“But do I have to forgive them?”

Mom and daughter hugging on light background.

Ever meet those people who just want to be mad at SOMETHING…anything really?

Sometimes I get in moods like this, so I feel the normalcy of this behavior temporarily. And it is often followed by an “I’m on my period” excuse. But for some people it is literally part of their being to just be mad at somebody or something, all the time.

There often seems to be no reconciliation, no making things better, no kiss-and-make-up.
And to make matters worse, they derive meaning and fulfillment from their anger and work tirelessly to ensure that anyone around them suffers just the same.

Now you can relate, huh? We all know of someone like this because they create a tornado everywhere they go.

My family is this way..

…and it drives me insane.

And when I say my family, I mean most of them. Not all. There are a couple who have escaped the cyclical tendencies, but the fact that this behavior is cyclical means that when you’re in the thick of it, it can seem like you’re the crazy one.

Am I right?

You’re in a room full of angry assholes who project their insecurities and unresolved issues on everyone else…but mostly the ones who have done the work to get better emotionally. So you start contemplating what the hell is wrong with you because you just want a drama free place where everyone just supports one another, compliments their accomplishments and just says something positive for a change.

Can you relate? I bet you can because I know this about you: you’re constantly trying to improve. You want to be better. You want to act better. And for the love of all things holy, you don’t want to be repeat the mistakes that your family has made.

The bad news about forgiveness

This means that in order to be different, you have to be willing to forgive. You have to be willing to let go of the negative feelings you harbor against people for their shortcomings. Even when you are the backlash of their jokes, the center of their drama, the source of their anger…you still have to forgive and move on with your life.

Let me be clear that forgiveness is NOT allowing someone to continually abuse you. And I am by no means suggesting that it be made ok when someone mistreats you. I am also not saying that you need to continue to put yourself in situations that make you feel like shit.

What I am saying is that we have to find it within ourselves to see their behavior through a lens of love and compassion. Angry people are wounded people. And when we truly understand this, we can deal with them with grace and forgiveness, knowing that had they known better, they would act better. If they were further along on their journey to being a better human, they wouldn’t act out and cause others pain. The people who walk around angry, resentful and unwilling to change are miserable inside. And that is rarely is because of you.

Some of the greatest love you can show yourself is to forgive because harboring resentment is one of the most toxic ways we sabotage ourselves and prevent ourselves from becoming better humans.

Forgiveness is simply not allowing resentment and frustration to build because of other people’s actions. And it can be as simple as learning to walk away from people because you don’t have the space for their negativity. Walking away from negative situations can be one of the best forms of self love…BUT ONLY after you’ve done your part to express yourself in a calm, loving manner, giving them the opportunity to show love, empathy or understanding.

There are going to be people, often family, who disappoint us. It’s inevitable. But because we are responsible for us and how we act, we have to resist the temptation to allow other people’s behavior to give us an excuse to be shitty too. Our standards shouldn’t waver based on the actions of other people. And yet this is what so many people resort to.

Tit for tat. An eye for an eye. IT DOESN’T WORK.

It is so much easier to lash out emotionally, to shame someone through the silent treatment, to be mean and condescending. Anyone can do this.

It takes an emotionally strong person to stand against all these forms of anger and hatred with love, compassion and forgiveness. This behavior is reserved for only a select few. Because it is hard.

Here’s the key takeaway.

Once you know better, you have the responsibility to DO BETTER.


There is truth to the saying “Ignorance is bliss” because knowing requires action. Forgiveness is what you owe yourself. Forgive because you deserve the happiness it brings.

Questions for you to ponder…

Is there someone in your life that you hold resentment against?

If so, how does that resentment affect you?

Can you find a way to view their shortcomings from a place of love, compassion and forgiveness?

Now, I want to hear from you!

a penny for your thoughts?

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