When you’ve reached a place of forgiveness (or even reluctant acceptance), there are still steps to be taken moving forward. And according to Zar, setting firm boundaries is the main one.
Ask yourself what boundaries you need in place, and what you need to help yourself move on, she says. If a friend has betrayed your trust, for example, the boundary is that you need more transparency from them. And while you can’t necessarily count on the person in question to honor your boundary, you can count on yourself to hold it.
“In the meantime,” she adds, “you might need some some time apart, maybe saying, ‘I’m not going to be coming to social gatherings for a few weeks because I’m working through this myself,’ for example. Or it could also mean fundamentally changing the nature of the relationship.”
Zar tells mbg that depending on the situation, your course of action is going to look different. You may feel it’s best to cut the person off entirely, see them less, or only see them in group settings. It’s up to you to decide what’s best for you given the situation.
“And you can forgive someone and do that at the same time. Forgiveness doesn’t mean acting like nothing ever happened, but it really is about what can you do to get to a place of emotional and physical safety—and then once you’re there, it becomes a lot easier to either accept a change in the relationship dynamic, or accept that the person in the relationship is bigger or more important to you than what happened,” she says.