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Old 05-18-2024, 10:45 AM
24,170 posts, read 15,028,409 times
Reputation: 13036


Originally Posted by The Dissenter View Post
I personally don’t believe in forgiveness. I’m one who believes in justice and natural consequences to mistakes. Once you’ve suffered the consequences and atoned for your acts, I think you’ve handled your business and should be allowed to move on in life. The problem I have with forgiveness is that people use it to move on without atonement or consequences.

In OPs case, I’d follow your gut and not pick up the damn phone next time this friend calls. It won’t lead to anything good.
I'm practical. What matters to me is going forward. What makes sense for me going forward? I don't need the retribution or groveling apologies. And with good friends, they have built up "goodwill" and get lots of allowances.

This discussion reminds me of a question I got by a prosecutor in a criminal jury while picking jurors. He explained it to us afterwards. "What is your theory of punishment-for rehabilitation, for retribution or for deterrence?" I was a deterrence person. I would look at sentences to discourage people from committing crimes. We have a lot of "retribution" people responding to this thread. Not many rehabilitation people!

The prosecutor wanted retribution people because he was certain of a guilty verdict. I had a relative with a similar experience to this crime which I thought would make sure I didn't get selected, but the defense didn't cut me. And that experience is why the prosecutor didn't cut me even though i was a deterrence person!
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Old 05-18-2024, 10:50 AM
Location: SF/Mill Valley
8,856 posts, read 3,993,075 times
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Originally Posted by HodgePodge View Post
How easy do you find it to forgive others?
If their apology is sincere, easily (just as I would hope/expect a friend to forgive me).

Originally Posted by HodgePodge View Post
Then at one point he suddenly started avoiding me.

He was the complete opposite before... always the one calling me to hang out etc.

I got tired of trying to call him so left him alone.

Six years later... (now) he calls and leaves a msg saying that he is sorry... that he had problems with his wife and "stuff" and can I call him back - him and his wife would like to catch up, etc.

In a way I don't trust him... you know the saying "Fool me once, shame on you" ... etc.
Forgiving someone is not the same as forgetting or immediately trusting them again; folks are who they are. However, it doesn’t have to mean you resume a close friendship or that you wouldn’t keep him at arm’s length for awhile. It also may help to actually think/ask how he is doing now rather than make his problems about you. In other words, take it easy; time will tell if he can be trusted again.
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Old 05-18-2024, 11:26 AM
Location: california
7,345 posts, read 6,973,593 times
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Having been through some hard times my self it is not so hard to forgive, unless you're so selfish and think nothing of the troubles of others. I have several friends through the years I am a sounding board for, that unload on me all their troubles.
Since the beginning of time man has suffered troubles of all sorts, real troubles of war and poverty and strife. Often people are not looking for answers but just some one to unload on and understand with them.
And yes through the years I've been wronged by people and the conflict I see is usually that of a lot of personal problems that cloud their thinking.
I learned through scriptures of Jesus teaching that forgiveness is essential to life especially before God. If we don't forgive, God don't forgive. simple.
Withholding forgiveness can affect your health as well.
I must also forgive my self for my own blunders which are many. I still must correct the things I've done/said wrong.
If forgiving is new to you start with small things, say while driving and some one cuts you off. forgive them let it go.
Getting in the habit of forgiving get's easier down the line.
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Old 05-18-2024, 03:45 PM
933 posts, read 505,803 times
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I have a very hard time forgiving. I always have. I also know that forgiving someone isn't for them, it's for us. Even knowing this, when someone betrays me or insults me, I can't forgive quickly, especially if they don't apologize. My wife, who I'm divorcing, is a good example of this. I can't stand to even be in the same room with her because she has used me. I can't wait for my divorce to be final, and it's months away. So I have to sit with this unforgiveness and reminders daily. It's hard work, and I'm working on it daily.
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Old 05-18-2024, 04:38 PM
Location: Rural Wisconsin
20,072 posts, read 9,604,210 times
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It takes a LOT for me to become angry with someone to the point that I don't want to have anything more to do with that person, and for that reason, I do find it 'impossible' to forgive -- because there must be many instances of really bad behavior for me to "cut them off".
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Old 05-18-2024, 05:14 PM
604 posts, read 335,490 times
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I’d think back to the give and take and quality of the relationship, how genuine the communication and mutual interest in each other’s well being, how compatible it was to hang out with them, whether it was one sided in any sense. I don’t forget a kindness and, I don’t forget selfishness or being undervalued or dismissed on purpose.

The guy could have simply told you what’s going on, and possibly was blowing you off after enjoying your generous help and now maybe suddenly you’re the perfect guy to help with a new project. I say no on that. You have to look at his character and if he’s that type of guy, but you may not know because who’s going to admit being a user.

Out of curiosity, I might in a detached way play along and talk to him on the phone and hear his story vs having him corner me in person, putting me on the spot. If he says I don’t want to get into this on the phone, I’d say I’m pretty busy.

And also I’d be detached when he apologizes and say “um humm but you know Phil, all you had to do was tell me you were going through something”. He’d have no real excuse for that but “oh my god I was not able to compose a sentence”. I’d say “umm hum.. Is everything ok now ?” He’ll say “yes and my wife and I want to talk to you in person”. I might ask “why?” “Because you’re my good friend”. “ I haven’t spoken to you in 6 years, Phil”.

“Yeah I know, I SAID I was sorry”. “Ok Phil I accept your apology”( but you don’t because you don’t know why this happened) but you don’t want him to melt down. I’d ask once more, “what actually happened back then?” If he refuses to explain, then I’d wish him luck and say “I need to be somewhere”.

If he explains, I’d listen carefully. Maybe it would be a flimsy excuse that doesn’t add up. Maybe it would be harrowing and more believable. If the latter, I express sincere regret he and his family dealt with that and had he told me I’d have understood. I might have a more heartfelt conversation, then let him go.

I’d mull it over, if it made any sense. Then I’d wonder still why they are contacting me. If it’s just for hang out, maybe later after I thought about it more. I would not help them with projects. You don’t want people finding you popular for what they can milk out of you.

Now if the explanation is flimsy and you believe that is all he has, I’d say “ok well that’s fine, don’t worry about it, glad you’re both well. I’m super busy these days. In fact I need to be somewhere”. He’ll say “let’s get together”. I might say “yeah, maybe.Take care of yourself, you guys” .

I’d converse just to find out what went on. If I didn’t feel enlightened, my trust wouldn’t be high.

If it was believable, I still might think I wasn’t really high on the totem pole that he would even return a call or several calls.

Keep them at a distance, think it over, what they bring, if they are being honest in general since you’ve known them, and don’t be giving help on projects because there’s more to you than your exploitable skills.

But it doesn’t seem all that defensible, but my curiosity would want to hear the lame excuse.

I’d forgive in the sense I’m not thinking about it. But actions have meanings, and I’d need to hear the whys before forgetting past problematic behaviors.

I wouldn't just dismiss because it was 6 years, UNLESS the people involved showed a history of odd or selfish behavior. If so, yeah cut losses and don’t even have a phone call.
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Old 05-19-2024, 07:49 AM
Location: East TN
11,242 posts, read 9,871,988 times
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Sometimes we are friends for a reason, sometimes for a season. Give him a chance, but if he shows you that he's still just a "friend for a season" let him go.

I had a great roommate in the USAF. She and I were like sisters, inseparable it seemed. Then men came between us and our interests in those men took us in separate directions. We lost contact and didn't look back. 20 years later I came across here on FB. I was so happy and we reconnected, for a hot minute anyway. She took something I said the wrong way, and she said some crazy stuff about our past and just threw it all away. She tried to reconnect again a couple years later, but it's just gone. She's not who she was anymore, and neither am I.
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Old 05-19-2024, 08:02 AM
Location: Kansas
26,157 posts, read 22,334,403 times
Reputation: 26981
My first thought is that needs some kind of assistance, and now remembers where he might find it with you. I also think his wife probably didn't care for you, but needing assistance, she is willing to "bite the bullet" and let you come for a visit.

Six years is a long time! I suspect you have moved on. I think it is suspicious, and you are in for another let down.

Ask yourself "Is this the kind of person I want to be friends with?". Ah, the old "people change"? Very rarely, but some can do a good job hiding their true selves to get what they want from someone.

If you must "catch up", maybe meet somewhere for lunch and finish saying "Well, nice to have caught up." then drop him like a dead fish!
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Old 05-19-2024, 08:38 AM
Location: Lexington, Kentucky
14,924 posts, read 8,233,763 times
Reputation: 25448
I forgive, but I don't forget.
But, I can understand you going with your gut instincts on this.
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Old 05-19-2024, 09:45 AM
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
7,163 posts, read 12,742,803 times
Reputation: 16261
Depends on so many factors...what does your heart say?? If you don't trust him, don't renew your friendship...if you miss him, do renew.

But run away if her starts "using" you again without returning favors...
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