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Relations Among Apology, Forgiveness, and Communicative Responses to Hurtful Messages
Unformatted Document Text:  Forgiveness and Communication 28 distancing oneself from an errant partner. In some ways, negative avoidance may operate like loyalty—as a relatively mild response to hurtful events. Conclusion This study expands upon current theorizing on interpersonal forgiveness by suggesting that de-escalation, integrative communication, and revenge are three specific types of communicative responses that likely vary based on the degree to which a hurt individual forgives an errant partner. This study also suggests modifications in the interpersonal forgiveness model in that some of the associations between communicative responses and apology were mediated by forgiveness while others were not. Exploring the causal paths associated with the variables investigated in this study would add further specificity to the interpersonal forgiveness model. In addition, it would be informative to investigate the communication of the errant partner as well as the hurt person. Indeed, Fincham and Beach (2002) found that people perceived their partners as generally using less psychological aggression and more constructive communication if they had forgiven them for an offense. To the extent that relational repair tactics such as increasing romance are perceived as rewarding, they could help counterbalance the costs of the hurtful event. Indeed, Aune et al. (1998) found that relational repair strategies were correlated with positive outcomes such as trust, intimacy, and relational satisfaction following discovered deception. In addition, integrative communication may provide the right context for the errant partner to apologize and discuss relational issues, while the passive nature of loyalty may exacerbate problems rather than rectifying the situation. Learning more about the role of communication in the forgiveness process may not stop people from hurting the ones they love, but such scholarship may promote understanding regarding how hearts are healed after the hurt has been inflicted.

Authors: Bachman, Guy. and Guerrero, Laura.
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Forgiveness and Communication 28
distancing oneself from an errant partner. In some ways, negative avoidance may operate like
loyalty—as a relatively mild response to hurtful events.
Conclusion
This study expands upon current theorizing on interpersonal forgiveness by suggesting
that de-escalation, integrative communication, and revenge are three specific types of
communicative responses that likely vary based on the degree to which a hurt individual forgives
an errant partner. This study also suggests modifications in the interpersonal forgiveness model
in that some of the associations between communicative responses and apology were mediated
by forgiveness while others were not. Exploring the causal paths associated with the variables
investigated in this study would add further specificity to the interpersonal forgiveness model. In
addition, it would be informative to investigate the communication of the errant partner as well
as the hurt person. Indeed, Fincham and Beach (2002) found that people perceived their partners
as generally using less psychological aggression and more constructive communication if they
had forgiven them for an offense. To the extent that relational repair tactics such as increasing
romance are perceived as rewarding, they could help counterbalance the costs of the hurtful
event. Indeed, Aune et al. (1998) found that relational repair strategies were correlated with
positive outcomes such as trust, intimacy, and relational satisfaction following discovered
deception. In addition, integrative communication may provide the right context for the errant
partner to apologize and discuss relational issues, while the passive nature of loyalty may
exacerbate problems rather than rectifying the situation. Learning more about the role of
communication in the forgiveness process may not stop people from hurting the ones they love,
but such scholarship may promote understanding regarding how hearts are healed after the hurt
has been inflicted.


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