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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?

ashamedoverthinker Fri 27-Dec-13 00:09:18

Some people hurt me (social) I know its not major but they really got to me. I see them regular (no way of avoiding)

I do have a grudge I wish I could wipe the floor with one of them - but i wouldnt dare say anything.

I wish I could let go - I have tried hard to do this but can't seem to get it to 'click' in my head.

I dont understand this as I have forgiven people for much 'more'

Kitttty Thu 26-Dec-13 20:58:17

principal...she sounds like a a doting grandma -- who sounds like she wants to spend precious time and give unconditional love to her grandchild.

You say that she doesn't spend enough on her grandchild - but is saving up for Euro Disney?

I think that she demonstrated incredible diplomacy when you popped their bubble of an exciting trip to Disney in the future - why couldn't you be gracious for the kind and generous intent without sabotaging it?

You are the one who sounds controlling that you want her to spend more time with you all rather than just with her gs - maybe she senses your hostility and makes her self scarce? but in the same breadth you complain that she is spending too much time with you overall?

Leave you son have his lovely on to one relationship with his grandmother - she wont be around for ever.

principalitygirl Thu 26-Dec-13 18:06:30

Doh! Didn't mean to hijack thread. Meant to start a new AIBU. Christmas brain! Sorry!

principalitygirl Thu 26-Dec-13 18:05:11

A few things MIL-related here:

1)MIL just announced mid family boxing day meal that her and my toddler DS have a plan which involves her taking him to eurodisney (just the two of them!) when he's five....
I said that I think he'll be older than five when that happens and she was then momentarily miffed and then said 'oh well, that'll give me more time to save'.
She often does this sort of announcing with intent about what she's going to do with DS, whether tomorrow or in five years time. I find it v annoying and a bit controlling.

2)Whenever she visits or we visit her she seems to always want to spend time alone with DS and almost never with us as a family which I also find annoying and a shame.

3) She buys DS - her only grandchild - pretty rubbish gifts. For his first birthday she got him a cheap ball (I'd got one similar for him to use in the garden from the pound shop) and a glove puppet. For Christmas this year she got him plastic stacking cups and a soft toy. Money isn't an issue for her and when there are so many lovely things you can buy for little ones I find it disappointing that this is all he gets. He's not short of toys and clothes but something a bit more thoughtful and imaginative would be nice, even though he's still v young.

4) MIL lives 3 hrs away and is retired. She visited us every month on average this year for two or through nights each time and that's on top of us making two or three trips to her place. We're at hers for Christmas and she's already talking about visiting in January. I find this a bit suffocating, much as I want DS to have a good relationship with her, maybe especially as usually when she visits I spend the most time with her as DH is at work.

AIBU to feel this way? Most times I can focus on the upsides to each of these things but sometimes it gets too much.

MarriedtotheMod Thu 26-Dec-13 13:31:17

interesting thread as this time of year triggers me off wondering if I should "try harder" with my father and his family. However since watching that Psychopath Night on channel 4 I've reassessed slightly. I'm convinced my father is a psychopath; he doesn't even crack a tear when people die so I'm fairly sure he doesn't give two shits that I've taken a step back to protect myself. I think its always difficult though, I try not to hold a grudge as such but I'll always be sad that this is the relationship we have. sad

Bigbadgladioli Thu 26-Dec-13 13:12:49

laughing - I like this attitude. I'm not bearing a grudge, I am protecting my family.

I am now very wary, having kept a toxic mil at bay for a year. (We've had such a good year.) I was coerced into spending time at her house for a couple of hours (five hours) yesterday. Within fifteen minutes she was bellowing that now that she had a new car she would be through to see us "all the time". I am now awaiting "round two".
She kept repeating this throughout our time there. Cuddling the kids (inescapable perfumed headlock) and telling them she was going to be coming through "really soon"/ "all the time"

As is traditional after contact, I have been up most of the night worrying about the implications.

I think you can forgive at this time of year for your own good. But I'm afraid my warm feelings only lasted for the first fifteen minutes of contact. Then I returned to a state of red alert. Happy New Year!! Awooga, Awooga!! ...Where's the camomile tea?

laughingeyes2013 Thu 26-Dec-13 12:22:47

I think that - with all relationships - you can only go as far as the other person is willing to with you. So if you want peace and harmony but they don't, you can't force them to respond. You can only go as far as their willingness allows.

It's a mistake to think you can always win people's better nature over by forgiving and letting them have chance after chance. Sometimes you have to see it for how it is realistically and accept the other party just won't comply with simple human decency.

Having said that, I've watched my Mum forgive people time after time, and was the only child at her mothers death bed because all the others had long since gone, not accepting the parents bad behaviours. My Mum on the other had endured her Mum's awfulness out of an unconditional love that I'm not sure I could have done in the same way. It was like a blind optimism. Somehow I think it made her the stronger person but I can't quite explain why. I'd spent a lot of time over the years advising her to walk away like her siblings did, but she refused, saying "none of us are perfect".

So although I'm saying I've leaned to see people for what they ARE and not what you WANT them to be, and respond accordingly, I have to acknowledge I admire a different way of rising above it and being the bigger person.

I think actually one crucial part may be how my Mum viewed it. She was hurt by the verbal attacks but understood her Mum had mental health issues and so gave her a lot of rope. Somehow that empowered my mum rather than imprisoned her. I guess only you know the level of damage this relationship would have on you and whether it's appropriate for you to walk or not.

Spero Thu 26-Dec-13 11:04:18

I think it is precisely because life is precious and fleeting that I don't want people in it who have done me harm and who are not sorry.

I don't obsess or ruminate about them (any more) but I would be a massive idiot if I kept on letting them in to repeat their bad behaviour.

Summergarden Thu 26-Dec-13 09:25:14

If it is close family, please do try to forgive and forget.

I had a fall out with my father when I was 22 and I didn't speak to him for 4 years. He died suddenly a few days ago aged only 58.

I am so hugely grateful that I decided to forgive and forget and spent time getting to know him and building up memories to keep now that he is gone.

Life is fleeting and precious.

dontsqueezetheteabag Thu 26-Dec-13 08:04:15

I have a toxic mother who upset me every time I spoke to her for months.

I would get wound up every week knowing that she was about to call and what the hell would she say/do this time?!?

I decided to go no contact as I have so many more important and lovely people to spend my energy on.

My friend (who also has family issues) gave me a good way to think if it. Think of a set of scales with all the people who love and care for you on one side and the person making your life difficult on the other side.

No contest. Good luck OP x

brettgirl2 Thu 26-Dec-13 08:03:36

If a person is bad then forgiveness is irrelevant as they are still bad. Forgiveness and moving on for me is when someone makes a mistake (which doesn't make you bad) or an argument/ misunderstanding. Be careful about forgiving the bad is my advice.

Lweji Thu 26-Dec-13 08:02:07

All and all detachment is better.
It doesn't have to be 100 or 0. You can socialize when you have to, but not be too intimate.

Some things you should forgive, although not necessarily forget. So, it depends on the forgiveness front.

Meh84 Thu 26-Dec-13 07:59:33

I'm just the same, lost a very dear friend back in June and haven't seen or spoken to her since.

IMO - life is too short to have bad people in your life. It was hard at first, but the best decision I made.

stgeorgiaandthedragon Thu 26-Dec-13 07:48:59

Have to admit, it does amaze me on here how frequently 'cut him/her off' is the given advice for any chosen situation.

In extreme cases - spite, or really awful anti-social behaviour, yes. But in my experience it is difficult to cut some people out entirely because to do so would mean not seeing or socialising with people who you DO actually like.

I have people I keep my distance from and I have people I try to avoid but I cannot think of anybody I have 'cut off'!

rabbitlady Thu 26-Dec-13 07:43:37

forgive and forget, but don't tell them. don't have them around.

princesscupcakemummyb Wed 25-Dec-13 23:36:16

im one of those of those ppl if you really do something wrong to me i sadly bear a grudge and sum ppl ive never spoken to again i know life is short but thats just me

duvetheaven Wed 25-Dec-13 19:21:01

Yes, let the toxic go gently if you have to. For your own sake be great for negative feelings about them to fade. Took me a while to figure out that I have a few family members that don't try to hard so finally I don't try too hard either .

MrsMook Wed 25-Dec-13 05:20:26

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

Forgiveness is about not holding a grudge and retaining the hurt and negative emotions. You can do it with maintaining contact or dropping contact. Forgiveness is within and stopping the negativity.

It is not saying "oh that's all right then" and leaving yourself open to a repeat.

I can think of a "friend" (group friend) that was a very draining person, who without malicious intent, overrode other peoples plans and feelings and was a general pain. She disapeared off the radar for a while (in an insensitive way, upsetting friends in the process) , but a few years later wanted to come back in the scene as if nothing happened. I see her through other friends occasionally. I do not want to be friends again, but I can hold a civil conversation, the same as I would for any friend of a friend. I hold no ill will, I'm glad to hear her life has moved forwards with positive developments. So I'd say she is forgiven (no negative emotion attached to her past behaviour) but the behaviour is not forgotten. I refuse to re-establish personal contact as I don't want to reignite a friendship or lead her in the wrong direction. She's just an aquaintance these days.

Family is harder. The relationship is less disposable. There are multiple relationships involved for consideration. Dropping a former friend or rationalising their behaviour is simpler than a relation. With family, I tend to think about how I'd react if a friend treated me in that way.

Grudges are best dropped. They are unhealthy.

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.

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

It depends what they've done.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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