Tuesday, September 9, 2008

HOW EASY IS IT TO FORGIVE AND FORGET?

As you may know I'm a pretty sensitive person. I wear my heart on my sleeve and in the past I've been burned. Some people can just shrug it off but, for some reason I take things to heart more. Somewhat recently I was burned. If you read my blogs I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.

Well recently, I got an apology from a person who has hurt me in the past. He told me that basically he was a jerk to me. He also still wants to be friends. I accepted the apology. I have never hated him, although, I was pissed and extremely hurt. I told him that I did still want to be friends but I was afraid of him hurting me again.

Now, given this latest development I have talked to him and we've even hung out a bit. Here's the thing though, do I give them a clean bill and be absolutely forgiving? Forgetting all past issues, or do I tread with caution? Or should I be like my typical self, be skeptical and cynical that they'll be better this time?

I personally want to be absolutely forgiving and forget the past. I truly think they're not a bad person. I do hope that they were 100% honest when they said they have not been themselves lately and were sorry.

If I could tell this person something without sounding like an idiot and be all sappy, I would first say, you know you've hurt me so please don't do it again. You know I'm sensitive, so please don't take advantage of that. And you know that I'm a caring person, so please don't advantage of that either. I'll make a new saying WWET...WHAT WOULD ERIN THINK?

So what happens now? Right now, I've decided to let go of the anger and hurt. I will give them another chance to be in my life. I will proceed with caution and I will forgive.

8 comments:

Khatz Gnaquer said...

Erin,
I certainly would NOT say, “I’m very vulnerable, please don’t hurt me again.” I’d let him know he is on a short leash. A friend of mine has a saying, “it takes a hundred attaboys to make up for one ‘oh crap’”. If you screw him over, you better prove time and time again that he can trust you. I don’t call that cynicism or negativity. I think he just makes sure he doesn’t trust the wrong people. There are plenty of good people around who won’t hurt you. Make those who do hurt you, earn back your trust.

And please tell me that you’re not the type to want the abuser to be the one who picks you up after they chop you down. That’s a dangerous cycle. Every guy knows the old mantra, “treat ‘em like crap and they’ll love you forever.” I’m sorry, but there is so much truth to that saying. Rather than write the guy off as a jerk, girls will try to understand what they did wrong. They can’t stand the fact that they were rejected, so they try to get the guy to like them again.

You’re a big girl and maybe you are right, but like the president says, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice and don’t get fooled again.”

Anonymous said...

Did you date him? If you do try to forgive and forget and maybe even date again, next time he does something that maybe just remotely hurts your feelings, you'll probably start asking yourself "is this going to be just like last time?" I think that'll always be in the back of your mind, the question is will that bother you or not?

Don't waste time with jerks, next time you go out to a bar or w/e, try approaching a shy guy, they're usually the nice ones worth spending your time with.

Anonymous said...

Erin,
I have been reading your blog for quite sometime and I think this guy deserves ONE more (only one more) chance, however, you should stay strong and follow your gut feeling. I gave my guy one more chance and we have been married for many years with two children and I am glad I did because he is a great husband and father. I think he needed to mature.

CJ

Rebecca said...

It's been a long time since I've commented .... or heck, even blogged myself. But, since we talked about this the other night, I thought I may elaborate.

You don't have to forget....but you really should "forgive". Forgiveness is a method for which we tell ourselves to let things go...let go of the anger, let go of the hurt, let go of the constant "looking behind our shoulders".

Mr X may be sorry for the way he treated you, or the things he said, and like my "Tim, he may even respect you more than some of the other girls he's been with.... However, you need to let go of the expectations that just because you're "hanging out again", that he'll call you like he did when you were dating, or that he'll prioritize you in general, like he did when you two were dating. You need one, big, general (take a deep breath) "Let Go" of X.

The more you hold your head high, and live your life, the easier it will get, I promise you. Not only that, but he'll start to see you as a challenge again. Although, I'm NOT saying that he'll want to get back with you.... I mean, do any of them? 9 times out of 10, that answer is NO. But, if he has a change of heart down the road, the only way he'll ask you back is if you're that confident woman again.

So, forgive him, and let go of the expectations... call me if you need to, hit the gym with Marissa if it will help, go shopping, join a class.... anything that will allow you to fully keep your mind on other things would be helpful. Then, when you see him again, each time it will get easier to have the "eh" attitude about it. Soon, it will be like you're hanging with "one of your friends". And then, IF he comes around in the future....you have a more grounded perspective as to how to evaluate the situation (as opposed to jumping in with all of your emotions bottled up).
.... just my 2 cents.

Erin Austin said...

Mr. Gnaquer

I see what you're saying for sure. I would not consider myself to have the mentality of the girl that gets abused. There's no doubt that he did some crappy things.

When this person is firing on all cylinders I do think they're a good person.

I enjoy his company...he does make me laugh. Even though his friends get a little crazy...they're a fun group of people.

Hey...and it's only friends...no one is getting married.

Khatz Gnaquer said...

Everyone is a good person when things are going their way. You learn more about someones true character when they are struggling.

And you'd need to worry less about forgiving and forgetting if you'd just increase your levels of apathy. Apathy is greatly underrated as a defense mechanism.

Erin Austin said...

I do need to develop more of th attitude called "IDGAF" standing for "I DON'T GIVE A F#&%".

I too often let things bother me and effect me. I need to be like a duck and let things roll off.

At the moment I'm doing better with this but I can see if something were to happen I would get bothered.

Shawn said...

I am in agreement in Khatz, here. "Every guy knows the old mantra, “treat ‘em like crap and they’ll love you forever.”" Yes, I've seen that show I don't know how many times, even seen a hundred or so remakes.

Beyond a certain age, I think you're mature about things, or merely pretending to be. Some people never change, and often have a reputation to back it up.

I'm not a truly cynical person. This morning my boss asked if I'd wager on whether another manager... let's call him George, would come in on his last scheduled day. Now, I don't need to say how long the odds are against "George" but having worked with him a while, I decided to play against the odds and wagered a chicken dinner. My boss said "Wow." "What?" I said, "Not enough? Alright, a steak dinner, if you prefer, it's all the same to me, but I believe he'll be a man today." After getting out of today's manager meeting, we went downstairs. I looked around and smiled. My boss turned to look behind him, then back around. He smiled and quietly said "I owe you chicken."

Having said that, I would not take this bet. Sure I don't know this "friend" of yours, but I would play the odds here.

A person either has character, or not. It isn't the sort of thing that blooms when in season, makes a guest appearance when all is well, nor any easier to gauge when someone is running on all cylinders. True character is unyielding in times that are tough, dull, exciting, or just plain depressing.

Forgiveness really is something special, so I guess that makes you exceptionally special, Erin. To me, a "friend" is someone you can trust unconditionally. A mere acquaintance is the person you forgive. People can travel up and down this ladder, until they pull the rungs out, themselves.

Apathy is powerfully defensive, sure. Being the opposite of love, it may also be an offensive weapon. It's okay to care about the people in your life, it's what keeps you bonded. When someone hurts you deeply, a shield of apathy can keep you from getting hurt by the same person. Remember when someone new comes along who could never hurt you, don't be afraid to lower your shield long enough to see that within him.