While we may all agree that a continued and permanent state of bitterness about the past is never a healthy mode of existence, it’s fair to question whether forgiveness is the key to escaping a state of negativity or whether acceptance — without forgiveness — is enough to move beyond suffering towards peace and achieving resolution.
The Upside of Anger
When victims succumb to the pressure to forgive, they may feel that they’re being victimized once again because in a way, forgiveness can negate the agony they endured and their right to be angry. In fact, there are times when anger is a healthy response. Acquiescence is never an appropriate response when your trust and dignity has been violated. When someone humiliates and hurts you, anger serves as a protective mechanism because it signals that something is wrong. Anger tells you that this type of behavior is unacceptable because it’s damaging to your self-worth. The absence of anger in a scenario like this leaves you vulnerable to abuse.