So Adam and I were having a “debate” on the phone the other day – seems to be our new thing. Basically we don’t see eye to eye on how to deal with and resolve conflict, and how to forgive. Without getting into specifics, Adam has the tendency to easily start ignoring people or stating they are “dead to him” if they do something that bothers, angers, or hurts him. He used to expect that people take his side and not talk to this people as well – which wouldn’t happen of course because otherwise due to the frequency of these occurrences, we’d have no friends. These mini-dramas would usually last a week or so. There are of course others, not in our immediate group of friends, that he has made “dead to him” and he no longer associates with them, because he cannot or does not care to forgive them. I guess a person is entitled to make their own choices – but the frustrating part is that everyone else is affected by these choices. We can’t invite, bring up in conversation, hang out with, or worst of all date anyone that has made it onto Adam’s hit list, for fear of starting an argument with Adam, having him feel like we don’t care about what they may have done to piss him off, or worst of all, making it onto Adam’s hit list ourselves. Anyone that Adam has gone on dates with where it doesn’t end up working out, gets an automatic free pass to Adam’s hit list. What happens when you make it on this list? Deleted friend from Facebook. Removed from phone. Will now refer to them as Hitler. And can no longer be brought up in conversation without reference to what they did, a rumor about them, their least flattering quality, or all of the above.
So before I continue, Adam is one of my best friends, and I only bring this up because I want to challenge him, just as he challenges me in other areas. I want to focus on the good times and not the drama. I myself enjoy meeting new people and associating with different groups of people.
An ex of mine made out with a mutual friend of ours on several occasions and had a continuous online dialogue (sexual) that I found out about. It was very hard to trust for a long time, and I cut the “other guy” out of my life, but I eventually forgave him and now speak to him occasionally. Why would I do that? Because I found that holding onto the anger prolonged the pain and it wasn’t worth it to me anymore. Moreover, upon reflection, I know that I make mistakes too and those in glass houses can’t throw stones, or whatever that saying is.
Forgiveness is not easy, I believe, and research shows, that it is important. Your anger might be justified, but it the negative energy is bad for your health, toxic to those around you, and of course if you believe in the law of attraction, negative energy attracts more negative energy. If you focus on the same, then you will get more of the same.
So, here 5 steps I found online (about.com) that can help you to forgive someone:
- 1. Express yourself: It’s important to express your feelings to the person and let them know how what they did hurt you.
- 2. Look for the positive: Research shows that journaling about the benefits you received from a negative situation, rather than focusing on the negative emotions, can actually help you get over it faster.
- 3. Cultivate empathy: While you don’t have to agree with what the other person did, it is very helpful for you to put yourself in their shoes. This is a particularly helpful step for men in dealing with forgiveness. Remember the person’s good qualities, and assume that their motives were not intentional to hurt you.
- 4. Protect yourself & move on: Learn from the situation and try not to put yourself in a situation like that again that can result in you being hurt – but you don’t need to hold a grudge to do so.
- 5. Get help if you need it. Sometimes forgiveness can be hard to do on your own – don’t be afraid to see a therapist or psychologist. I’ve don’t it. It really, really helps. There’s no shame in getting help.
Well, that’s my two cents for the day. Love you, Adam! :) BFFF