Perhaps the most wonderful gift that therapy gives is tolerance. No, “tolerance” isn’t the right word. What I mean is “love”, no matter how cheesy that sounds.
Hearing people’s stories — what they’ve been through that has led to their decisions; the fear, shame and self-loathing we all battle with from time to time — means that we can more easily see past the errors and the the questionable acts. It’s not that we start to feel OK about people doing “bad things”. It’s that we can know that they haven’t done those things beecause they’re fundamentally evil, but because they’re struggling.
The reason this is so powerful is that it means we can let go of the resentful drive to “get people back” when they mistreat us in some way. Getting even is a flawed strategy for feeling better about ourselves. It’s far more effective to choose acceptance.
Acceptance of the Other = Acceptance of the Self.
I believe it really is that simple. That’s not to say that it’s easy, but it is possible.