Why You Should Stop Giving People Who Hurt You The Benefit Of The Doubt

by Julia Cranska

No matter who you are, the theme of forgiveness is a relevant one.

It is prevalent in all of our lives and embeds itself into our thoughts and human relationships. Forgiveness, both to other people and to ourselves, is important and often intertwined. Forgiveness is very powerful and possesses the ability to free our minds and alleviate regret.

The "forgive and forget" mentality that’s popular in today’s world requires strong faith in other people. It's comforting that we seek to see the best in others, and often, it’s a healthy process that can help us to move forward from conflict. However, while there's absolutely something to be said about forgiveness, it's a process wherein the benefits must outweigh the risks.

Forgiveness is important, as it can release a burden that may haunt you, seeing that holding grudges can cement negativity in your mind. Yet, romanticizing people who have hurt you is dangerous. It is vital that forgiving someone doesn’t create an opening for potential pain to find its way back into your life.

Forgiving someone who has wronged you can be highly therapeutic. However, in some instances, total forgiveness may not be an option, or at least, not an immediate option.

One must use one’s own judgment in cases like these, but in some cases, forgiving someone doesn't mean you are under any obligation to like, befriend or even gain approval from the person.

If someone distressed you to a point of being irreparable, tread lightly and keep your distance until you feel differently. If you never feel differently, it’s okay; just be honest with yourself about how you feel and why. It’s not your responsibility to always give people the benefit of the doubt.

A breaking point exists somewhere for each person, and sometimes, there are certain caustic people who don't deserve room in your life because in reality, another person mistreating you doesn't automatically mean you did anything wrong.

When someone you trust and care about wrongs you, it can sometimes lead to a decrease in your self worth. Do not give someone who has betrayed you this power. In this case, remember that there is nothing wrong with you; it's about everything wrong with the other person. Always honor yourself first.

If someone has weakened your level of trust in him or her to the point that the energy you dedicated to the relationship is no longer appropriately valued, there is no shame in disregarding the second part of "forgive and forget." It's perfectly acceptable to let someone know that you forgive him or her for negative and unacceptable actions, but ultimately, it’s unrealistic and unnecessary to try to forget the way it made you feel.

Forgive, but don’t forget; don’t put yourself in harm's way emotionally. Having a strong enough heart is, at times, more courageous than a heart that runs away from vulnerability when times get tough. At the same time, a forgiving heart can be tricked and abused by way of unmanageable vulnerability.

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