Advising someone to “forgive and forget” might have negative effects.
When someone confides in you, it’s common to feel uncertain about what to say or how to respond. You might utilize platitudes if they talk to you about the abuse they’ve experienced and the suffering they’ve encountered.
You can say something to the effect of “Forgive and forget” in an effort to cheer them up. Despite your best intentions, you can be be making matters worse.
6 Reasons Why You Should Not Say “Forgive and Forget”
1. It disproves the abuse.
Only when the thing you are supposed to forgive and forget is meaningless does the concept of “forgiving and forgetting” work.
You might advise your friend to forgive if they are harboring a grudge towards someone who perpetrated a harmless joke on them and they seem to be steadfast in doing so.
However, you cannot just instruct someone to forget years of physical, emotional, and psychological abuse. Saying that the victim should just move on invalidates the severity of their suffering because abuse can lead to anxiety, sadness, addiction, suicidal thoughts, etc.