On Redemption


How many chances do you give someone?

What makes you break that rule?


No identifiable examples.

No insinuating or inveigling plausibly deniable scenarios.

This is about how you set your guardrails in life, not why, nor because of whom.


As many as they need to be better. Unless it really hurts and/or they’re not trying. Then I can terminate at one.


At least one more.


I don’t give bigots a chance. Act racist, get punch^H^H^H^H_H booted. Ditto with “friends” who do not live by humanist values. Life’s too short for that shit.


How many chances do you give someone?

1 - too many. I also have a built in reset after a cooling off period. Usually. Previous resets significantly limit the number of chances received on subsequent rounds. 'm sure there’s been people I’ve written off but I’m having a hard time remembering then right now. There have been.

What makes you break that rule?

What’s breaking the rule? Letting people back in is the norm for me, so I would say dismissing them completely is the exception. The few who come to mind have all been people who abused their position or power over others.


Depends. How much are they showing that they understand that a) they fucked up, b) I (and/or another/others) were hurt, c) that they truly care and d) that the above things are important.

If they show recognition of the above and a genuine desire to not keep doing the same thing… probably more chances than I should. If, however, they do not, or pull gaslighting bullshit… Don’t worry, I won’t let the door hit me. I know how to walk away.


How many chances do you give someone?

Hmmm, it is a personal goal of mine to spend as little time as is possible considering other people’s behavior or their motivations, or predicting what they might do next. Obviously, if they are doing real and immediate harm, I might take what I consider to be appropriate action in that moment.

What makes you break that rule?

When I fail at my goal and take their behavior personally, or make value judgements about what they have done. This happens more often than I’d like to admit.

I understand that this is not easily applied to things like internet forums and so on, and that having a set of a set of rules to govern groups or behaviors is infinitely more simple.

But these are my honest thoughts on this.


Seventy times seven.


I don’t count. Pretty much all the chances? If they say they’re striving towards change or being better or whatever, they get a chance. I’m a sucker like that.

BUT. If they’re not actually doing anything, or its just lip service, its goodbye again, until next time.

Specific/not-specific - I’m a wait and see kind of person. Oh, I also require apologies and acknowledgements as part of those never ending chances.


I am a weirdo. I give chances out based on a logarithmic scale.

If a person trends towards being a jerk, 3 may be appropriate to kick them.

If a person is struggling, but has good intentions, it could be hundreds.

If a person is just plain flawed, it’s thousands.


How many chances do you give someone?

I think I’m more often in the position to ask forgiveness myself which makes it hard to cut off others, at least without trying to understand their side of things.

I will say too that I believe all relationships should be based on mutual respect. When a friend asks me to help them move I do because that’s what friends do. When someone demands I do something for them, claiming I have to because we’re related, I won’t even take the call. I’m too busy helping a friend.



What makes you break that rule?

These days, nothing. Used to be that sunk cost would keep me in, nope, no more.


One. I honestly find the concepts of ‘forgiveness’ or ‘redemption’ kind of baffling.

Maybe I’m just a starry-eyed, naive, empiricist; but I tend to default to the belief that the past is ‘real’ in some sense. That, while my ability to learn about it may be more or less severely circumscribed by the passage of time, decay of evidence, etc. if someone did something at some point(or something happened at some point, agents and impersonal phenomena work the same way in this regard); it was, is, and will be ‘true’ that they did that thing at that time.

My memory of an incident may fade; or future context may diminish its relative importance; but I’m really not sure what they mean by ‘forgiveness’ or ‘redemption’ or how I could provide such even if motivated to. The past is immutable in a way that would make any attempt to do something about it absurd, not merely hopeless.

So, in practice, “one; but if I’m forgetful, or the future is eventful, you might get upgraded to ‘transgressor who hasn’t shown risk markers lately’; though actually getting a re-evaluation tends to require favorable circumstances or some sort of special characteristics, since otherwise there are many alternative humans to focus on.”


I am thinking of a specific friend. He gets as many chances as it takes until he gets it right, because when I end up disappointed in him, it’s only because he’s harming himself.

Bigots don’t deserve a second chance. I do not need those people in my life.


I don’t have a rule. My patience used to be near-infinite, now it is merely substantial at best. I like to give people a chance to redeem themselves, but I no longer allow myself to be anyone’s doormat.

I do my best analysis, on a case by case basis, of whether someone is acting in good faith. If I’m pretty sure they’re not, then I’m not about to give them another chance. But I’m very fortunate to have not been seriously injured by someone else’s misdeeds, so I don’t feel the need to be excessively cautious or retributive.


What does this mean? They answer to authority (especially religious scriptural authority) above all else rather than applying basic human judgment, compassion, and empathy?


How many chances do you give someone?

I’m notoriously bad at holding grudges. With two exceptions, I forget even really bad stuff that was done to me within a few hours. It became a safety issue so I started a literal list of people who broke my trust hard enough I would need to remember.

Do it to someone else though and it’s very unlikely I’ll ever forget.

What makes you break that rule?

I don’t know. No one has tried to get off my (short) list before. If whatever they did was done to someone else, they need to make it right with the other person, not me. The person who did the wrong can’t make it right with me before they make it right with the person who was harmed.

If it was done to me (and I actually remember it or put it on the list), they need to make a real apology (no "but"s or "I’m sorry if"s; explain what you did wrong; demonstrate you understand why it was wrong; summary of your plan not to do it again; make it right if it’s something that can be made right).

Even then, an apology isn’t going to instantly put us back where we were. The list exists to protect me from people who take advantage of me. Whatever trust was there before isn’t going to be rebuilt in the space of one conversation.

I know all this makes me sound extremely vindictive but it’s really hard to get on my list and the list was created out of necessity. I’m way too forgiving, trusting, and forgetful to survive and thrive if I don’t have some limit. I’ve been screwed over twice by too many people who knew I’d forget after the first time.


I was going to write feminist, but that is not a broadly inclusive term, was going to write progressive - but then I remembered my status-quoist friend - and then I was going to write “not a shitbag”, but that’s insulting to bags of shit.

Humanist values are ones based on empathy and compassion; they are values of sharing and of following rules that protect humanity as a whole, rather than tribalist self-enriching nonsense. Humanist values like the ones held by Mr Rogers and not the “Christian” values held by Rick Scott.


I don’t count or keep score. I don’t believe in that. I’d rather not count the slip ups someone makes before I get to cut them out of my life. People slip up, because we’re human and we’re flawed. I tend to give people a lot of chances, because I appreciate the second chances I’ve been given, and because I’m not at liberty to hold grudges over petty crap that I know I do just like everyone else. Making mistakes is part of life, and even the mistakes people make that hurt me are the same mistakes I make with other people.

If I cut someone out of my life, it’s because something happened that made me skittish around them, and I no longer feel comfortable around them like I once did. It’s not a conscious effort to remove them from my life, but more like keeping them at a physical and emotional distance until I can handle being around them again. Usually this takes some time but is temporary, but on rare occasions it’s permanent.

When what they did doesn’t qualify as a mistake but as a very deliberate sign of disrespect. For example, I’ve known a couple different people who were alright one on one, but the minute they were with their buddies I was the butt of their jokes, assuming I was acknowledged at all. Each time that happened, I dropped that person like a bad habit. They knew what they were doing, and didn’t want to change.


How many chances do you give someone?

this is flavored by my naturally forgiving nature and the fact that as a 6th grade science teacher i’m used to dealing with people with limited filters and limited pattern recognition skills. having said that, around 100 chances.

What makes you break that rule?

behavior that goes above and beyond the call of poor impulse control and veers into the territory of calculated and deliberate acts of cruelty, meanness, entrapment, or exploitation especially of those with less power, intelligence, or ability to discern that they are being played or the excusing of such behavior by significant others of those who behave in such a way when i know they really DO know better. i’ve dropped a friend from high school days who staunchly defended her husband who was either a sociopath or a borderline personality who found his greatest enjoyment from making his subordinates at work miserable and bragged about it laughingly as though descriptions of cruelty were worthy of a good horselaugh.