Should We Forget Our Painful Past?

Jun 01, 2016 1 Min Read

All of us have experienced some form of painful or embarrassing moments in life. We might have felt cheated, humiliated, or provoked to react angrily to friends and loved ones. These experiences can be quite traumatising and can lead us to great stress.

As a result of our painful past, we end up losing trust in people and lead a life with “calculated happiness”. At the same time, we try our best to forget the past.

Does forgetting past events lead us to happiness? The answer: No.

1. Events will repeat and remind us of our past

Most of our life’s events tend to repeat. We can avoid involving ourselves in the same events, but similar ones will happen. If you are a victim of harassment, passing by the same road, motorcycle sound, or even someone with the same coloured T-shirt may remind you of the past. We then would probably try our best to eliminate all events associated with the painful experience, leaving us with little options to choose from.

2. Everything happens for a good reason

We are often reminded: “Whatever has happened has happened for the good.” This tells us that in every bad action there is a form of goodness.

By going through a painful event, we come to know about our weaknesses. Using the same harassment scenario, we should know that the event has shown us our weakness. Perhaps, we:

  • were unfit to run (physical weakness).
  • tried to fight back but then we let go (will weakness).
  • did not bring any personal safety devices such as safety alarm and pepper spray (external weakness).

Bear in mind that going through a good reflection can reveal all our weaknesses.

3. We are better equipped now

Over the years, we grow. We become more mature and wiser. If the same thing happens again, we may respond differently. It may not be as painful as the first time. The question is: How can you gauge how much you have improved over the years?

The best way is to review past events. Reflect on the same event, but replace with the ‘improved’ you. You would probably realise that you have responded more calmly and maturely.

If by any chance the review shows you are likely to react the same way again, then it’s time to identify key areas for improvement.

6 tips to help you overcome your painful past

  1. Analyse the event.
  2. Identify your weakness and areas of improvement.
  3. Improve yourself and show your anger here.
  4. Review the past and replace with a new you.
  5. Gauge yourself.
  6. Choose to be happy and celebrate the new you!
To learn to use non-verbal communications and manage conflict through Leaderonomics’ emotional intelligence training course, email us at For more Try This articles, click here.

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This article is published by the editors of with the consent of the guest author. 


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