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Thursday, January 2, 2020

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How to Plan a Winter Garden

Posted: 02 Jan 2020 08:00 AM PST

Planning a winter garden can keep your green thumb active throughout the colder months of winter. Before you begin gardening, set a plan that you can maintain during the colder months. Winter calls for hardier crops and flowers compared to those you'd plant in summer. Winter crops include turnips, carrots, mustard greens, and beets. Winter gardening also requires measures to protect the plants from the cold temperatures and hostile growing conditions of winter. Remember to start early, and keep in mind that winter gardens may not thrive in certain climates.


[Edit]Preparing the Winter Garden

  1. Start planning in mid-summer. As unpleasant as it may seem to think about cold winter temperatures and snowy days in the middle of the summer, you need to start planning the garden early. This will give you enough time to have your plants in the ground before the first frost, and will prevent you from having to scramble to assemble your garden in September.[1]
    Plan a Winter Garden Step 1 Version 2.jpg
    • If you live in the northern hemisphere, start planning in July. If you live in the southern hemisphere, start your winter garden plans in January.
    • If you live in the American Deep South, or other regions that stay warm well into winter, you may be able to wait until August to plan your garden.
  2. Find out the average date of the first frost in your region. The first frost will kill most plants, but hardy winter crops will survive the first frost if they're planted early enough. Time your plants to fully mature before that date by planting them 6-8 weeks in advance.[2]
    Plan a Winter Garden Step 2 Version 2.jpg
    • Speak to your local garden authorities (such as the 4H extension office or master gardener club) to help you time your winter garden precisely.
    • You can also look up the approximate first frost date online. Input your ZIP code at: Note that this site is specific to the U.S.
  3. Rework your soil before you begin planting. Use a shovel and hoe to break up the soil and to loosen and remove the roots of summer crops. Use the blade of your spade to loosen the ground at least to a depth of .[3]
    Plan a Winter Garden Step 3 Version 2.jpg
    • Reworking the soil will make it easier for your winter plants to extend their roots into the ground and to absorb necessary nutrients.
  4. Choose a garden location with good drainage. If you're not using a garden plot that you've planted summer plants in, you'll need to plant your winter crops in a patch of well-draining soil. Select a location that is blocked from the wind and receives as much sun as possible. A south-facing slope works best for a winter garden.
    Plan a Winter Garden Step 4 Version 2.jpg
    • If you don't have access to an area of soil with good water drainage, you can install a raised bed.
    • Avoid planting outdoor winter plants in individual containers or plastic planters. Plants' roots can easily freeze in these containers, and this effectively kills the plant.
  5. Add compost to your soil before planting. The majority of soil nutrients will have been used up by the crops and flora you planted during the spring and summer months. Add about of compost or other fertile natural material to your garden. The compost will replenish nutrients and help your winter plants grow.[4]
    Plan a Winter Garden Step 5 Version 2.jpg
    • Composted manure, alfalfa meal, or a balanced organic fertilizer are all appropriate choices.
    • Adding compost initially will also keep you from having to fertilize crops during the winter growing season.[5]

[Edit]Choosing Plants

  1. Select a mixture of leafy greens to put in your winter garden. If this is your first time planting a winter garden, you'll find that winter-crop options are surprisingly rich. To avoid the monotony of only having 1 plant type, and to enrich your winter meals, plant a variety of winter crops. These include many leafy greens like:[6]
    Plan a Winter Garden Step 6 Version 2.jpg
    • FriseĆ© (mature in 90-95 days).
    • Arugula (mature when tall).
    • Swiss chard (mature in 60 days).
    • Giant red mustard and Southern giant mustard (mature in 30 days).
    • Curly leafed kale. Pick kale leaves whenever you like. The plant will put out new leaves through the fall and winter.[7]
  2. Plant a variety of root crops. Balance out your leafy greens with root crops. Although root crops are typically less showy on the surface, they provide substantial additions to meals made from winter-garden harvests. To keep your garden active all winter long, plant a variety of root crops that will be ready to harvest during the late, middle, and early parts of the season.[8]
    Plan a Winter Garden Step 7 Version 2.jpg
    • Beets and carrots (mature in 90 days).
    • Rutabaga and parsnip (mature in 90 days).
    • Early carrots and turnips (mature in 60 days).
    • Leeks and kohlrabi (mature in 60 days).
    • Chives and radishes (mature in 30 days).
  3. Add a variety of cold-weather flowers. Flowers will add a touch of color to your garden. Winter-tolerant species of flower will survive when the temperature dips below , although they may not withstand a heavy frost. Include flowers like:[9]
    Plan a Winter Garden Step 8.jpg
    • Larkspur and nasturtium.
    • Snapdragon and pansy.
    • Primrose and sweet pea.
    • Hyacinth and amaryllis.

[Edit]Laying out and Protecting Winter Plants

  1. Plan a garden layout. To ensure that you have enough space in your garden, and to prevent your garden from running out of space, you can create a spatial garden plan. This will allow you to allocate enough garden space to each particular plant. You can also plan the dimensions of each garden bed to give yourself plenty of space to water and hoe the soil.[10]
    Plan a Winter Garden Step 9.jpg
    • Lay out the garden using a common pattern, including multiple rows each about wide.
    • You could also plan your layout around a "keyhole" or arch shape. This design features 2 main beds each about long connected by a thin strip of garden at the top.
  2. Plant your garden near a windbreak. While you could build a wall specifically designed to protect your garden from chilly and harsh winter winds, an easier method is to plant your garden next to the south-facing wall of your home, or of a permanent shed or garage.[11]
    Plan a Winter Garden Step 10.jpg
    • Butting your garden up to an existing wall will offer protection, and the warmth will seep through the wall and help insulate your plants.
  3. Use a cloche to help warm your plants. A cloche is a portable, temporary greenhouse structure made of glass or clear plastic that gardeners place over winter crops to help them retain warmth. A cloche will insulate plants, lengthen your growing season, and prevent delicate winter plants from dying in cold spells.[12]
    Plan a Winter Garden Step 11.jpg
    • If you'd like to use a cloche but don't have time to construct an elaborate setup, you can make a cloche out of an old soda bottle.

[Edit]Caring for Your Winter Garden

  1. Water plants when the first inch of soil is dry. Plants growing in winter need dramatically less water than you may be used to giving plants in a summer garden. The soil does not need to be kept moist. In fact, it should dry out between one watering and the next. Water only when the top is dry.[13]
    Plan a Winter Garden Step 12.jpg
    • To see if the soil is dry, poke an un-gloved finger into the soil. If your finger feels dry up to the first knuckle, go ahead and water the garden.
  2. Do not fertilize plants over the winter. As long as you reworked the soil and added compost to the winter garden before planting your crops and flowers, you shouldn't need to add fertilizer during the winter growing season.[14]
    Plan a Winter Garden Step 13.jpg
    • Plants absorb fewer nutrients over the winter than they would during the summer growth season.
  3. Add a grow light if the weather is mostly overcast. Just because winter crops and flowers grow well in cold temperatures does not mean that they thrive in low-light conditions. If you notice certain crops beginning to wilt during successive cloudy days, buy a grow light and set it up to shine on the plants. The grow light mimics the effect of sunlight.[15]
    Plan a Winter Garden Step 14.jpg
    • You can purchase a grow light at any plant nursery or large gardening center.
    • If you have a very large winter garden, you may need to purchase multiple grow lights to provide enough coverage.


  • Do not plant tomatoes, corn, beans, or squash as winter plants. They're hard to keep alive in the cold and will almost certainly die.[16]
  • Weigh cloche drawbacks before implementing one for your winter garden. They must be ventilated manually to prevent too much heat from building up on the plants, and they have to be properly installed so as not to blow away.[17]

[Edit]Related wikiHows


How to Melt Snow

Posted: 02 Jan 2020 12:00 AM PST

Snow can pile up quickly after a big storm and become a nuisance. Not only do you have to shovel the snow, you have to melt it as well to keep it away. Fortunately, there are tons of options when it comes to melting snow. Some methods are traditional and expensive, such as applying rock salt, while others are unorthodox and cheap, like using alfalfa meal or leftover coffee grounds. Whichever method you pick, you can make snow disappear in no time!


[Edit]Using Salt or Pellets to Melt Snow

  1. Use water softener salt pellets as a cost-effective way to melt snow. This material is sold at hardware stores and is relatively cheap. Spread the salt pellets evenly over your driveway before or after a snow storm. A bag of water softener salt pellets goes for around $6. Best of all, you only need to use one bag of these pellets per winter![1]
    Melt Snow Step 1.jpg
    • One benefit to using water softener salt pellets is that they do not damage asphalt.
    • Do not use this material if you have pets.
  2. Sprinkle pet-safe pellets onto your driveway. If you have pets, use this material instead of water softener salt pellets. Simply spread a few handfuls of these pellets evenly across the snow. While they are a bit more expensive than water softener salt pellets, they are much better for your pet's feet and fur. You can spread these pellets before it snows if you'd like.[2]
    Melt Snow Step 2.jpg
    • You can buy a bucket for about $65.
  3. Apply rock salt for a traditional way to melt snow. Rock salt remains an effective way to get rid of snow and is cheaper than pet-safe pellets. You can buy bags of rock salt at your local hardware store and spread it across your driveway before or after a storm to melt snow. Make sure to spread it evenly and don't overuse the salt. A little bit of salt goes a long way. Use per square foot (0.1 square meters) of your driveway to prevent snow from sticking to the ground. If you use too much salt, it could cause permanent damage to your asphalt driveway.[3]
    Melt Snow Step 3.jpg
    • You can get a bag of rock salt for around $10.
    • Do not use rock salt if you have pets. The salt can get into your pet's paws and cause redness and ulcers.

[Edit]Trying Alternatives to Salt

  1. Spread alfalfa meal over the snow to melt it and create traction. Alfalfa meal is mostly used as an organic fertilizer, but it makes for a surprisingly effective snow melter. Alfalfa meal's small amounts of nitrogen make it a good deicer. Use alfalfa meal sparingly, sprinkling only a few handfuls onto the snow in your driveway. You can spread the alfalfa meal before it snows as well.[4]
    Melt Snow Step 4.jpg
    • Alfalfa meal is pet friendly and you can get a bag for around $15.
  2. Try leftover coffee grounds to melt ice and snow. Coffee grounds are a pet-safe material that have nitrogen and acids in them that effectively melt snow. Scatter the grounds along your driveway right after you shovel the snow away, or before it begins to snow in the first place. If your sidewalks are icy, spread some grounds over them to add extra grip. Use all of the leftover grounds you have in your home to get the job done.[5]
    Melt Snow Step 5.jpg
    • Other materials that add traction to slippery surfaces include sand, wood ash, and sawdust. You can spread these material the same way you would coffee grounds. However, they can be harmful to your pets, so don't use them if you have a dog.
  3. Cover your driveway with plastic tarps before a storm comes. In the hours leading up to a storm, place plastic tarps along the pathways that lead from your driveway to your house and on your driveway itself. Depending on how much snow falls, you might have to shovel the snow off the tarp itself. If only fall, you can simply drag the tarp away from your driveway and push the snow off the tarp from there. You'll have to empty the tarp soon after the snow falls; otherwise the snow could freeze on the tarp if the weather stays below freezing.[6]
    Melt Snow Step 6.jpg
    • Make sure your cars are in your garage before you do this. You don't want to run over your tarp with your car and damage the material.

[Edit]Combining Water, Dish Soap, and Rubbing Alcohol

  1. Fill a bucket with about of hot water. Instead of using alfalfa meal, coffee grounds, or tarp, you can create a homemade snow melter and use it as an alternative to ice. The hotter the water is, the faster the snow will melt initially. While you can use warm water to melt the snow, hot water will be more effective. Let the faucet run for about 1 minute and place your hand under the stream to check the temperature of the water. When the water feels hot to the touch, place the bucket under the tap and fill the bucket until there's around in it.[7]
    Melt Snow Step 7.jpg
    • You don't need exactly to melt the snow, so don't spend extra time trying to fill up the bucket to the exact measurement.
    • This is a pet-safe option.
  2. Add of liquid dish soap and of rubbing alcohol. Measure the dish soap and rubbing alcohol in a spoon and pour the contents into the bucket. Use the same spoon to stir the mixture for 5 minutes to combine the water with the dish soap and rubbing alcohol.[8]
    Melt Snow Step 8.jpg
    • Make sure to wash the spoon thoroughly before using it again.
  3. Spread the solution across the snow. Take the bucket outside and pour the solution onto the snow. Evenly spread the mixture onto the steps of your home, the pathway leading up to your house, and your driveway. A little bit of this mixture goes a long way, so don't pour too much of the solution in one spot.[9]
    Melt Snow Step 9.jpg
    • Check back in 15 minutes to see how much of the snow has melted.
  4. Make the solution again and apply it multiple times. Mix hot water, dish soap, and rubbing alcohol together in that same bucket and go back over the front of your home and your driveway to melt as much snow as you can. Repeat the process of making this solution 3-4 times, or until you've made enough to cover most of your driveway.[10]
    Melt Snow Step 10.jpg
    • This is one of the cheapest methods to melting snow, but it is still effective nonetheless.


How to Forgive

Posted: 01 Jan 2020 04:00 PM PST

Forgiveness is something that must be created. If done thoughtfully and effectively, it will transform the way you think, feel, and live your life. Approaching the challenge with an "I can do that" attitude will motivate you to face the challenge. By taking action, changing your thoughts, shifting your emotions and seeking guidance from numerous valuable sources you will know how to forgive others, and yourself.


[Edit]Making the Decision

  1. Consider why you want to forgive this person. Forgiveness is a decision that should be made thoughtfully, especially if someone did something seriously wrong. Take time to think through your feelings and your reasoning, to better understand the situation.
    Beautiful Girl Looks Over Shoulder.png
    • You want to resolve your own feelings of anger, confusion, or hurt.
    • You value your relationship with them, and believe that forgiving them is worth it.
    • They've shown a willingness to change their behavior, and you want to try again.
  2. Pay attention to whether they're willing to change their behavior. Have you given them the chance to change, by letting them know their actions hurt you? If so, are they working to adjust their behavior, or are they doing it again without caring how it's affecting you?
    Jewish Guy with an Idea.png
    • For example, say that your sister made fun of your nose, and you told her that it hurt your feelings. Pay attention to whether she does it again.
  3. Choose to forgive because you want to, not because you have to. Forgiveness should be chosen freely, not reluctantly or under pressure. Forgiveness is a choice that you make for yourself, so don't let other people's ideas of what you "should" do pressure you into doing something that feels premature or just not right.
    Asexual Person Thinking.png
    • If you aren't ready to forgive someone, you don't have to do it yet. If anyone pressures you, say "I'm not ready to forgive yet."
    • You do not owe forgiveness to anyone else. If you do not want to forgive them, that is your choice.
  4. Recognize the difference between forgiveness and foolishness. You may choose to forgive someone once, twice, or three times. But if they are repeatedly and knowingly hurting you, or if they have done something extremely terrible, then you should consider protecting yourself. If someone has shown that they will mistreat you again and again, or that they are willing to do you serious harm, then you need to protect your own well-being.
    Jewish Guy Says No 2.png
    • For example, you can forgive an abusive father and choose not to talk to him ever again, because you know he would mistreat you.
    • For example, if your girlfriend yells at you and then apologizes and says she's working on controlling her temper, then you might decide to forgive her and continue dating her. If your girlfriend screams horrible abuse at you, or hits you, then you need to protect yourself and escape the relationship.
  5. When in doubt, take your time. Sometimes, it takes a while to untangle all your feelings and figure out what to do. That's okay. Give yourself time and space to process.
    Person and Golden Retriever Take a Walk.png
    • Write in a journal about it.
    • Talk to a mentor or trusted person about the situation.
    • Express your feelings through artwork.
    • Spend some time focusing on something else, and come back later.

[Edit]Taking Action

  1. Reach out to connect. As life gets busy, it is difficult to stay in touch with friends. When a conflict has occurred to push people apart, that connection becomes even harder to salvage. If you want to forgive someone, then take the first step in the process by reaching out. This act alone will help you to feel more open and optimistic.
    Awkward Conversation in Bathroom.png
    • It is always difficult to take the first step, and sometimes you need to give yourself a push. Simply tell yourself, "Here we go," and pick up the phone and make contact.
  2. Ask to be heard. Whether you decide to set up a face-to-face meeting with the person, or communicate via telephone or electronic device, the goal is the same: ask the person for time to express your thoughts and feelings about the conflict.
    Asexual Teen and Tall Woman Talk.png
    • Assure the person that you are open and willing to hear what she has to say as well. This will allow the person to feel more open about the forthcoming discussion.
    • If the person refuses to meet with you, do not despair. There are things you can do to move toward forgiveness regardless of whether the person complies. The act of forgiveness is designed to help you in the end. For example, use writing instead of direct contact to express your feelings and thoughts about the person. Writing in a journal helps to process your feelings and is effective.[1]
    • Journaling can help reduce anxiety and stress, as it is a healthy outlet for confusing or overwhelming emotions.[2]
  3. Discuss the issue. Some discussions in life are harder to have than others. When a conflict has occurred and negative feelings have grown, it is difficult to start the conversation. The goal would be to frame the conversation and guide it toward a peaceful resolution to manage the hurt and disappointment you are feeling.[3]
    Girl Talks About Feelings.png
    • First, thank the person for meeting with you.
    • Second, tell the person your goal is to hear each other's side of the story and come to some peaceful resolution so you both can move on.
    • Third, tell your side of the story. Make "I" statements to describe your thoughts and feelings, without making accusations.
    • Fourth, ask the person if there is anything else you can clarify for him before he provides the details of his side of the story.
    • Fifth, ask the person questions that will give you the necessary information to understand his intent, motives, thoughts and feelings.
  4. Apologize for your own mistakes. Most every conflict involves a misunderstanding or misconception of what someone did or said. There are things that you must do to loosen the tension in the situation. Taking responsibility for your role is an act that fosters the open communication that you want, and is necessary to reach a resolution.[4]
    Husbands Comforting Each Other.png
  5. Accept the apology.[5] If you have discussed the situation and the person has extended a sincere apology, then accept it. Even if you have to force yourself to say the words, "I accept your apology," this is a large step toward creating a sense of forgiveness for yourself. Here are some examples of things you could say:
    Man Talks to Young Woman.png
    • "I accept your apology, and I forgive you."
    • "I appreciate you saying that. Friends?"
    • "Thank you for apologizing. I don't know if I'm ready to forgive you yet, but I will work on it. Please give me some time."
  6. Show your willingness to move on. If you must or want to maintain a relationship with this person, then your behaviors must demonstrate that you are serious. Your relationship will improve when you go through the process of forgiveness.[6] This includes not holding grudges and bringing up the past.[7] It also includes your willingness to laugh and be lighthearted around the person. Moving past a conflict is a huge relief. Let that motivate your actions toward being fair-minded and resolved.
    Hugging Middle Aged Couple.png
    • As time passes and progress is made, you may notice you are still allowing feelings of betrayal to affect the way you treat the person. Perhaps it happens during heated arguments or discussions. You may not have processed your hurt feelings and still have some work to do. This is a normal reaction and can be managed by talking about your feelings with the person involved, or someone else.

[Edit]Changing Your Thoughts and Emotions

  1. Practice empathy and compassion.[8] Both empathy and compassion can be learned. As with any new skill, you need to practice. If you are able to treat people the way you would like to be treated, you are more than half-way there.
    Man Hugs Teen Girl.png
    • Take the opportunity to practice compassion when out in public. If you see someone struggling getting into the doorway of a store, rush to open it. If you see someone that looks like she is having a bad day, smile and say hello. Your goal is to allow others to feel the impact of your good deeds.
    • Expand your empathy by talking and, most importantly, listening to people outside your social circle. Try to strike up a conversation with a stranger once a week. Go beyond small talk and try to (respectfully) inquire about their lives and experiences. This will broaden your worldview and help you become more understanding of others.[9]
  2. Work on understanding the person's behavior. Fear, insecurities and an inability to communicate are the impetus of many hurtful behaviors. Some people don't understand why they act certain ways because they have not explored the deeper inner-workings of their own behavior. Try to see if you can understand where they are coming from.
    Worried Adult with Upset Child.png
    • If you don't understand someone's behavior, you may be able to ask them why they acted the way they did. You could also talk to a trusted mentor, or even do a little research on why people act that way.
    • Remember that even if you understand the person's reasons, that doesn't mean they have an excuse for acting badly.
    • Keep in mind that you're not responsible for someone else's feelings or behavior. You can't make them become a better person. Sometimes, you need to be willing to tell yourself "here they go again" or "their attitude is not my problem."
  3. Question and adjust your perspective. You have probably been holding strong beliefs about a situation in which you were wronged by someone. Many times a person's perspective is askew and needs to return to a balanced state. It is important to keep things in perspective, especially if yours is causing you harm.
    Peaceful Person in Blue.png
    • Is this important? Will I care about it 6 months or 6 years from now?
    • Is this worth my time?
    • Could I be jumping to conclusions? Could there be circumstances I'm not aware of?
    • Is this issue important to me, or should I just let it go?
    • Are my feelings or behavior holding me back from better things?
  4. Try moving from resentment to gratitude. Over time, work on letting go of resentment, and looking for the upsides to the situation. Strong feelings are natural at first, but they can become toxic if you hold onto them forever. If you catch yourself falling into a trap of negativity, work on finding the good parts. This can help you reframe things and feel more positively about your life.[10] Here are some examples:
    Teen Boy with Hearts.png
    • "I'm glad that I've finally finished the semester, so I don't have to deal with that difficult professor again. She is not my problem anymore."
    • "I'm thankful that my dad and my therapist are supporting me while I leave this abusive relationship."
    • "I'm glad that my mom was willing to listen and take me seriously when I said her criticism was damaging our relationship. I hope this will the start of a positive change."
    • "I'm so happy that I have another chance to find love after I left behind a bad relationship."
    • "I'm glad that I get another chance with my boyfriend, and that he's making an effort to change his habits to treat me better. Things can become better than they were."
    • "I don't regret cutting contact with my toxic father. I'm so much happier now that he's not part of my life."
  5. Make a list of the benefits of letting go of resentment. Think about how feelings of resentment might be shaping your life now, and how letting go could change things. Here are some things you might consider for the list:
    Pencil and Paper.png
    • I can stop lying awake in bed, playing and replaying imaginary conversations in my head. Instead, I'll just sleep.
    • I can stop feeling like a victim, and start feeling empowered to control my own life.
    • I can say goodbye to a bad chapter of my life, and start focusing on creating a good one.
    • I can focus less on this person's past mistakes, and focus more on rebuilding a stronger relationship.
    • I can remember what happened without feeling helpless, and use the knowledge of what went wrong to help me spot and avoid similar problems in the future.
  6. Be patient with yourself. Especially if what happened was serious, then forgiveness might not be instantaneous. This is okay. Keep working on handling your feelings and taking care of yourself. Don't let other people, or any preconceived notions in your head, push you into doing something you aren't ready for. Try saying these to yourself, or to anyone who tries to pry:
    Person Relaxes with Pillow.png
    • "I'm working on moving on, but I'm not there yet."
    • "I need time to process."
    • "I need time to work through my feelings. It's okay to take my time."
    • "I'm allowed to feel hurt."
    • "Forgiveness can't be rushed. It needs to happen in its own time."
  7. Engage in fun activities. You can learn to let go by rediscovering your playful side. When you play it allows you to be free from the negative thoughts you harbor about a conflict. Play and laughter can help you remain positive and optimistic through difficult situations.[11] Schedule time in your calendar at least once a week to play and have fun.
    Teen and Autistic Kid Giggling.png
    • Fly a kite
    • Try messing around with a new art form
    • Play with a pet
    • Hang out with friends
    • Play a board game with loved ones
    • Do something that you always wanted to try when you were younger, but didn't get to
  8. Diffuse your anger. Remaining in a state of anger and upset is unhealthy. Processing feelings of anger through physical activity or artistic expression are good alternatives for reducing anger, stress and anxiety. Anger must be released to move you toward feeling forgiveness. Here are some ideas:[12]
    Young Woman Playing Soccer.png
    • Exercise: run, hike, lift weights, etc.
    • Express yourself through art
    • Meditate
    • Rip up paper from the recycling bin
    • Throw ice cubes into a bathtub to smash them
    • Draw an angry picture and rip it up
  9. Rebuild trust. When we let others into our lives we take a risk. Those same people can betray the trust that you have built together. An essential part of the forgiveness process is allowing someone to earn back your trust.
    Son Talks to Dad.png
    • Allow the person to show you they are reliable, truthful, and sincere. [13] Create opportunities for the person to show you. When you give a little, you may receive many positive rewards in return.
    • For example, consider accepting the person's invitation to go to the movies. This allows the person the opportunity to show up on time, treat you with respect and have a good time. Without your willingness to accept the invitation, you would not be witness to their sincere efforts to earn your trust.
    • Consider rebuilding trust in a way directly related to the harm done. For example, if they lied about where they went, have them check in by calling or texting so they can tell you where they are.
    • Remember to acknowledge when someone is making an effort to earn your trust. Consider thanking them for any efforts they make.
  10. Appreciate the learning experiences. People and opportunities come into your life to teach you something. Each experience prepares us to be smarter and more in tune with what we want out of life. We learn from the good and the bad.
    Freckled Person in Purple Speaking.png
    • "I learned that it's not always a good idea to give a loan to friends, because it can hurt the relationship."
    • "I learned that not everyone is as careful with things as I am, so I should probably not lend treasured items to people who tend to break things."
    • "I've learned to interview potential roommates, so I can make sure that our lifestyles are a decent match."
    • "I learned to assume ignorance before malice. Sometimes people don't realize they're hurting my feelings."
    • "I learned that I can count on my dad to have my back during a crisis."
    • "I learned that I'm stronger than I thought I was."

[Edit]Seeking Help

  1. Find a therapist if you're struggling to cope. If you are having difficulty forgiving someone and it is impacting your life in a negative way, perhaps it is time to seek professional help from a counselor or therapist. Therapies intended to promote forgiveness have been successful in helping people overcome past hurts and achieve peace and resolution.[14]
    Therapist in Green.png
    • Obtain a referral or suggestion from your physician, health insurance company, or a trusted family member or friend. However, if that is not feasible, contact your local department of mental health about counseling options.
    • If you feel you and your therapist are not a good fit, look for a different therapist. Every therapist is different and finding one with whom you feel comfortable is essential.
    • Try a therapist who practices cognitive behavioral therapy.[15] Your therapist will help examine and dispel the negative thought patterns that you have developed.
    • Consider spiritual counseling. Many people find comfort in seeking help from spiritual leaders who can guide them toward forgiveness. The power of prayer has been successful toward healing and alleviating feelings of guilt and shame, which are motivators for people seeking forgiveness for various reason.[16]
  2. Set therapeutic goals for yourself. Commit to changing your behavior. In both psychotherapy and physical therapy, you will benefit from setting goals.[17] Engage in the process by allowing yourself to be open and vulnerable. Don't abandon the process just because it gets difficult. Your hard work will pay off and leave you with a healthy sense of accomplishment.
    Guy in Glasses Speaks Positively.png
    • Identify your objectives. For example, would you like to feel more at peace toward a family member who betrayed you? Tell the therapist that this is one of your goals.
    • Reward yourself when you reach your goal. Your motivation will increase if you reward your accomplishments.[18]
    • Adjust your objectives rather than give up.
    • Continue to make new goals as it will keep you engaged in life.
  3. Enhance your support system. Surround yourself with people who care about you. This includes family, friends, and co-workers. Branch out and meet new people to expand your circle of support. You have learned so much through the therapeutic process that you feel resourceful and confident. A good support system will help you reduce stress and may even boost your immune system.[19]
    Two People Stroll in Quiet Forest.png
    • Exploring your interests may lead to joining groups that allow you to meet new people, and experience new situations.
  4. Forgive and accept yourself. Personal struggles can leave you feeling bad about yourself. You may feel guilty for not taking care of yourself in a situation or you unfairly blame yourself for what happened. You can learn to manage feelings of guilt and shame rather than try to eliminate them.
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    • If you have chosen to participate in cognitive behavior therapy, it will help you examine your thoughts and develop new more effective ways of thinking about yourself.[20]


  • Sometimes it helps to think of how others have forgiven under incredible circumstances. Ask friends for support and examples to motivate you toward forgiveness.
  • Studies have shown that forgiveness depends upon whether a person believes they must have an interaction with the offender. [21] You can decide if that is necessary for you to achieve forgiveness.
  • It is never too late, if you are willing, to seek professional help for your issues. Change is not easy, but it is possible if you are willing to put in the effort and find ways of coping with your challenges.[22]
  • Licensed therapists are trained to help others learn to manage the struggles that are impacting their lives.
  • Being honest and sincere when apologizing increases the chances that a person will be forgiven.
  • If you served in military combat and witnessed acts that were not in line with your morals, you will benefit from gaining the skill of self-forgiveness through therapeutic interventions.[23]
  • Put your best mental energies (perhaps first thing in the morning) into visualizing the new life you want. See yourself in the future as free of this pain and suffering.
  • Remember you're not perfect either, and empathise with why the person might have done what he did


  • Certain mental illnesses hinder a person's capacity to forgive. A psychopath may never experience shame or guilt for an offense, which are two factors that motivate forgiveness.
  • Unconditional forgiveness is not predicated on any act or request from the offender. The act of forgiveness is intended to free you from the rage, depression, and despair that nursing a grievance causes.
  • Forgiveness is hard, but living with a grudge is even harder. Keeping grudges bottled up can be very dangerous, and can hurt people in ways you might not have imagined.

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