I often find myself in dilemmas that could have assuredly been avoided, had I just used my better judgement. Whether it be past relationships, friendships, arguments, jobs, or roundabouts with certain college professors, I have had my bouts with confrontation a time or two.
The older I have become, the more I have come to realize how much I actually hate conflict, and as a result, I have shut off a lot of people from my life. I want to live a life that shines, and anyone who is willing to dull that light is not a candidate for any friend of mine. Identifying who stays and who goes was, perhaps, the most difficult process, because sometimes I didn’t even know why I couldn’t stand being around particular people. All I knew was that if I got a bad vibe from them, there was no room in my world for them. Once I identified the good and bad eggs, my friend circle shrank, but my confidence, focus, and success grew. It was a win-win for me.
Some people that I had to cut out were simply negative, and never had anything positive to say about anyone or anything other than themselves; they had to go. Some of the bad eggs were merely hanging out with me or trying to get to me because they wanted something from me. Some were flat out mean and blatantly invited drama into my life. So I gave all of them the boot. The problem with people like that is that they will live their entire lives running through friendships and relationships without ever realizing that the only problem is them. I don’t have time to educate people on common courtesy and moral skill building, so took my own path and left the others behind.
I have never felt guilty for doing what I have to do to make myself happy. I know I am not perfect, but anyone who doesn’t care to contribute to my success and happiness can leave, I don’t want them around for reasons other than positive vibes and building each other up. I do, however, find myself asking where I stand on forgiving those who have brought negative attention into my life. I don’t want to be one to hold a grudge, but I am human. Although we often and absently say things like “I don’t judge” or “I don’t hold grudges”, let’s take a minute to be honest with ourselves and admit that we all do just that. We judge hard, and we hold grudges. Anything that you go back to in your mind that causes you to feel a certain way about another is undoubtedly a grudge.
We don’t forget as easily as we forgive. In America, we use phrases such as, “Sorry”, and “It’s okay”, far too often. We don’t always necessarily need to be sorry, we just want to avoid conflict so we take it upon ourselves to, essentially, apologize in place of another who inevitably won’t apologize for themselves. Consider it a bad habit. But what’s worse? Saying your sorry to avoid confrontation, or running in circles with someone who is already dedicated to dominating the situation? I’ll take the former.
We don’t have to associate with these people, but it is important to forgive them for the sake of internal peace. If you force yourself to continue to be nice to them and hang out with them, you might find that you are only allowing them to continue to invite stress and turmoil into your life. It is much easier to just let bygones by bygones and move on with your life without them, physically. This doesn’t mean that you have to be mean to that person or wish them ill will; it simply means that you have identified the problem and your paths were never meant to cross for longer than they did.
Forgiveness can often take a while too, if someone directly hurt you. When someone intentionally hurts you and thinks that they can waltz back into your life at their convenience without any repercussion, the level of difficulty in forgiving them increases significantly. Why? Because, again, you are human. Your mind will wander back to the time that they hurt you or took you for granted, or humiliated you and embarrassed you. You will relive and recreate that time in your head over and over again until you have personally moved on from it. But once you have forgiven them, those thoughts and unpleasant notions will seize to exist, eventually.
The most important thing to remember is to nurture your own well-being before anything. People in your life may see it as selfish, and if that is the case than you can probably guess that those certain people are not exactly your friends. People who love you must understand that you can’t always give everything that they need, and that their needs do not always come first in your life. True friends will understand the importance of self-care and personal nourishment. The toxic ones will call you selfish and likely say worse things when you are not around.
And the day that that no longer bothers you is the day that you have won. You won because you forgave a person who didn’t even ask for it, and you won because they don’t even know it.