Ask Angelo - Angelo Pezzote
By Angelo Pezzote, M.A., N.C.C., L.M.H.C.
How do you forgive someonethat you loved and trustedmost for really hurting you?
There are people that will tell you that you have to forgive someone who hurt you to healyourself. They tell you to do it for you and not the other person. I think what they mean is thatyouhave to come to some peace within yourself about it. You can't rely on another person. But I don't think forgiveness is necessary to do that. In fact,thinking it does can cause more harm than good.
I worked witha man who was terribly beaten by his father growing up. A "therapist" told him his father really loved him and that he had to learn to forgive his dad to heal. He came to believe their was something wrong withhim because he hated his father and thought of his dad as amonster - anything but loving. He turned his anger toward himself and became deeply depressed. After blaming himself for years, he eventually found his way tome in great suffering and at the end of his rope.I told him he had a justifiable right to be angry, even enraged, at his father.Ialso gave him permissionto choose to forgive his father, or not,for abusing him. Heinstantly began to get better.
When a person betrays your trust and hurts you, it is perfectly OK to feel anger or rage. Something harmful was done to you. It is healthyto hold someoneaccountable.This isn't the same as blaming, holding onto angeror takingrevenge. It's wanting them to take responsibilityandapologize to you for their wrongful action.We must give ourselves permission to feel what we feel when people hurt us. Having negative feelingsdoesn't mean that we also don't care about the person. We maycome to understand what they did and why. We may accept their apology. We maywork through the issue, renew and strengthenour relationship with them. We may never get what we want and need from them.But wedon't need them to have closure within ourselves and we certainly don't have to forgive them for what they did to us in order tolet it go, healand move forward.
We never have to forgive mistreatment that is done to us. If you choose to forgive,do it because you want to and not because you feel you have to. And realize that if you do forgive, it does not mean that you've condoned the hurtful action itself.
All The Best, Angelo.
It seems like every time, I go into a gay bar - I get approached by guys - that want me to buy them a drink. How do I get rid of these people, without being rude. If a guy is really interested in me - he would buy me a drink - not the other way around. How should I deal with this situation.
Dear Nice Guy,
It's a drag when you find out someone's just hustling you for a drink instead of being interested in you for you. I have little tolerance for this kind of opportunistic behavior. These shameless bottom feeders arelooking to beguile you with imitation flattery. They're often full of themselves and looking for crumbs. You can choose to be gracious and sugar coat it with something like "I'm flattered, but I don't know you quite that wellyet." But I recommend that you just be direct and tell them straight out - "no". I think you'll find thatthe users will quickly go away and prey on someone else.The interested ones will stay, buy their own drink and respect you more in the morning.
All The Best, Angelo.
The Gay Man's Therapist
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