It's tea time here in the Journal, where some conversations need to be had. Our first topic: giving people an infinite number of chances.
Take a look at the GIF above. How often have you said this after a breakup, whether you're friends or a couple? I'll give you a second to think about it.
Now, how many times have you said this over and over again? If you've answered one too many times, you may want to continue reading. At one point or another, you'll find yourself saying this. Usually, it'll be after the first or second time. But for some people, it can sound like a broken record. While giving people infinite chances might seem like a kind and compassionate approach to life, there are also consequences to consider. While it's important to extend grace and forgiveness to others, it's equally important to recognize when a situation or relationship has become toxic or damaging.
Now, you may be saying "Why is this topic?" I say it's because I've seen too many people go through the cycle of being hurt, breaking up the relationship, then saying I'll give you another chance. This cycle can be detrimental to your self-esteem and character. For starters, you wind up being constantly hurt. For example, I've been observing the relationship between two people I know. They both have hurt each other, say they're done, and then a second chance is given. A few weeks later, they're back fighting and broken up... You get the idea.
With this being said, here are some of the potential consequences of giving people an infinite number of chances:
1. It enables harmful behavior
If we continually give someone infinite chances without setting boundaries or consequences, we may inadvertently enable their harmful behavior. This can lead to a cycle of abuse or neglect that's difficult to break. Harmful behaviors can include verbal and sometimes physical abuse later on. If you find yourself in an abusive situation, call someone to help.
2. It can lead to burnout and even resentment
Constantly forgiving and giving people an infinite number of chances can take a toll on our emotional well-being. If we don't set boundaries and take care of ourselves, we can become resentful and burned out. Think of this situation as disciplining a child. If you see a child doing something you don't like and don't say anything, you're enabling bad and harmful behavior. It's important to recognize when we need to step back and prioritize our own needs.
Resentment can progress over time in this situation and can be for the smallest thing. If you keep giving people chances after they've screwed up more than twice can lead to resentment. The consequence is that the more chances you give, the more hurt you become.
3. It can damage relationships, friends, or couples
While forgiveness and compassion are important in relationships, giving people infinite chances can also damage relationships if the person doesn't reciprocate or take responsibility for their actions. This is one of the reasons why most relationships end badly. If we continually forgive without addressing the underlying issues, the relationship may become strained or even toxic.
It's okay to give people a second chance, it shows that you're empathetic. But don't let the chances keep rolling. In the end, you'll be hurting yourself and the other person. It can lead to one of the consequences listed above. I'm no love expert, I'm single. But, I have observed many friendships and relationships to the point I can see them with my eyes. We need to set boundaries and hold people accountable for their actions, while also extending grace and forgiveness when appropriate. By striking a balance between forgiveness and accountability, we can create healthier relationships and promote personal growth and change.