I have a hard time forgiving people. My biggest issue with forgiving people is that once I am at the point where I feel I can no longer forgive you, I feel that I’ve already made so many concessions, that the faux paux that has you on the chopping block is a good enough reason for me to never speak to you again. And then I do it. It takes me a while but have I just never spoken to someone again in life? Actively ignored them while they were standing in front of me? You better believe it. I actually take pride in my ability to act like someone has never existed. Block, delete, unfollow. Whatever poison the occasion calls for. But recently I’ve been thinking. Before I got so mad I never wanted to speak to someone again, had I actually forgiven the minor infractions or was I just keeping count of them? Counting emotional bullets to load my gun of retribution.
I still think you should block folks. Sorry, not giving it up. Nothing keeps you from checking in on a toxic ex-whoever and vice versa, better than the block button. Protect your peace. However, maybe we can evaluate who deserves a block better. I’m sure there are some things that are just unforgivable and it really is better to just exit, but…did that thing happen? Maybe not. Maybe the blow up that made you completely drop your dear friend was a lapse in judgment on their part but you’ll never know unless you give them a chance to get it together and make amends.
Logically the other side of having a hard time forgiving properly would be having a hard time saying sorry properly. Being unavailable and unapproachable is not going to help your friend grow into someone who is able to communicate that they made a mistake. In fact having been surrounded by this kind of behavior their entire lives is probably the reason they can not admit to their wrong doing. They have experienced that admitting to wrongdoing leads to harsh judgements and consequences so now they have picked up the habit of ignoring, modifying or simply lying in order to avoid further anger. This might be especially prevalent with someone who may have experienced extreme corporal punishment at an early age. In their youth they got the message that the more you say, the worse it gets. If you really think about it…it’s sad.
Now do I have to set myself on fire to keep someone else warm? Absolutely not. To be clear someone’s being abused (in any form ) does not give them the right to abuse you. They have to do the work but if no one ever just gives them the small chance to do the work, perhaps they never will and they will continue their cycles until, they are alone. If this pandemic has taught us anything it should be empathy towards the lonely. So, I’ve decided the next time I feel I really should just stop dealing with someone all together instead of setting my phaser to death, I’ll try stun. If I need to close the door on them to set some boundaries okay, but maybe I’ll leave it cracked so that a small sliver of light can guide them back into my good graces.