You don’t have to play nice. You don’t have to take the high road. You don’t have to be the bigger person.
The idea of treating people better than they’ve treated you is nice in theory — but it can also be toxic. You shouldn’t allow yourself to get pushed around. You shouldn’t freely let others walk all over you. If you don’t put them in their place, then they’re never going to learn. They’re never going to realize what they’ve done is wrong. They’re never going to grow and change.
It’s not your responsibility to coddle the people who have hurt you. You don’t owe them anything. You don’t have to reach out an olive branch. You don’t have to accept their apology. Even if you do accept their apology, it doesn’t mean you have to allow them entrance into your world. It doesn’t mean you have to give them the chance to hurt you again.
They screwed up. They made a mistake. They did the wrong thing. So why is it your job to fix the problem and treat them kindly and give them all your love?
You should never feel pressured to make room for toxic people in your world. You can shut them out. You can walk away. You can decide they don’t deserve your time or attention.
If someone did you wrong, you’re allowed to be angry. You can work toward forgiving them if you believe it’s going to bring you peace — but you can also hold onto the grudge if you want. You can keep your distance from them if you want. You can surround yourself with healthier, happier people if you want. Everyone heals differently. If walking away is best for you, then don’t let anyone talk you out of the idea.
Anyone who tells you you’re not allowed to push away toxic humans, even though they were the ones who caused you so much pain, is wrong.
Acting like you should get over what someone has done to you is a tactic that toxic people use to make you feel guilty when you’ve done nothing wrong. It’s a way to shift the blame onto you so they don’t have to take responsibility for their own actions. It’s a way to make you feel like you’re as bad as the person who hurt you because you aren’t giving them free rein to do whatever the hell they want.
But guess what? If someone hurts you, you don’t have to be okay with what they’ve done. You don’t have to continue to be their friend. You can walk away. You’re allowed to cut toxic people out of your world.
Maybe they had good intentions. Maybe they’ve changed. Maybe they’re truly, genuinely sorry. None of that matters. Your well-being matters. If you’re better off without them, then go.
You’re not the bad person in this scenario. Don’t let anyone convince you that you’re doing the wrong thing by leaving behind someone who hurt you. They lost their chance. You don’t have to give them another.