When does forgiveness make you a fool?

Anthro IncarnateAnthro Incarnate Registered Users Posts: 555 Curl Connoisseur
When does forgiving somebody and trying to rebuild a friendship make you noble, big-hearted, whatever -- and when does it make you foolish for rewarding bad behavior? The anger hasn't completely subsided, but I am ready to move on. I'm just not sure whether being the better person means forgiving or forgetting his existence.
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Comments

  • geekygeeky Registered Users Posts: 4,995
    When does forgiving somebody and trying to rebuild a friendship make you noble, big-hearted, whatever -- and when does it make you foolish for rewarding bad behavior? The anger hasn't completely subsided, but I am ready to move on. I'm just not sure whether being the better person means forgiving or forgetting his existence.

    Forgiving doesn't necessarily mean trying to rebuild a friendship. Some relationships should not be rebuilt. If you reasonably expect that this person will hurt you again, you can forgive and let go, but not put yourself in a position to be hurt again. If that means forgetting about his exsistence, so be it.

    You used the terms noble and big-hearted. Something about the way you used them make me think that it is more about looking noble and big-hearted on the outside or being able to say to yourself "I was noble and big hearted" than it is about really feeling it. If you don't really feel any internal reasons to rebuild the realtionship then don't bother.
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  • rainshowerrainshower Registered Users Posts: 4,420
    geeky wrote: »
    When does forgiving somebody and trying to rebuild a friendship make you noble, big-hearted, whatever -- and when does it make you foolish for rewarding bad behavior? The anger hasn't completely subsided, but I am ready to move on. I'm just not sure whether being the better person means forgiving or forgetting his existence.

    Forgiving doesn't necessarily mean trying to rebuild a friendship. Some relationships should not be rebuilt. If you reasonably expect that this person will hurt you again, you can forgive and let go, but not put yourself in a position to be hurt again. If that means forgetting about his exsistence, so be it.

    You used the terms noble and big-hearted. Something about the way you used them make me think that it is more about looking noble and big-hearted on the outside or being able to say to yourself "I was noble and big hearted" than it is about really feeling it. If you don't really feel any internal reasons to rebuild the realtionship then don't bother.

    geeky, A++, gold star, very well-said!
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  • subbrocksubbrock Registered Users Posts: 8,212
    i think geeky gave a great answer.

    i think forgiveness makes you a fool when you know the other person really isnt sorry and you know they will do the same thing again.
  • ninja dogninja dog Registered Users Posts: 23,780 Curl Neophyte
    When does forgiving somebody and trying to rebuild a friendship make you noble, big-hearted, whatever -- and when does it make you foolish for rewarding bad behavior? The anger hasn't completely subsided, but I am ready to move on. I'm just not sure whether being the better person means forgiving or forgetting his existence.

    I didn't read that into this. The use of "whatever" seems to imply A.I.'s skepticism of the term, imo.
  • legendslegends Registered Users Posts: 3,073
    When you forgive the same person more than once for the same action, you are most definitely a fool. Other than that, it all depends on the "crime" and person in question, and what you want to do. Forget about being noble--if you don't want to forgive someone who wronged you, that's perfectly fine.
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  • BoomygrrlBoomygrrl Registered Users Posts: 4,940 Curl Neophyte
    I think it depends on the act...as far as forgiving someone more than once.
    Let your feelings be a good barometer. If you are angry and you feel "obligated" to forgive, then you're being a fool. If you feel good about forgiving looking forward to a fresh start, then it's a good thing. Of course, on both occasions you're going to be angry about whatever it is that they did...but I mean the very act of forgiving them. If you find yourself struggling with it, ask yourself "is this person really sorry? is it worth taking a chance? what will you do if he/she does it again?" If you feel positive about these questions, then it's a good thing. If you feel negative and angrier, then it's a bad thing.

    I'm assuming you mean "forgive" as in forgive and forget and move on in the relationship. You can forgive someone in the sense that you wish no ill feelings towards them, but you still don't trust them, and you move on without them.
    A relationship should benefit both people and ultimately help them grow as persons...if it doesn't do so, then it's not healthy and you probably need to move on. That's my two cents.
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  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,060 Administrator
    I think we only become fools when we allow the same person to hurt us again and again and do nothing to prevent it if we can. To err is human, to forgive is Divine - Alexander Pope. I believe in that and love the saying. I do forgive and then place distance between us if the behavior does not stop.
  • AmandacurlsAmandacurls Registered Users Posts: 6,252 Curl Neophyte
    An old college friend recently posted this as her facebook status and I thought of it when I saw this thread:
    "sincere forgiveness isn't colored with the expectation that the other person apologize or change. don't worry whether or not they finally understand you. love them and release them. life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time."

    Forgiveness doesn't imply rebuilding a relationship. Forgiveness releases you, not them.
  • yagottaloveyacurlsyagottaloveyacurls Registered Users Posts: 5,766 Curl Connoisseur
    An old college friend recently posted this as her facebook status and I thought of it when I saw this thread:
    "sincere forgiveness isn't colored with the expectation that the other person apologize or change. don't worry whether or not they finally understand you. love them and release them. life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time."

    Forgiveness doesn't imply rebuilding a relationship. Forgiveness releases you, not them.

    That is exactly the way I see it.
    Your entire post is just excellent, Amanda.
  • yagottaloveyacurlsyagottaloveyacurls Registered Users Posts: 5,766 Curl Connoisseur
    What Geeky said, too. :thumbup:
  • SpringcurlSpringcurl Registered Users Posts: 8,002
    I loaned my aunt $5,000 fifteen years ago. She's never paid me back. If she would apologize to me, I would forgive her. If she asked me for more money and I gave it to her, that would make me a fool.
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  • violetsviolets Registered Users Posts: 1,689 Curl Neophyte
    When they continue to make you feel bad for the same thing over and over and over.
  • curlygirlymecurlygirlyme Registered Users Posts: 1,340
    When I read this I thought of a conversation my MIL and I had. She was told by her priest that forgiveness should be given no matter what because life is far too short to hold a grudge. It's the forget that's the stupid part. You shouldn't forget because you are bound to wind up right in the same spot being mistreated by the same person. This has made a big difference for me and my relationship with my parents. I hope it makes sense.
  • Anthro IncarnateAnthro Incarnate Registered Users Posts: 555 Curl Connoisseur
    Typical story. Boy and girl are best friends and more. Boy cheats. Boy begs for forgiveness. Girl is angry and hurt, not because of the actual act, but because of the slap in the face that boy doesn't respect the friendship as much as he claims. First time offense (as far as I know), but the possibility of repeat is a non-issue. One thing I know without ambivalence is that I am no longer interested in a relationship. But not wanting to date him is not the same thing as being okay with him dating other people.

    Thus far have mostly been avoiding him, which means joint custody of mutual friends, which is not fair to them and pretty awkward all around. Wondering if making a sincere effort to rebuild friendship sans relationship is a good idea. Every time I think I'm ready, I remember that he thought a night with some skank was better than the support and companionship I provided, and I'm like ewwww, how am I supposed to be friends with someone like that? Cue more avoidance and awkwardness and friends taking turns with which of us isn't going to get invited to this dinner or that party or that weekend trip.

    I don't know where my best friend went and how that body snatcher ended up in his place. :(
    póg mo thóin
  • rainshowerrainshower Registered Users Posts: 4,420
    Typical story. Boy and girl are best friends and more. Boy cheats. ... But not wanting to date him is not the same thing as being okay with him dating other people.

    forgiving him doesn't mean you have to be ok with him dating other people. forgiving him doesn't mean that you no longer feel a sting at the thought that he cheated on you.

    forgiving him means that you recognize his human shortcomings. forgiving others requires you to realize your own shortcomings and times when others have forgiven you.

    forgiving doesn't mean that you don't feel hurt. it doesn't mean that you forget (which is virtually impossible). it means that you won't allow resentment, anger, and grudges to weigh down your heart and rule your life.
    "Dogs stink too, but I like dog stink." ~ rileyb

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