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Old 12-08-2008, 05:39 AM
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Default I Forgive You

Hello all.

I have something to ask that is way off topic, but there are some peeps on here that are great debaters. I have a sister that I have never been able to get along with. Last year she did something to me that cute me to the quick. Now I feel that I was able to forgive her but once in a while it comes back to the surface. My question is : When you forgive a person do you have to tell the person? My wife says no, to just forgive and forget. I say you must confront the person and let them know how you fee. What do you think???
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Old 12-08-2008, 06:28 AM
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Both make sense to me. If you tell someone you forgive him/her the relationship between you two might improve. But IMO to forgive someone is something you do for yourself in the first place, you no longer have to deal with it, it's closed.

On the other hand it's good to talk about it with your sister, I don't know the whole situation, but talking can solve a lot and help you both to understand why you do and say certain things. Hope that helps.
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Old 12-08-2008, 08:43 AM
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I have been on the receiving end of the greatest forgiveness there is in life. I didn't deserve it but it was given to me without condition, simply because I asked for it. This experience has taught me to forgive others who have done me wrong, knowingly and unknowingly, so I will speak from my own experience.

Of the options you describe, I would choose none of them. Since you say the matter comes back to you, I'd say remaining silent hasn't resolved the matter within you. However, confronting her has the sound of anger about it, which means you possibly haven't forgiven her completely. It still sounds that forgiveness still needs to be done.

Therefore I suggest that you speak to her, without confrontation, and not about how she was wrong but about how you felt about what she did. This would have the best prospect of both her listening to you without hostility, and of clearing the air between you. Don't play the blame game, if you want to be listened to, and don't say anything like, "You made me feel this way," because no-one can make another person feel anything. Stick to what you have felt, and express your desire to forgive her.

This is tough to do and cuts across human nature, especially with someone with whom you already don't get along, but I think this is the only way you will get healing over this matter, as well as starting to repair the long-term troubles you have with your sister.
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Last edited by Bright Eyes : 12-08-2008 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:05 AM
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Good question, never really reflected about when I personally do confront people or when I just forgive and forgett. I guess it... yeah... it depends.

No, seriously, it depends on what happened and wether the person is aware of what he/ she did to me. I allways forgive if I have the profound impression the person knows exactly what has been done and how it hurt me and why. But if I have the feeling this person has absolutely no clue then yes, I feel a confrontation is important because I would find it wrong to not, well, inform the person about it.

But I am also the kind of guy that has an annoying tendency to teach rude people in public, like people who cant line up and push to the front for instance. At the same time I want to know when I hurt someone or acted wrong.

When thinking about it, I seem to handle the bad deeds of others as I want my onw bad deeds to get handled. I wish to be lectured in cases I am unaware of hurting people, while I hate to get tought, lectured and confronted on deeds I regret allready.

So, I personally would confront my sister if I feel she is unaware of what she did. But I would try my best to keep it in an informative tone. I dont know, formulating it in a way to make sure she understands its really just about leting her know how I feel and how I tick.
But if I feel she is aware of what she did and regrets it, then it seems there is not much to talk about.
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:00 AM
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Carrying around negative emotions regarding another person is like carrying around a hot coal in your hands. It only burns you.
I say tell her calmly why she upset you. Her reaction to that will give you an idea where your relationship will go in the future... but no matter what, forgive her for your own sake.
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:15 AM
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Telling someone you forgive them when they didn't know they offended you is, IMO, selfish and maybe just a little vengeful. "You hurt me, but I'm big enough to forgive you." If you hurt someone in the process of forgiving them, why bother? Kick them in the shins instead.

Forgive and forget--or don't--but get on with your life.
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:26 AM
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Thanks everyone for all the advice. I was walking the dogs this morning, and talking to God, I told him about it and that I genuinly forgave her in my heart of hearts. My sister has always had a problem with severe jealousy. For instance, when my Dad was in the hospital with an illness that finially took his life, his son from another marriage came to town to see his dying Father. We all went out to get some dinner and we were talking and making over the step brother that we hadn't seen much since our childhood. As we left the resturant, she stayed behind him and she was crying, and said to Mom, I need somebody to pay attention to me! She always turns things around so she is the victim, and she is NEVER ever wrong. I never see her even during holidays, and I don't want to be around her, even though I forgive her, I still don't have to have a relationship with her do I? She hurt me bad because my Mother was spending alot of time with me during my blood clot illness, and the surgeries I have had in the last year. Sorry for the long post, but since I prayed this morning, I feel as though a huge weight has been lifted off me.
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:30 AM
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Excellent! Happy people are rarely a$$hqles, so I usually feel sorry for them. Imagine having to wake up every day and be negative? Yuck. You're a bigger person than her, and a happier one.
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:45 AM
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Beetlescott, I think you've handled it perfectly and you're absolutely right, you can forgive her without embracing her in the future. Your sister sounds a bit like mine....who burst out crying on Christmas morning because she'd wanted more than the television sets we both got....not for a moment caring about the fact our father had just gotten home from the hospital after colon cancer surgery (like, Christmas eve he came home!).

I agree with the person who said it would be mean to "forgive" someone when that person doesn't know she's done something that caused offense. It can only re-open the old wound and probably make things worse.

You're clear in your heart and your head and you won't be harboring negative feelings when you do have contact with your sister in the future.

Since I doubt she has any idea she caused offense, she won't be the least bit concerned that you haven't offered an apology.

(caveat: if I've misunderstood and she has, in fact, begged you to forgive her for her horrible transgressions...then you do need to let her know you forgive her, but you still don't have any obligation to try to have a relationship with her)
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