Is life too short to have bad people in your life or is it too short to bear a grudge?

(68 Posts)
HuiledOlive Tue 24-Dec-13 12:30:25

A couple of people have really hurt me over this year so we've kind of left them out of our lives.

However Xmas seems to be the time to forgive and forget.

What to do?

HuiledOlive Tue 24-Dec-13 14:22:41

Wow! These are all great responses. Thank you

summerdip Tue 24-Dec-13 16:48:52

Am struggling a bit with this before Christmas and having to mingle quite considerably with negativity towards me over upcoming holiday period. What inspired via posts is not giving head space to these people which can be hard to do but really worth working at - to keep me at peace and calm. thanks

Chottie Tue 24-Dec-13 18:03:21

Let toxic people go.......

foreverondiet Tue 24-Dec-13 18:06:48

I think it depends why.

If someone displays ongoing consistent abusive behaviour then right to not include them in their lifes.

If its just a one off or a misunderstand then forgive and forget and move forward.

stubbs0412 Tue 24-Dec-13 18:20:18

This is has been really thought provoking hulliedolive.
I took my girls to see frozen, if you have not seen it, it's about sisterly love. I love my sister but I don't like who she has become in recent years, I'm not implying I'm perfect.
We only live an hour apart but she never bothers with me or my children, never calls or even sends Christmas and birthday cards anymore, not my choice and another story... .... Anyway I cried and cried in the film (sad I know) and was tempted to phone her but I'm guessing she maybe feels the same way as me and "for the first time in forever" (from the film) I realise that whilst life is too short to bear a grudge, it is actually too short to waste on people who do not give a shit about you . Merry Christmas everyone .

hackmum Tue 24-Dec-13 18:41:49

I agree, it's a thought-provoking question, and I think some of the answers really skirt over the issues. How do you tell the difference between a situation where someone's hurt you, and the best thing is to forgive them, put it behind you and continue the friendship and a situation where someone has hurt you and you're going to cut them out of your life because they're toxic? And although b) might look right to you, to other people it might look like you're bearing a grudge.

DorisButtons Tue 24-Dec-13 18:47:39

Ditch the witch.

I would love to set things right with my youngest sister. BUT she did something pretty much unforgiveable. Particularly to my niece (my other sister's dd). I know the kids - ds, dn, and my youngest sister's two - miss each other. But in order for us to repair the relationship, my littlest sister would have to recognise what she did, how extraordinarily wrong it was, and take steps to a. apologise fully and b. make sure it never happened again.

The last bit hasn't happened yet, sadly. I'm not sure it ever will - littlest sis has said 'sorry' but then threw a load of abuse at me, most of it concerned with my ds. I don't know whether she truly understands exactly what she did, is prepared to fess up and put things right - or whether my other sister would ever be prepared to listen to her. Other sister takes the line that she has to protect her dd from poisonous people. Which is entirely sensible and reasonable.

I can't repair my relationship with littlest sister while leaving my other (injured) sister and niece out in the cold. And completely get that sister's reasons for breaking all contact. Sadly not sure this will ever be resolved.

Meerka Tue 24-Dec-13 18:55:58

In this context, maybe be open to closer contact. But it cannot come only from one side, yours. There has to be some level of reciprocity. If you are sending cards into a non-responsive void, if she never calls, then in the end you can simply sit back a little bit and take measure. Then if she begins to call you, or to bother in any way, you can happily match her efforts.

If something is 90/10 one sided, it's not working. If it's even 60/40, it is ... guess everyone will decide for themselves where the point of diminishing returns has been reached.

Its not holding a grudge. It's simply expecting some level of mutual effort in a relationship. Really can't come from only one side.

hackmum, if you arent sure if someone will hurt you a second time, you can give them the benefit of the doubt unless you're just too hurt to try - which is not quite the same thing as being too grudging too try. Experience will tell you if it will be okay or not. As for people misunderstanding, well, that's always going to happen :/

stubbs0412 Tue 24-Dec-13 19:12:08

Meerkat that's exactly the trouble between my sister...
I am "expecting a mutual effort", only it doesn't appear. Last time I spoke to my sis she was rushing off to buy a "crate of beer" for a friends husband as it was their bday. This really hurt when without mutual agreement she just decided she wasn't sending cards to me anymore. I gave her a second chance, ignored her not sending me a bday card and sent her card this year anyway and when my bday came round again ... No card. I'm not giving a 3rd chance. This discussion has helped me accept that just because we are sisters doesn't mean I have to put up with it. I think I'm probably holding a grudge as I'm getting all agitated.

PeriodFeatures Tue 24-Dec-13 20:10:53

do you care aBOUT THEM? Do they care about you? was the hurt caused by malice or misunderstanding? I have hurt people, I have been hurt. Hurt can happen in relationships. Its up to you.

cathers Tue 24-Dec-13 20:22:16

Can you learn to forgive them but not forget? I was badly hurt by a close friend last year by her betraying my trust. I have forgiven her for it and feel at peace and hold no grudge towards her however I cannot trust her again. As a result, our friendship has become very superficial and I am happy with it that however I feel the friend is still embarrassed by it.

MrsDeVere Tue 24-Dec-13 21:00:59

I don't bother with people who are self absorbed and selfish. I am happy to remain friends with people are are less than perfect though.
They can be flaky, bonkers, miserable etc.
If I like them I don't expect too much of them and take them as they are.
I wouldn't expect a flaky friend to help me arrange a funeral and I wouldn't be upset with a miserable one who didn't want to go clubbing.

But if someone just takes and doesn't give anything back. If they are bitchy about me or cause any sort of trouble, I just walk away.

Life is to short to allow people to cause conflict and distress.

I think if you can really look at what happened and work out a. has it properly, genuinely hurt or b. do you feel that you should be hurt.

Sometimes I think we can hang on to grudges because its expected of us.

raisah Tue 24-Dec-13 21:38:46

There are a few people I have pulled away from over the years. I don't wish them any harm but they are not good for my mental well being so it is best to stay away. I don't want to bear a grudge but neither do I want to be miserable so it is best to stay away.

Lisavarna Tue 24-Dec-13 21:49:40

The bad people in your life don't give a stuff whether you hold a grudge or not, they will still be bad people in your life, doing or saying things that upset you, regardless of whether you are holding a grudge or not.

So in short, life is too short to have those people in your life.

FestiveYoni Tue 24-Dec-13 21:55:11

Its taken me long time to realise I am deeply affected by being around all sorts of people, negative, or dream crushers, and I have also got better at spotting under lying motives.

In terms of serious clashes with people close to me, in laws or old friends again, I have become quite ruthless...I have though tended to give second, third and fourth chances to be absolute sure where I have cared for the person, like my sister for instance...its not worth it, I have had to cut contact. Life is too short to have her in it. fsad

Scarletohello Tue 24-Dec-13 22:05:52

There's a great quote about holding onto resentment and how toxic it is;

'Its like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die..'

Wise words....

Kitttty Tue 24-Dec-13 22:08:55

I think there are 3 parts covered by all the posters above:

-- one acceptance of what happened and how this impacted on you.
-- two being realistic that you wont get exactly what you want - an apology etc - and accepting this
-- third your decision on how to move on and what level of contact is acceptable to you.

Keep calm and rational, don't leave yourself open to further stress. There are lots of other people to be friends with.

CalamitouslyWrong Tue 24-Dec-13 22:12:19

I don't think this is an either/or. You can cut out people who make your life more miserable and not bear a grudge. Indeed, you no longer need to bare a grudge because they no longer affect you in any way.

I haven't seen my useless father for over a decade. I bear no grudge, but I'm much happier without him in my life. I'd resent having to spend time with him, and I'd be worried about the effects of his nasty mind games on my children. It's win-win really.

Spero Tue 24-Dec-13 22:59:22

Really good question.

As others have said, I think you have to be honest with yourself about WHY you felt hurt.

Did they do something objectively horrible and refused to show any remorse .
Were you disappointed that they didn't live up to your expectations?
Were you angry that they challenged you about something you were doing that they didn't like?

In the first scenario, cut them loose, walk away, don't waste your time. They won't give a damn if you 'forgive' them.

Other scenarios, less straightforward because you then have to think about what role you played in the hurt you now feel.

boogiewoogie Tue 24-Dec-13 23:11:34

Forgive and forget in your own time op. However, do not confuse this with reconciliation. You don't have to have anything to do with someone who has hurt you but letting things go means that you are free from the hurt.

maddening Tue 24-Dec-13 23:17:52

are they seeking you out to wish you a happy Christmas? Fair enough if you bump in to them be pleasant and exchange Christmas greetings but as you have dropped them they haven't worried about you - just carry on as you were imo

happytalk13 Tue 24-Dec-13 23:38:03

If forgiving and forgetting means allowing people into your life to hurt you again then don't do it. Protecting yourself isn't bearing a grudge - it's common sense.

Andro Wed 25-Dec-13 00:11:30

It depends what they've done.

CheerfulYank Wed 25-Dec-13 04:38:05

Depends. I am TERRIBLE at holding grudges, just can't do it. But at the same time, there are people (like my brother) whom I consider toxic and I am very careful as to the extent that they are allowed in my life and the life of my DC.

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