Actual poll this time 'forgive and forget'

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In summary, the phrase "forgive and forget" can have different interpretations based on the situation. For some, it means to not hold a grudge and move on. For others, it means to forget the incident and not change your behaviour to prevent future occurrences.

the offended party then

  • does not change his/her actions, behaving thereafter as if the incident is literally forgotten

    Votes: 5 29.4%
  • can set up defenses to ensure the incident does not repeat (i.e. forgiven but not forgotten)

    Votes: 9 52.9%
  • other

    Votes: 3 17.6%

  • Total voters
    17
  • Poll closed .
  • #1
DaveC426913
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poll: define 'forgive and forget'

This is a poll - but I can't make the answers fit into radio buttons. i.e. I'd like as many responses as possible, even if they're very short.


What is your literal understanding of the intent of the phrase 'forgive and forget'? What do the words in the phrase mean, in terms of how you address an incident that is 'forgiven and forgotten' - or not?

What does it mean to 'forget' an incident that has been 'forgiven'? Or is 'forgive and forget' indistinguishable from 'forgive but don't forget'?

examples:
- do you take your own personal defensive actions to ensure that the incident doesn't catch you if it ever recurs?
- do you act as if the incident is literally forgotten, meaning you do not change your behaviour to prevent future occurences (presumably because you trust that they never will recur)?
 
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  • #2
It's means that you have forgiven the person(s) and that you haved moved past it emotionally and don't dwell on what happened. You put it behind you and don't think about it, and if thoughts do arise, there is no pain associated because you have forgiven and are over it.
 
  • #3
To you, the 'forget' part of 'forgive and forget' means that:

once an incident is resolved, and has been forgiven (for whatever reason),
 
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  • #4
Wow, three actual polls. :smile:

"Forgive and forget", I suppose no grude held and not important enough to remember. I do not think bigger issues can be forgotten though, one of Aesop's fables even says it - "Things can be forgiven but not forgotten."
 
  • #5
Every dog gets one free bite, but not two.

My friend betrayed me, shame on him. He did it again, shame on me.
 
  • #6
Which of the two examples listed do you follow?
 
  • #7
selfAdjoint said:
Every dog gets one free bite, but not two.

My friend betrayed me, shame on him. He did it again, shame on me.
Would that not be equivalent to option B? You forgive the incident, but you take defensive steps to ensure it does not happen again?
 
  • #8
DaveC426913 said:
To you, the 'forget' part of 'forgive and forget' means that:
The "forget" part means to me it is a stupid policy one should never engage in.

You can move past some issues, but thing will invariably be changed. "You can never step into the same river twice." Forgetting the incident would be a denial of that reality.

A true policy of "forgive and forget" could more accurately be characterized in the vast majority of cases as "forgive and regret."

Some here might read that as "I forgive and you regret." One begins to wonder at such juncture just how far the meaning of the word "forgive" may have wandered from it's original intent, however.
 
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  • #9
selfAdjoint said:
My friend betrayed me, shame on him. He did it again, shame on me.
But what if your philosphy is:

My friend betrayed me, shame on ... him. He did it ag - he couldn't do it again!
 
  • #10
Gokul43201[i said:
My friend betrayed me, shame on ... him. He did it ag - he couldn't do it again! [/i]
Sounds like a definitive case of "forgive and regret."
 
  • #11
I have cut off three (formerly) close friends in the past 25-30 years. In each case I forgave at least one very negative incident and in each case, I swore that I would not tolerate such behavior in the future, yet in two cases I forgave another incident that I should not have. I NEVER forget. I treat my friends like gold - when you are on your death-bed you will not say "Boy, am I glad I worked all those extra hours and made all that money." or "My house and car sure were nice." When you're ready to pass on, your worth is measured in the good things you have done, and the rewarding experiences you've had with your friends and family.
 
  • #12
I didn't realize this was such a complicated phrase. If you've really forgiven someone, it means you aren't holding any hard feelings over the incident and so it's easy to put it all behind you and forget about it.

Maybe it's because it was a minor thing, so hardly worth getting upset about in the first place (maybe they accidentally gave you a black eye with their elbow in a moment of extreme clutziness...they feel bad, you'll heal fine, and while it hurts a bit, you know they didn't mean it intentionally, so you don't dwell on it). Or, maybe they screwed up something, but then set things right, such as forgetting to water one of the plants they were supposed to take care of for you while you were on vacation, but then they just bought you a new plant to replace it, and you're not going to hold a grudge about it. In a way, it's somewhat redundant, because if you hold a grudge, then you haven't really forgiven either.
 
  • #13
Moonbear said:
I didn't realize this was such a complicated phrase. If you've really forgiven someone, it means you aren't holding any hard feelings over the incident and so it's easy to put it all behind you and forget about it.

Maybe it's because it was a minor thing, so hardly worth getting upset about in the first place (maybe they accidentally gave you a black eye with their elbow in a moment of extreme clutziness...they feel bad, you'll heal fine, and while it hurts a bit, you know they didn't mean it intentionally, so you don't dwell on it). Or, maybe they screwed up something, but then set things right, such as forgetting to water one of the plants they were supposed to take care of for you while you were on vacation, but then they just bought you a new plant to replace it, and you're not going to hold a grudge about it. In a way, it's somewhat redundant, because if you hold a grudge, then you haven't really forgiven either.
In each of my cases, the incidents were not an accidents, but actions in which my best interests were ignored or set aside. I do not treat friends that way and I won't keep a friend who won't reciprocate.
 
  • #14
Moonbear said:
I didn't realize this was such a complicated phrase. If you've really forgiven someone, it means you aren't holding any hard feelings over the incident and so it's easy to put it all behind you and forget about it.

In a way, it's somewhat redundant, because if you hold a grudge, then you haven't really forgiven either.
That is the dictionary definition, so the poll question doesn't really make sense and doesn't fit the answers: The phrase "forgive and forget" is redundant and really can only mean one thing.

So the question really should be (given the provided answers) is should/do you forgive?

For me, personally, the answer is both Moonbear's and Turbo-1's: it depends on the offense. I basically consider there to be three levels of offenses (note: I'm not so much of a Vulcan that I have actually categorized them before now):

1. Not that bad, I forgive and forget easily. Most of the time, things like this are often accidental or loss of self-control type indiscretions.
2. Medium-bad, something you really don't want happening again. You don't break up a friendship over it, but you have to protect against it happening again, so really, there is no forgiveness.
3. Bad enough, you simply cannot risk it happening again, or the offense itself is just that damaging you can't tolerate being around such a person.

Personally, the line between #1 and #2 is often based on simple intent. If I know a person is not trying to do something offensive, I won't be offended. You know - if a friend has a bad day, gets drunk, and gets mean, you know they are just blowing off steam and don't really mean to be mean. Generally, if an incident/fight can be resolved in a few days or a week, it probably wasn't bad enough for lasting damage. Being able to trust/accept that a friend is a friend is key to forgiveness. I have a close friend who has trouble with conflict resolution - she responds to the small indescretions by ignoring people for weeks or even months - and that makes it tough to work out issues (both practically and emotionally).
 
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  • #15
Yeah, I couldn't figure out at all how "forgive and forget" could mean, "forgive and NOT forget." :confused: If it was meant as should/do you forgive and forget, then that's entirely different.
 
  • #16
As long as the apploegetic request to forgive and forget doesn't come in the form:
" I'm sorry but..."
 
  • #17
Being of Christian upbringing my mum always told me that when ever God forgives your sins he forgets that they ever happened. I think that is the root of the phrase and means that once you forgive someone you should forget it ever happened. You don't say "Hey remember this when you did that" etc. etc. you act as though it never happened because they're now forgiven. By setting up defenses you're actually NOT forgetting it because you're purposely remembering it and setting up defenses against it.
 
  • #18
I never forgive or forget.
If it was an unintentional act, or something that was deliberately done against me but with good intentions (as when the fellow called the cops about my .45), there is nothing to forgive. If it was malicious, then closure comes only with the demise of the offending party. (He/she is still not forgiven, but it's then beyond my ability to retaliate.)
 
  • #19
OK, let me try and clarify.

I understand that many people may not believe in forgiving and forgetting, and that's fine. But if someone does claim to forgive and forget, does that not mean that they either must do it or admit they're being hypocritical about it?


On the other hand:


It is arguably possible to forgive without forgetting as in the following example:

You open a shared a bank account with your gf of 4 months. A big kerfuffle happened when Christmas and rent happened at the same time - it was an honest mistake and you've forgiven her for spending that money on presents.

But even she must concede that sharing a bank account with someone who you've only known for a few months is not wise for a host of reasons. Thus, you will not forget this lesson; you make it your policy from now on.

You do forgive (i.e. you do not hold it against them) but you do not forget (i.e. you set up defenses).
 
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  • #20
Danger said:
...there is nothing to forgive.

I think that is basically the crux of 'forgive and forget'.
 
  • #21
russ_watters said:
I basically consider there to be three levels of offenses (note: I'm not so much of a Vulcan that I have actually categorized them before now):

1. Not that bad, I forgive and forget easily. Most of the time, things like this are often accidental or loss of self-control type indiscretions.
2. Medium-bad, something you really don't want happening again. You don't break up a friendship over it, but you have to protect against it happening again, so really, there is no forgiveness.
3. Bad enough, you simply cannot risk it happening again, or the offense itself is just that damaging you can't tolerate being around such a person.
I think there's four things to consider between 1 and 2 and 3.

How likely is it to happen again? Some things may seem like a good idea until a person actually does them and sometimes there's a good chance the person will never try that again. Even a pretty painful result can be forgiven and forgotten in this case.

How much impact does it have? The little things probably have to happen a lot before you get tired enough to start protecting yourself from them happening again. It's more of a gradual transition from 'forgive and forget' to 'damn it, you do that again and I'll slap you upside the head'.

If it leaves a scar, you're probably not going to forget. At best, 'forgive and forget' in this case really means 'I'll forget who did this, even though I'll never forget it happened'. You take precautions to prevent an event like that happening again, not actions to prevent a particular person from repeating an offense to you.

Of course, there's the things you won't really ever forgive either - either because what happened was done with malicious intentions or because what happened exposed a lot more weakness in your self than you ever thought existed. The second is worse - being given the chance to mishandle a situation, and doing so miserably, is usually the hardest thing to forgive.
 

Related to Actual poll this time 'forgive and forget'

What is the purpose of an "Actual poll this time 'forgive and forget'"?

The purpose of this poll is to gather data and insights on the public's perspective on the concept of "forgive and forget" in various situations.

How is the poll conducted?

The poll is conducted through a standardized survey method, where a representative sample of the population is selected and asked a series of questions regarding their thoughts and attitudes towards "forgive and forget".

What are the possible responses to the poll?

The possible responses to the poll will vary depending on the specific questions asked, but they may include options such as "strongly agree", "agree", "neutral", "disagree", and "strongly disagree".

Who can participate in the poll?

The poll is open to anyone who is selected as part of the representative sample. This may include individuals from different backgrounds, ages, and demographics to ensure a diverse range of perspectives.

How will the results of the poll be used?

The results of the poll will be analyzed and presented to provide insight into the public's attitudes towards "forgive and forget". The data may also be used for further research and to inform decision-making in relevant fields.

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