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Old 05-17-2024, 10:57 AM
bu2
 
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If they were a good friend, why not just forgive and forget? I had a good friend distance herself for no apparent reason. I just kept acting the same. I'm guessing it had something to do with work where we were in different departments. After about a year she was back to normal. She wasn't the type to apologize or explain, so I never pressed.

I had another good friend who had a falling out with a mutual friend and "divorced" all of us in the group. Haven't heard from him in probably 30 years. But if he called tomorrow, I would have no problem.

I'm not as good about forgiving people who aren't friends, so its not like I'm a saint. But with friends I would be very forgiving.
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Old 05-17-2024, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
20,461 posts, read 14,829,176 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Igor Blevin View Post
My Christian faith requires me to forgive people.

It is typically hard to forgive because hate and vindictiveness and spite and tit-for-tat is human nature and more fun and satisfying. Forgiveness is humbling. Forgiveness is passive. You don't get to be the aggressor and lash out. You have to put your own desires behind those of others.

So yes, forgiveness is tough. The thing is, once it is done -- and I mean really done -- then you lose all that baggage. You let go of all that hate and spite. It drops away. You find out you were mostly just hurting yourself and the object of your spite never really even knew it.

I don't have a choice not to try to forgive since my faith requires it. As difficult at it is, I can't think of a single time I forgave someone and then regretted it. It always makes my life better. Sometimes tangibly and substantially better. It also always makes me feel dumb for holding onto the spite for so long.
See I cannot get my head around this perspective. Being in a conflict state with another person makes me feel unsafe. Escalation of drama through "lashing out" or spite or carrying anger...it causes me stress. Even when I know that I am OBJECTIVELY RIGHT to feel angry about someone having wronged me, confronting them feels pointless. I don't expect anybody to care enough about me to hear how they made me feel and have genuine remorse about it. I expect people to get defensive, to say that they had excuses, to dig in their heels and feel wronged that I am "accusing them" of something.

The only resolution that feels possible for me, when I have a real problem with someone, is to disappear. Go cold and vanish. Walk away from the problem AND the person, and close the door behind me.

To a point where I have had to fight myself on this and push through a self-inflicted stressed state, to tell my husband if I have an issue with something he is doing...when he (my second and much healthier marriage, mind you) will in fact not react badly at all, and does care, and will do his best to understand my perspective, and will try to make things right. I am SO not used to that, that I've got to consciously go through a process just to try and address anything that could be conflict.

So being spiteful, angry, lashing out...seems like gleefully embracing conflict. And I cannot see myself finding any kind of pleasure in that at all. I would see even a win as feeling bad like I bullied someone.

(I am talking about in person interactions here, mind.)

I think if anything I have been TOO forgiving. It's been part of my work in recent years to realize when in fact I was treated badly, that I don't owe someone forgiveness for unforgivable behavior, and that I have a right to feel wronged when I was in fact wronged. I don't have to make excuses for people. There may be no point in calling them to account, but I don't have to be soft on them in the space of my own mind. This does not mean that I sit there stewing in rage or anything. It's just an effort to be a bit more emotionally honest with myself.
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Old 05-17-2024, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
20,461 posts, read 14,829,176 times
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As for the OP's situation...

I think that it probably depends on what your expectations are of a potential friendship. I have known people who have tons of "friend-quaintances"...people that they usually refer to as friends, but there isn't a ton of investment there. No particular tension, they just only tend to see each other in group social settings, they don't really go out of their way to spend a lot of time together and are not very involved in one another's lives. Then I've known people who believe that in order to be called a friend, you've got to be able to count on each other. You help one another move, you have each other's backs, you confide personal things, you would trust each other in more serious ways.

If someone had vanished on me like that, I'd be willing to accept that they were just going through a lot and I was not entitled to have been a huge priority for them to update me about what was up at that point... But I also would limit my expectations about them being reliable or available in the future.

If our social connections exist in concentric rings like an archery or darts target board with each of us at the center and various people closer and further out... This friend would be allowed back on my board, but not to my closest circles.

My stepmother did this to me at one point. I used to, for a while, consider her someone I could call and have very involved, mutually supportive, conversations with. But at a certain point, both of us were honestly going through some really tough times. I was willing to be there for her, to hear about her stuff...but for her, having to hear about mine was apparently more than she wanted to deal with while going through her challenges. She stopped answering or returning my calls. I heard nothing from her for years. Then eventually she just started talking to me again like nothing had happened. All I ever got was, "she was going through some stuff." It was actually pretty hurtful. And in fact she's only ever come back around to talking to me like maybe 10% of where we were once at...I feel like she, at some point, decided she did not like me and didn't want to really have a relationship, but was willing to barely engage enough just to perform an appropriate role for family peace. I have the sense that she does not WANT to talk to me. Even though she acts all happy happy whenever she does (like when I call my Dad and he puts it on speaker and she's there.) I don't know, and I don't think I will ever get anything honest from her about it. So I just...try not to hang onto too much hurt about it and try to not invest so much in that connection.
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Old 05-17-2024, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
12,116 posts, read 6,355,529 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic_Spork View Post
See I cannot get my head around this perspective. Being in a conflict state with another person makes me feel unsafe. Escalation of drama through "lashing out" or spite or carrying anger...it causes me stress. Even when I know that I am OBJECTIVELY RIGHT to feel angry about someone having wronged me, confronting them feels pointless. I don't expect anybody to care enough about me to hear how they made me feel and have genuine remorse about it. I expect people to get defensive, to say that they had excuses, to dig in their heels and feel wronged that I am "accusing them" of something.

The only resolution that feels possible for me, when I have a real problem with someone, is to disappear. Go cold and vanish. Walk away from the problem AND the person, and close the door behind me.

To a point where I have had to fight myself on this and push through a self-inflicted stressed state, to tell my husband if I have an issue with something he is doing...when he (my second and much healthier marriage, mind you) will in fact not react badly at all, and does care, and will do his best to understand my perspective, and will try to make things right. I am SO not used to that, that I've got to consciously go through a process just to try and address anything that could be conflict.

So being spiteful, angry, lashing out...seems like gleefully embracing conflict. And I cannot see myself finding any kind of pleasure in that at all. I would see even a win as feeling bad like I bullied someone.

(I am talking about in person interactions here, mind.)

I think if anything I have been TOO forgiving. It's been part of my work in recent years to realize when in fact I was treated badly, that I don't owe someone forgiveness for unforgivable behavior, and that I have a right to feel wronged when I was in fact wronged. I don't have to make excuses for people. There may be no point in calling them to account, but I don't have to be soft on them in the space of my own mind. This does not mean that I sit there stewing in rage or anything. It's just an effort to be a bit more emotionally honest with myself.

Being hateful and spiteful does not require lashing out or any other activity. You can stew in a corner all by yourself, steeped in hate and vengeful thoughts and just wishing all kinds of misfortune on the object of your scorn who you cannot forgive. It is second nature to wallow in self-pity at someone who has harmed you in some way.

That doesn't take any kind of conflict or action at all. It can be all in your mind.
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Old 05-17-2024, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Northern California
131,536 posts, read 12,313,089 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddie104 View Post
Six years is a long time and his excuse seems lame to me. I would be suspicious that he finds himself in need of your services, i.e., construction and renovations so he wants to reestablish contact.

I don't believe he valued the friendship to the extent you valued it. If you enjoyed his and his wife's company and wish to reestablish contact, proceed with caution and let him put most of the effort into it so you can better determine his real motives. He needs to prove himself to restore trust.

The only situation I have had is a friendship with a couple for thirty years and for the first time she ghosted me for six months after promising to get back to me by certain dates. Over the past couple of years, they have a much busier social life and I now think she only contacted me when she has nothing else going on. A first it stung because she never did something like this before but overall they have been good friends through the years so I was fine about it. I just won't put as much thought and energy into getting together again.
I agree, be friends but busy if he wants help on a project.
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Old 05-17-2024, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
23,366 posts, read 29,245,757 times
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I put a great deal of thought into whether or not I'll forgive someone or not, and in most cases, I do not forgive, or give them another chance!
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Old 05-17-2024, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Southern MN
12,177 posts, read 8,563,527 times
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Here's my rule:

If I'm carrying a resentment of this person for what they did and it comes up from time to time then I do something to lay that resentment to rest. Don't need to drag that around with me.

It might not mean a restoration of the relationship but a thoughtful conversation that leaves both people feeling resolution.

If it hasn't bothered me and I never have thoughts or feelings about it then there's no issue one way or the other.
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Old 05-17-2024, 12:36 PM
 
1,412 posts, read 1,437,684 times
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Lots of good posts here, I have been much happier in my life since I have tried to condemn less, judge less and forgive more.
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Old 05-17-2024, 12:47 PM
 
1,184 posts, read 663,040 times
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Thanks for all the inputs dear fellow posters.

I love hearing all views, because I am definitely on the fence on this one.

One poster hit it on the head - I wonder if he is contacting me because he needs my help / expertise on something?

That would definitely be the last straw.

The Christian part of me says that forgiving is divine and shows good character.

The paranoid part of me says to "not burn bridges". He was a good friend (or so I thought), and having them makes your life richer.

I am not going to rush into a decision, because to be fair he took 6 yrs to reply to me.

TBH I wrote him off as a friend years ago. Not in a hateful way. More of a that's life, people come and go into your life and accept it.

I never wished him ill will... just made me rethink whether or not he was truly a friend, or just somebody who liked using me for my skill set, etc.
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Old 05-17-2024, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
12,116 posts, read 6,355,529 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
I put a great deal of thought into whether or not I'll forgive someone or not, and in most cases, I do not forgive, or give them another chance!
I don't consider forgiveness and trust to be the same. I can forgive someone for harming me but still distrust them and be unwilling to give them a "another chance".

Forgiveness does not mean being dumb or being a victim. You don't have to put yourself in harms way or be the doormat for another person in order to simply forgive them for past harm and damage.

There are plenty of people I have forgiven but would never see them again or ever trust them again.
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