I Can’t Stay Mad At You

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “I Can’t Stay Mad at You.”
Do you hold grudges or do you believe in forgive and forget?

I don’t really believe in either.  I mean, it depends who I’m mad at and what they’ve done, but if they aren’t someone I’d consider a close friend, and if they’ve done something I see as horrible, I will cut all ties with them.  I wouldn’t say I hold a grudge, because that would mean I’m actively staying mad at them.  No, I just try to leave them in the past.  I don’t forgive them and I don’t forget what they’ve done, but I also don’t waste my energy on thinking about them.  Instead, I try to heal myself from the damage they’ve caused…and that, for me, takes a long time because I get hurt by others actions easily.  I try to see the good in everyone and if they’ve gone and done something to offend/upset/hurt me (intentional or not), it takes a lot for me to switch off the hurt.  Admittedly, I am getting better at both keeping my distance from people, and at moving on, but it isn’t (and will never be) an overnight process.  I think holding grudges is a waste of time and something I moved on from doing in high school, but I also think forgiving and forgetting is a recipe for more pain down the track.

That being said, if one of my close friends does something wrong, I am all about forgiving and forgetting.  It takes a lot for me to consider someone a close friend, and for me to do that I have to trust them and their motives completely.  If they’ve fucked up, I always believe it wasn’t their intention and that if, given a second chance, they wouldn’t do it again.  I know that’s contradictory to my attitude towards everyone else, and can definitely lead to issues later on, but I’d like to think if I made mistakes they’d forgive me too.  That’s what friendship is, isn’t it?  Knowing the person well enough to give them extra chances?

-JD