Yes, you forgave them, but should you forget?
I am a huge proponent of forgiveness.
I have seen the way that grudges have eaten away at people’s hearts and spirits. People have gone years and decades not speaking to friends or family members because of issues that transpired. Each time the individual’s name is brought up, that person makes snide remarks about them or bring up that one time they did x, y, and z.
In addition to that, this person is losing years off their life waiting for the offender to come and apologize for their misdeeds. On the other hand, if the offender apologizes, the person is still angry and still can’t let it go. Perhaps won’t let it go. You can’t live that way.
Next, you have people who will forgive but are conflicted about whether they should continue interacting with this person. Essentially, they think that they should “forget” the harm this person inflicted and go back to the same relationship they had prior to their issue. But should they do that? Should people having to be friendly and “buddy-buddy” with these people solely based on the fact that they forgave this individual?
I have a few views on this. (Are you shocked?) I always believe every scenario is different. Forgiveness should never be an option, but friendship is a choice. Here are a few things you should keep in mind when thinking about if you should forget this person.
1.What was the severity of the issue?:
I do believe in second chances for people, but only if they changed and forgiving them is not harmful to me. For example, if you have someone who calls themselves a friend, spreading lies and rumors about you behind your back.
Once you confront them, they apologize, and you forgive them. However, some of these rumors they told had traces of truth in them based on the sensitive things you’ve told your friend. That friend has shown their true colors and although they may have had a lapse in judgment, based on that, you can’t allow them to have that type of access to you anymore.
You may later even be able to have a general outing with them, but you will still be cautious about what you say. Just because you have grown, doesn’t mean that others have. You can’t afford to have some people in your life and that’s okay because some people aren’t always meant to be in your life. However, there are other times when we do make mountains out of molehills and ruin relationships because of our own internal issues.
What was their intent?
Sometimes we screw up. We are humans. We are flawed beings who unfortunately get tied up in crazy situations that may unintentionally hurt others in the process. Or, maybe we didn’t think that person would have such an issue with what we did and we poorly miscalculated our moves. On the other hand, there are times when people really want to see you fall because of their own miserable issues. Get to the root of the issue and you can determine which one of those categories this person falls in.
What was the impact of this issue?
What happened when this mistake was made? Did you lose your house? Were your children taken away? Did you have to buy a new phone? The impact of an issue can definitely be a great way to determine how you want to move forward with this person. Sometimes the issue is so minor that all you need to do is have a small conversation
Sometimes the issue is so minor that all you need to do is have a small conversation about how you felt then and how you feel now. Other times the impact was so great you can’t afford to continue a relationship with that person. An example, I like to use is the Rihanna and Chris Brown situation. When that incident happened years ago, it’s obvious that many factors were in play including the immaturity of the parties involved. However, even though Chris may have apologized and has grown up, the impact of what happened was so huge in their lives, that they couldn’t go back to being the same if they wanted to because so much had changed. There may still be love there, but it would be nearly impossible for it to be what it was.
Is this person toxic to you?
Sometimes people just aren’t good people for you. Perhaps their intentions are always selfish, or they do not have the emotional and mental growth that you have experienced, so they’ll continue to make costly mistakes. Some people you have to let go because they will continue to rely on you to rectify their wrongs. They will never grow and you will constantly feel resentment because of what they are doing to you. Basically, you are stressing yourself unnecessarily.
I’m not saying you have to be cruel or ignore these people. You can be amicable with them and still say “hi and bye” when you see them. However, sometimes people aren’t meant to be in your life permanently and these are the times when you have to decide who should stay and who should go.
Do you forgive and forget? Or forgive and let go?