Telling someone to ‘forgive and forget’ can cause more harm than good.
It is normal to be unsure of what to say or how to act when somebody confides in you. If they tell you about the abuse which they have endured and the pain they have felt, you might resort to using cliches.
With the hopes of making them feel better, you might say something like “Forgive and forget”. While you may be trying to help, you might actually be making things worse.
There are 10 Reasons Why You Should Not Say ‘Forgive and Forget’:
1. It invalidates the abuse
The concept of ‘forgiving and forgetting’ works only when the thing you are supposed to forgive and forget is meaningless.
If somebody has pulled a harmless prank and your friend seems to insist on holding a grudge, you can suggest that it is better for their own emotional wellbeing if they were to forgive.
However, you cannot just tell somebody to forgive — or even worse, to forget — years of physical, emotional, and mental abuse. Abuse can result in anxiety, depression, addiction, suicidal thoughts, etc., and in saying that the victim should just move on, you are invalidating the gravity of their trauma.