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An Importance of Forgiveness

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An Importance of Forgiveness essay
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“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” (Gandhi, 1958).

I believe that forgiveness is an important aspect of every bodies life. I know that it is really emphasized in some religions, but even as a non-religious person I can understand it’s value and importance in relationships, and your own mental health. Forgiveness is not just for the person you are forgiving, but it is also for yourself. It takes the emotional distress you have been going through at helps to rid your from it. Sometimes it’s really hard to forgive someone, especially when you think they have done something unforgivable. Sometimes it is easy to forgive someone when it’s just something miniscule they have done wrong. But in my case, this person has been forgiven time and time again when they have done me wrong. I feel that they are not deserving of my forgiveness at this time if they keep choosing to do wrong over and over again.

Holding grudges is not healthy. I have typically never been one to hold a grudge for very long. Although in this particular case, I have held a grudge, and it’s because I’m hurt. I don’t feel that I have been treated fairly. I feel that I have been wronged, and it’s just not right.

This paper couldn’t have come up at a better time. Over the past couple of months I have been having a hard time with a friend. I feel like she has forgotten me. Every time I try to send her a message it goes ignored for days. I try to call her and it goes straight to voicemail. I sent her a message on Facebook and it was “seen” but not responded to. Honestly it really hurts my feelings. It makes me feel like she doesn’t think of me as important enough to spend time with, or even send a short reply back to.

I typically one to let things slide. When she ditches me and makes plans with other people I just say something like “well just let me know you don’t want to hang out next time” and she is just off the hook. She always apologizes a million times over, but your apology means nothing to me if you keep doing me wrong over and over again.

This grudge makes me frustrated, angry, and sad. I am frustrated at her lack of communication. I am angry that she doesn’t even try to talk to me, and that she feels it’s okay to just ignore me for days or for weeks (even though she can get ahold of me when she needs something). I am sad because I feel like I’m losing a friend. Holding this grudge makes me emotional, and it affects other relationships in my life. The other night my boyfriend tried having some friends of ours over, but I was just really upset about the situation and just ended up going to bed. It affects the relationship between my boyfriend and my other friends because I am upset. Typically when you’re upset you just don’t want to deal with others, even if they are not the ones to upset you. I didn’t feel like communicating with anyone or telling them what was wrong. I just wanted to go to sleep while everybody else had fun. That isn’t okay for me.

From her point of view, I understand that she does have a bit of an issue with memory. She was in a car accident some time ago and that really affected her memory. Maybe she simply does forget to reply to me. I am more of a early morning person while she is a night person, so may I am just getting a hold of her at the wrong time of day.

Maybe she is upset with me over something and is afraid to vocalize it. I know she is like that sometimes. She is afraid of conflict just like I am and will avoid it if she can. She is more emotionally unstable than me as well. I can’t think of anything that she would be mad at me for in particular, besides the fact that I don’t come around as much as I used to. She could still come over to my house if she wanted to though, and communication is a two way street. I am not sure if I have hurt her feelings in anyway, but if I have I wish that she would respond to me and let me know.

I also understand that she just got into a new relationship and is still in that “honeymoon” phase where she wants to spend as much time as possible with her new boyfriend. He lives two hours away from her and her cell phone service is not good where he lives, so that could have something to do with her lack of communication as well.

I feel like without this grudge that I am holding against her, it would be like a weight off my shoulders. I don’t want to stay mad at her but I can’t help it. I keep holding on to these feelings of anger because I feel like I am being treated unfairly and have been for far too long, so it’s hard to just forgive and forget.

Forgiving her would effect my communication (ch 1) with others in the future by helping to ease my emotional distress about the situation, it will allow me to communicate with others easier. If I forgive her, my attitude (ch 2) towards situations such as this will change, as well as my impression (ch 3) of others who might be doing this. For example, maybe if another friend of mine tends to ignore me for a while, instead of being mad and holding a grudge like I am now I will have more empathy (ch 4) for them and be more understanding (ch 5) of where they are coming from since I have been in this situation before.

If I were to communicate with another person that has put me in a similar situation as the one I am in right now, the best way to give them a response would be with extended “I” language (ch 6). Instead saying things like “well YOU never responded to me” or “you never talk to me anymore” something should be said along the lines of “I am a little upset that we haven’t been talking as much anymore. Is there something wrong and what can I do to fix it?” With this response I feel that the other person would feel less attacked or threatened and would be more comfortable explaining their situation to me. Typically you can tell by a person’s nonverbal communication (ch 7) how it is they are feeling without them even saying it. Nonverbal communication is not present through telephone calls, text messages, and facebook chat (which is the ways I have been trying to contact my friend because I can’t just show up at her house unannounced) so that makes it even more difficult to tell what a person is feeling. This means you really have to describe what you are feeling and why you are feeling it to sort out an issue.

If I experienced this with another person in the future, I would not want this to turn into a destructive conflict (ch 8) like it has with my friend. It is really weakening our relationship, (ch 9) and I feel that it is partly because of my stubbornness to try and contact her again after the last time she didn’t respond to my message. I feel that I shouldn’t have to be the one to keep trying to make contact. If I run into this situation again, I will know that after some time has passed and I haven’t heard anything from them, it may be time for me to reach out again to see what’s going on.

I feel like at this point my relationship with my friend is fading away (ch 10) and it’s really sad. We used to have a friendship-based intimacy (ch 11) where we were so close, almost like voluntary (fictive) kin (ch 12) and could tell each other anything. Knowing what I know now about this conflict, if I ran into this with someone else, I think I would handle it a bit differently. This friendship just may be at it’s close.

I think the core tension technique that most applies to this situation is autonomy vs connection. Maybe my friend just needs time to herself, and maybe I’m trying to hard to connect with her, or being too pushy for a response. Our connectedness and autonomy levels could be a bit different. Maybe my need to be connected is higher than hers, and she does not see an issue with not contacting someone for a while, while I on the other do and take it as a sign she doesn’t like me anymore. I feel that I am taking more part in the sharing tasks of the relationship than she is though. So far she has put no maintenance into the relationship in the past few weeks, while I have tried to communicate the problem and how I was feeling. Usually I don’t have high level of openness, but in this instance I have been very open about my feelings and what I feel is wrong, it seems as though she just doesn’t care anymore.

In regards to social penetration theory, it states that “as relationships develop, interpersonal communication moves from relatively shallow, non-intimate levels to deeper, more intimate ones” (Griffin, 2011) that is completely true for our relationship. We used to talk about things in great detail, tell each other everything and were always there for one another. I don’t know what happened to that. Even when we stopped hanging out as much I would still always message her, we could talk about our problems over text, and had genuine, deep conversations. It’s sad to think that, that may be over now. I’m not sure if she wants to talk to me anymore. But personally at this point, I don’t really think she does or else she would have reached out to me by now.

Social exchange theory “explains how we feel about a relationship with another person as depending on our perceptions of: The balance between what we put into the relationship and what we get out of it, the kind of relationship we deserve, the chances of having a better relationship with someone else.” (Straker, 2010) In regards to social exchange theory, I really feel that I do not deserve this kind of relationship. I feel that I deserve a friend that wants to be there for me, who wants to talk to me, and will try to make plans with me instead of me doing all the work. The rate of exchange in our relationship is definitely not equal. I am typically the one to call, ask to hang out, make plans, message, and I will always have to drive to her house if she decides she wants to hang out. It’s not fair and it is not what I deserve in a friendship. I feel like I’ve been replaced by her newer friend and her boyfriend. She even made a Facebook post about how she was thankful for both of them, but not for me. Posts about how much she loves and cares for the both of them, but never me. I don’t want to be a last resort, and I don’t want to feel left out. If she doesn’t feel the need to put the time and effort into our friendship, then maybe our friendship should end.

After writing all of this out and spending so much time on this assignment and topic, it really shows me my true feelings on this situation. It has made me see from both sides of the story, hers and mine. It’s made me think about the possibilities of why she is doing what she is doing, and has made me more clearly understand my thoughts and emotions as well as how to deal with them. This class has taught me very valuable things about how to deal with such a conflict that I can hopefully apply to this situation and make amends with my friends. Because as I said before, forgiveness is not only for them, but it is for you as well.

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