How do you manage your own and others’ grudges and longstanding grievances?
Our prompt comes from Interpersonal Skills Stack Exchange user Tinkeringbell (original and abridged version ccbysa3.0):
About 8 years ago, we had some serious get-a-lawyer trouble with a couple of neighbors. I was in university at the time, and I have a general knowledge of what happened, but my parents never spoke about their interactions with the neighbors.
Since then, I’ve had some interactions with one of our neighbors, and she seems genuinely apologetic about the whole thing. I’m not the easiest person to win over, but I really think she’s sorry for what happened and wants to apologize. I’ve seen her make several attempts to try and speak to my mom, but my mom always avoids her or gets ‘rescued’ by dad.
Yesterday, we received a Christmas card from her. My mom was so mad she didn’t even read it. I did, and it was a really nice card. It stated something along the lines of ‘I really like to apologise and I want to start anew, just like the new year does’.
Then, there was a invitation for the entire neighborhood to come and have the traditional New-Years eve drinks in her home.
Needless to say, when I told my mom what was actually in the card, she got really, really mad, to the point of shouting at me that I was being naive and manipulated.
I’m guessing our neighbor did something that’s even worse than the things I know about, but when I asked mom about it yesterday she wouldn’t tell me. I’d really like to know why she called me out for being naive and manipulated, and understand her anger.
How can I have a talk about the reasons for her anger with my mom, when only mentioning the subject pisses her off this much? I’d really like to find out what it is that happened that is so inexcusable she doesn’t want to talk about it or find it in her heart to forgive, even after years.
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