I’ve been in meetings all day so this will be really brief but sometimes short really is sweet! I had breakfast this morning with a former colleague. Although we were in different departments of a large company, we often collaborated on things along with a third person. I always enjoyed her thinking on things – she was (and is) bright and energetic. The work was challenging, especially since it was in the early days of digital and the “right” answers weren’t very obvious (and still aren’t a lot of the time!).
This morning she asked me a question I couldn’t answer: why did the other colleague and I stop speaking to her? What triggered our silence? Honestly, I had no clue, but the question did remind me of a great lesson.
As I said to her I didn’t (and don’t) usually get mad enough about anything business-related to go to that extreme (putting aside that it’s unprofessional and generally counter-productive). I suspect it had more to do with the situation in our area of the company than anger (there were a lot of internecine wars going on and we had some new management that was making life really hard for the wrong reasons). As I told her, even though I suspect it was more benign neglect than rage, had it been anger over something, I’d long since forgotten it. Clearly she hadn’t forgotten the slight, and I felt bad about that.
So here’s the thing: if you’re probably going to forgive and forget, why not do it now? Letting time dissipate the anger is fine, but I think it does more good to forget the problem now while the relationship is still in tact. Maybe I’m older and wiser now or maybe I’m older and my memory is failing, but this is a person with whom I’m glad I’m reestablished contact and realize I probably should never have lost that relationship in the first place.
Save yourself the grief. Having a problem with someone? Let it go. Life’s too short and you know you’re going to get over it anyway. Why not now?