Achieving Forgiveness, continued

Stop expecting things from people who have chosen not to give you what you want. The same applies to expectations you have about yourlife; there are no “shoulds” in real life.

Recognize the unspoken and unenforceable rules you live by, i.e., expectations about yourself or how other people must treat you.

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Office of Human Resources

Employee Assistance Program

Achieving Forgiveness, continued

  • As you near the end of this difficult path towards forgiveness, there remains one last leg of the journey to complete. In order to give meaning to all you have been through:
    • Clarify what you learned from the process.
    • Identify how you’ve grown from the experience.
  • Adapted from and inspired by Dr. Frederic Luskin’s “Nine Steps to Forgiveness.” Dr. Luskin is Director of the Stanford Forgiveness Projects.
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EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

Office of Human ResourcesMaking a Positive Difference Every DayQuality, Service, Education