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To Forgive and Forget

By Alaina Burris
On January 22, 2021

Graphic by Alaina Burris

Losing people in your life is inevitable, and I don’t mean because they passed away; people drift apart and stop being friends. This happens for all sorts of reasons: you got in an argument, they started dating someone you’re not a fan of, you stopped having the same classes. 


Anything can happen between people, you can forgive and forget, move on with your life. But when is it a good time to let them go and keep them out of your life? When is it a good time to let them back in? 


“I try to forgive someone when they also show that they are willing to forgive,” Student Body President Kaitlyn George says. “I put in effort when I see someone else putting in effort.” 


Forgiving someone should not be a one-way street, no matter who was in the wrong in someone’s eyes. Both parties need to be willing to put their past behind them and throw in an “I’m sorry.” 


“I think it eventually comes to a point where there is so much miscommunication that the only option is to start over,” junior Reagan Lorey says. “While it may be tough to let go of everything that did happen, for me personally, I would rather just give a fresh start than hold a grudge especially if there is a mutual agreement that you are willing to try.” 


Starting over and reconvening is a good way to mend a falling out; it gives everyone involved a chance to gather their thoughts and think about what they want their solution to be.


“During a falling out, I expect distance to regather both parties’ feelings then have a proper talk about the situation,” senior Allison Rivers says. “I believe that all cards should be laid on the table during that time and an agreement on the relationship is determined.”


Some people you have an undeniable friendship with, and no matter how many arguments you get in, you will always find your way back to one another. When should that not be the case?


“If I don’t want to be their friend again, I tend to forgive them when I’m not upset about the situation,” George adds. 


Forgiving someone should have meaning to both sides, but if it doesn’t, what’s the point?


“If there are true feelings and mutual effort being shown, then I am willing to work through,” Rivers says. “But if I feel as if I’m the only effort presented then I typically choose to walk away peacefully.”


When trying to make a decision whether or not you want to be friends with someone again, there are multiple things you need to take into consideration: Has this happened before? Are you willing to put up with it again? Are you strong enough to go through this again? Are they worth it to you?


“I am someone who gives a bunch of chances, but once it gets to a point where there is too much hypocrisy on their part, it hurts to talk to them more than it does to just ignore them,” Lorey says. “I wouldn’t be able to try and be friends again.”


Even if forgetting someone isn’t what you want to do, think about whether or not it would be healthy for you. Are they a toxic friend? Toxic friends “stress you out, use you, are unreliable, are overly demanding, and don’t give anything back,” according to Florence Isaacs, the author of “Toxic Friends/True Friends.” 


“I have viewed a friendship as ‘toxic’ when there is constant doubt of the individual,” Rivers says. “Once I feel uncomfortable to include little details about stories because I know it’ll be used against me, then I begin to view them in a negative manner.”    


Toxicity can be temporary or permanent. You need to weigh out whether or not someone has all of the factors of being toxic before determining if they are. If a friend stresses you out because they don’t do homework until the last minute, they wouldn’t be considered toxic; but if they stress you out because they make you feel bad about yourself, your clothes or even your car, then they’re probably toxic. 


“A friend should always be in your corner and be willing to fight for you whether you are present or not,” Rivers adds. “The minute a friend becomes questionable or untrustworthy, I believe that’s when the relationship could be labeled as ‘toxic’ and is not beneficial to succeed in life.”


People outgrow one another, things change, all sorts of things happen. You will know when it’s worth it to keep someone around, and you will know when to just let someone go. Trust your gut.


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