Updated November 9, 2020 for clarity.
With some people, it’s best not to tell them you forgave them as I mentioned originally some people will think that means it’s okay to treat you badly or worse, they may increase the intensity of whatever they were doing as they see forgiveness as a sign of weakness. In some cases, it’s best to end the relationship if possible. There are times where minimizing exposure may be an option. Forgiveness doesn’t mean what the other person did was okay. A point people often overlook. I have ended friendships because the “friend” thought it was okay to treat people badly. That’s not my definition of a friend. It’s important to realize that forgiveness is about the person doing the forgiveness. Likewise, doing forgiveness to appear to be the better person may not be true forgiveness. I don’t know a person’s heart so I can’t comment on a specific situation, but if the person doing the forgiveness is doing from their heart as opposed to from some other reason, that makes a huge difference.
Original post before the clarification:
Forgiveness isn’t always easy. It can be some times, but at other times, it can be very hard. I know people who adopted the never forgive policy. Others readily forgive. I understand that some things are easier to forgive than other things. This varies from person to person. My question is holding onto a situation where you should forgive and not letting go, does that help or hurt you? I am talking in the long run. I have also seen people who forgive people who killed family members. That’s rare as many people won’t forgive someone who kills a family member. What I noticed is those who do forgive have an immense burden lifted off of them. Those who don’t forgive often are weighed down with issues for years or decades.
Sometimes how you say something may come across differently than you meant it. This can lead to misunderstandings where a person thinks you owe them an apology because they misunderstood you or misunderstood what you meant. I try to avoid these situations where possible. However, you can’t always avoid them. There are some literalists out there that take everything you say as being literal. I try to avoid talking to people like that when possible. It’s not always possible, but when I have to talk to them, I do my best to choose and pick my words carefully. Thankfully, most people aren’t literalists. It’s also why I curb my sense of humor around people who don’t know me. It’s a clean sense of humor, but as someone who has a significant hearing loss, I often hear what was said as opposed to what was meant. With most of my friends I am used to when they say one thing and mean something different. I am used to how they speak and can interpret what they meant.
On the other hand, I have some friends who think jerking people’s chains is fun to do. I try to avoid those people as that can backfire in a major way. I have a friend who loves to jerk people around. He does it with his wife all the time. She has made it clear she has a plan to kill him and I believe if he jerks her around one time too many, she would carry it out. His attitude is she’s joking. I worked with clients like her at several mental health agencies and they were the ones I watched myself around. I hope that when he pushes her buttons one time too many happens when I am not there. I don’t recommend pushing people’s buttons when you know what those buttons are.
Other Forgiveness Sundays posts: https://upsdownsfamilyhistory.wordpress.com
It takes two for forgiveness to work.
Not necessarily as forgiveness comes from within oneself. With some people, it’s best to end the relationship as no amount of forgiveness you give them will change what they do or how they behave. Bullies are a good example. By telling them you forgive them, some will increase the level of bullying. I forgive them, but don’t maintain the relationship.
There are times when you tell someone you forgive them as that’s a way to rebuild or repair a relationship. In those cases, yes it takes two for forgiveness to work. I see these as individual cases where one has to figure out if a relationship is worth saving or not.
There are plenty of toxic people out there who are best avoided. At times, it’s not obvious they are toxic until you get to know them. You can’t avoid them all, but you can limit interactions to varying degrees.
I find people are often put in our life to help us learn ways to address situations or as life lessons. The question is do we learn the lesson (s) we need to learn from others? Many times yes, but I know sometimes I don’t. In which case, I find someone else showing up giving me a chance to learn the right lesson.
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Always grateful for you writing on this topic
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