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Why Forgiveness is Hard

Nature endowed humanity with both revenge and forgiveness as tools of conflict resolution. But why does one seem so much harder than the other?


Plus: What's the best way to learn loving-kindness?

 
 
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    Gratitude is Good for Athletes Education, Mind & Body, Gratitude | March 26, 2015

    In this presentation at the Greater Good Gratitude Summit, Teri McKeever explains why gratitude is good for athletes, and how she has tried to foster it as a swim coach.

  • Can a Pill Make You More Compassionate? Mind & Body, Big Ideas | March 25, 2015

    A new study suggests that altering the chemical balance in our brains can make us more committed to fairness.

  • Why Evolution Made Forgiveness Difficult Mind & Body, Big Ideas, Forgiveness | March 24, 2015

    Nature endowed humanity with both revenge and forgiveness as tools of conflict resolution. But why does one seem so much harder than the other?

  • You Need More Than a Book to Learn Loving-Kindness Mind & Body, Compassion, Mindfulness | March 23, 2015

    A new study suggests that experience trumps intellectual knowledge when it comes to fostering compassion.

  • Happiness Greatest Hits Mind & Body, Big Ideas, Happiness | March 20, 2015

    Today is the UN's International Day of Happiness! To celebrate, here's a list of some of our most illuminating and helpful happiness research, tools, and tips.

  • Frans de Waal: Like humans, along with aggression, chimps’ behavior includes reconciliation, empathy and consolation.
    Monkeys for Equal Pay Big Ideas, Empathy | March 18, 2015

    And every cat for itself! A report on Frans de Waal's recent Greater Good Science Center talk.

  • <a href=“http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0544227220/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0544227220&linkCode=as2&tag=gregooscicen-20&linkId=NACJ42C7NGGGMOT4”>Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015, 296 pages.</a>
    How Meditation Can Change Business Work & Career, Mind & Body, Mindfulness | March 17, 2015

    A new book argues that mindfulness promises to transform workplaces from the inside out.

  • Can you spot true happiness in a person’s smile? <a href=“http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/ei_quiz/”>Take our emotional intelligence quiz!</a>
    Are Conservatives Really Happier than Liberals? Big Ideas, Happiness | March 16, 2015

    Research has found that right-wingers report being happier than those on the left. But a new study calls that into question by measuring words and behavior.

  • <a href=“http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1422186415/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1422186415&linkCode=as2&tag=gregooscicen-20&linkId=2OC6CI6LDNXBGRCC”>Harvard Business Review, 2015, 247 pages</a>
    Stopping the Distraction Epidemic Work & Career, Mindfulness | March 13, 2015

    A new book explains why we get so distracted at work—and how we can become more focused and productive.

  • This essay is adapted from the introduction to <a href=“https://store.yesmagazine.org/products/books/197/sustainable-happiness/”><em>Sustainable Happiness: Live Simply, Live Well, Make a Difference</em></a> (Berrett Koehler, 2015).
    Where Can We Find Sustainable Happiness? Mind & Body, Big Ideas, Happiness | March 12, 2015

    Our society has become addicted to short-term happiness. But there's a better way, argues Sarah van Gelder.

  • This Is Your Brain on Heartbreak Family & Couples, Mind & Body | February 15, 2013

    Why does getting dumped hurt physically? Meghan Laslocky explains where that feeling comes from, and what it's good for.

  • Six Habits of Highly Empathic People Mind & Body, Big Ideas, Empathy | November 27, 2012

    We can cultivate empathy throughout our lives, says Roman Krznaric—and use it as a radical force for social transformation.

  • When Are You Sacrificing Too Much in Your Relationship? Family & Couples, Gratitude | August 15, 2012

    Close relationships require sacrifice. Here are seven questions to ask yourself before you give up too much.

  • How to Stop Attachment Insecurity from Ruining Your Love Life Family & Couples | February 13, 2014

    Do you have commitment, trust, and attachment issues? Science helped Meghan Laslocky—and it just might help you, too.

  • How to Raise Kids Who Aren’t Spoiled Family & Couples, Gratitude, Altruism | February 4, 2015

    How can parents help kids have a healthy relationship to money? It starts with overcoming shyness and discomfort about financial issues.

  • How to Deal with Mean People Family & Couples, Compassion | April 15, 2013

    Hint: Don’t just turn the other cheek.

  • How to Focus a Wandering Mind Mind & Body, Big Ideas, Mindfulness | July 17, 2013

    New research reveals what happens in a wandering mind—and sheds light on the cognitive and emotional benefits of increased focus.

  • My Trouble With Mindfulness Mind & Body, Big Ideas, Mindfulness | February 9, 2015

    Jill Suttie knows the benefits of mindfulness, but she still doesn't practice it. What holds her back?

  • 21 Ways to “Give Good No” Work & Career, Mind & Body, Happiness | November 13, 2014

    Saying “no” can be really hard. But Christine Carter has a three-step plan to get there.

  • Surviving Betrayal Family & Couples | September 1, 2008

    Romantic betrayal is traumatizing, says psychologist Joshua Coleman. But couples can learn to trust again.

  • Six Habits of Highly Empathic People Mind & Body, Big Ideas, Empathy | November 27, 2012

    We can cultivate empathy throughout our lives, says Roman Krznaric—and use it as a radical force for social transformation.

  • Juan Estey
    Why Self-Compassion Trumps Self-Esteem Mind & Body, Big Ideas, Compassion, Mindfulness | May 27, 2011

    Researcher Kristin Neff reveals the benefits of going easy on yourself: less anxiety, less conflict, and more peace of mind.

  • Surviving Betrayal Family & Couples | September 1, 2008

    Romantic betrayal is traumatizing, says psychologist Joshua Coleman. But couples can learn to trust again.

  • Arturo Bejar, a Facebook engineer who has been leading its “social reporting” project, speaking at Facebook’s second Compassion Research Day on July 11.
    Can Science Make Facebook More Compassionate? Big Ideas, Compassion, Empathy | July 25, 2012

    Facebook is confronting cyberbullying and online conflict. Can a team of researchers help boost kindness among the site's 900 million users?

  • Hands On Research: The Science of Touch Education, Family & Couples, Mind & Body, Big Ideas, Compassion | September 29, 2010

    Dacher Keltner explains how compassion is literally at our fingertips.

  • Six Habits of Highly Grateful People Big Ideas, Gratitude | November 20, 2013

    Are you bad at gratitude, just like Jeremy Adam Smith? He has some lessons for you from people who know how to say "Thanks!"

  • How to Focus a Wandering Mind Mind & Body, Big Ideas, Mindfulness | July 17, 2013

    New research reveals what happens in a wandering mind—and sheds light on the cognitive and emotional benefits of increased focus.

  • Tips for Keeping a Gratitude Journal Gratitude, Happiness | November 17, 2011

    Here's a way to be thankful all year long.

  • John Gottman on Trust and Betrayal Family & Couples | October 29, 2011

    The nation's top marriage expert explains why trust is essential to couples and communities--and how we can build it.

  • The Compassionate Instinct Big Ideas, Altruism, Compassion | March 1, 2004

    Think humans are born selfish? Think again. Dacher Keltner reveals the compassionate side to human nature.

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