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Can You Really Just Forgive and Forget?

The people we love don’t get a free pass to hurt us, it’s time to decide who gets to stay in your life and who doesn’t.

Unsplash | Tachina Lee

The idea that we should “forgive and forget” when people screw up isn’t the perfect solution our parents made it out to be. It’s easy to hold problematic people accountable for their behaviors when they’re practically acquaintances, but what happens when the people who’re closest to you do something that crosses the line? Does that mean you should automatically “forgive and forget” what happened?


Whether your bestie spilled your secrets to someone else, your partner cheated on you, or your parents invaded your space, it’s hard to look past the hurt these things cause—nor should you!


You’ve known these people for years—maybe all your life—but that doesn’t give them a free pass to hurt you or break your trust. For some, a sincere apology can go a long way to fixing the relationship, and for others all the apologies in the world wouldn’t mean shit.


Not everyone can be forgiven and not everyone should be forgotten.


So how do you figure out who to forgive and who to forget?


1. Get a grip on your rules of forgiveness


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In order to decide who to keep in your life and who to eject, you need to be crystal clear on what your grounds for forgiveness are. An easy way to do this is to contemplate two important questions: