Forgiving someone for things they have done to you can be one of the most empowering feelings. It is often said that once you forgive, you can fully move on from the situation and put it behind you. However, various psychologists say there are times when trying to forgive is just not enough. Everyone hates goodbyes, but they can be a necessary component in maintaining your inner peace.
It takes a lot of time and energy to try and move on for the better, but here are some times when saying goodbye might be the best option:
1. You’re Still Hurt/Angry or Can’t Seem to Forgive
When you process trying to forgive someone who’s caused you pain, Dr. Deborah Schurman-Kauflin, Ph.D., said you must complete the full grieving and healing process. “Grieving and healing is a slow, slow process that cannot be hurried or skipped,” Dr. Schurman-Kauflin said. Sometimes even when you have forgiven, the hurt or anger is still there no matter how much time you give it. That is normal, but it might be a sign it’s time to leave behind the cause of the hurt in the first place.
2. They Show No Remorse
Someone who does not show any remorse or regret for something they have done to hurt you might be the type of person you need to say goodbye to. Some people take pleasure in others’ pain while others just can’t see what they did wrong. In times where people genuinely don’t understand what they did, Dr. Mariana Bockarova, Ph.D., highly suggests giving them a second chance. On the contrary, she said it is not unusual for people to not know how to forgive situations they feel happened on purpose. If you just can’t find it in yourself to hash it out with them, it might be time to let them go.
3. They Haven’t Apologized (sincerely or at all)
To many people, a genuine apology is all it takes to start closing a wound. Depending on the severity of the situation, it can be the bandage that holds things together. “Many people say ‘I’m sorry’ in a way that leaves much to be desired,” Dr. Tina Gilbertson, LPC stated. A good, solid apology leaves no stone unturned and comforts you in a way that makes you feel good about your choice to forgive them. If that’s something that you really want and they can’t offer it to you, you shouldn’t have to force them and it may be time to walk away.
4. They’re Repeat Offenders
When someone you know has upset you more than once, you can assume they will do it again. Noticing a continuous habit of hurtful behavior on their part is a good reason to bid them goodbye. A promise to never do something again holds no weight if they’ve made you that same promise before—and broke it. It can be hard to see a pattern at first but once you find it it’s hard to ignore it anymore. Dr. Robert Fuller, Ph.D., said “Our distaste for good-byes is a reminder of our unfathomable mutual dependence.” However, you cannot be mutually dependent on someone who is constantly showing you that the relationship is not mutual and that they are not dependable.
5. You’re No Longer Interested In Fixing Things
Not every situation requires a public display of emotions. There can be moments when you just simply want to move forward. While Dr. Alex Pattakos, Ph.D., encourages forgiveness and personal liberation, he says it is ok to just take the good with the bad and walk away with a lesson. Not everyone has the desire to “fix” relationships that have gone bad. Taking the time to self-reflect and analyze each piece of a situation before making a decision is the right thing to do. As long as you are honest and transparent with yourself (and those involved) about your feelings, you should not feel pressured to make any decisions.