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Chiugo Akaolisa: The Score Keeper

Chiugo Akaolisa



Last weekend, my mother told me a story about her uncle who never forgot anything. Anytime someone did something bad to him, he dusted out an old score book and recounted how many other times it has been done to him and if it is worth forgiving. It was humbling how detailed my mother said he was. I laughed hard because my mother is a funny story teller but it led me to thinking about how many marriages, relationships or friendships end as a result of score keeping. Yep, it is that serious.

The person who coined the phrase “forgive and forget” must have had his/her own fair share of failed relationships and decided it was better to warn the rest of the world about it. If you are smart, take his/her advice and save yourself.

The Score-Keeper is one who never forgets any wrong doings and then uses it as a weapon or a criteria for reaction when the offence is repeated. Sounds familiar? They are also excellent at retaliations and they usually expect grand apologies. For example “Today makes it the fifth missed call this month. I will make sure to miss her calls 5 times too” or “I was first to apologize last time and the time before, I don’t care who is right or wrong, it is his turn”. Seriously?
This may come as a shock to some people but NOBODY IS PERFECT.

In that moment when imperfections inevitably occurs, rather than bringing out your score book and reminding the person of the number of times it has happened in the past, please talk it out. It may be enlightening to note that some people who reoffend are usually unaware of how big of a deal the wrongdoing is. With the exception that you are psychic or a mind-reader, you cannot understand why people have acted the way they have if you do not approach them and find out.

When you are satisfied with the explanation and you utter words that sound like “I forgive you”, every account of what the person has done should be erased, never to be brought up again.

It is important to note that the manner of confrontation is very key. There is no successful conversation that begins with a raised voice or accusations. If you notice a progressively annoying pattern from your partner, talk only about the current situation, as calmly as possible, and then wait for an explanation. You will be amazed at how civil people become when they are not treated like animals.

I admit, it is not an easy task and it takes work but so does everything good. I also admit that we all find ourselves here at some point in our lives but this piece is for those who bask in the glory of score-keeping.

Now, there are those special people that can never take a correction and commit the same infuriating offences repeatedly, no matter how politely you approach them. Keeping scores won’t help. Deciding when to remove yourself from a toxic situation may be a better solution than being turned into something you are not.

So please, burn that book of wrongs and learn to reconcile your differences. Good luck.

Photo credit: Dreamstime | Atholpady

Chiugo Veronica Akaolisa is a graduate from the University of Alberta, Canada. She is a God-lover and a recluse. Her every spare time is spent writing and developing her business. She is an entrepreneur and a budding novelist. Her true passion is Poetry and Relationship Tips. She has a minor in Psychology. Twitter: Verachi | Facebook: | Instagram: missverachi |


  1. omoibo

    November 26, 2014 at 11:46 am

    The term forgive and forget sounds great on paper but truth be told it takes a conscious effort from the individuals.
    I for one, do not like keeping scores because it takes way too much energy to do. However, I will be the first to admit that there are certain things that have occurred that you should forgive but not forget, not because you’re trying to keep scores but to serve as a reminder to help avert the same situation happening all over again.

  2. Nahum

    November 26, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Question…what about cases of adultery, do we keep score or turn the other cheek? Lets not deceive ourselves, people like to take the piss and as soon as they see that you keep forgiving their mishaps, they keep taking the piss. Sometimes it is good to remind them, that their piss taking days is coming to an end and this is the reason why. It is always easier to shout forgive and forget, how about we start admonishing those that keep committing the offence. A heart can only be broken so often.

    • G

      November 26, 2014 at 9:56 pm

      truth be told. we live in a selfish society….. do what’s best for you…..
      No one wants to be accountable but quick to quote forgive and forget… e dey Bible sef…
      People expect you to be PERFECT at receiving their own IMPERFECTIONS…
      “Now, there are those special people that can never take a correction and commit the same infuriating offences repeatedly, no matter how politely you approach them. …. Deciding when to remove yourself from a toxic situation may be a better solution than being turned into something you are not.”
      Show me your friend and tell you who you are…

  3. Thinking out loud.

    November 26, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    I believe it is easier to forgive than to forget, in fact, in literal context, I believe that it is not humanly possible to forget, the human brain doesn’t have a delete button which you can press and expunge all or part of one’s memory (at least not naturally), But, the passage of time and other factors, like one’s level of maturity, religious pushes (like ”its a sin not to forgive”) and individual traits would play a role in one’s ability to ignore the offence and continue with the offender….I think one will need superhuman capabilities to just wake up one morning and forget all the wrongs that were done to you last night.

    • Bobosteke & Lara Bian

      November 26, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      I don’t think the “forget” part of the word is to be given a literal interpretation seeing as you said we do not have a delete button to completely erase the memory of the wrong done. One thing that our brains have though is the “replay” button and memories are relived in all their furious glory.

      Perhaps, if I may venture, forgetting is remembering but without the ache, anger, or bitterness evoked by the memory. Forgetting is more for you than the person who did the wrong. It means remembering but not allowing the feelings rule you, your thoughts and your actions, rendering you toxic. Imagine something foreign entering your body and how your antibodies fight them. That’s how the fights go on in our heads. It knows that something incompatible with it has come in. When you try to force it to fit in, the whole system crashes. Which is why we have angry, frustrated people going around with frowns on their faces who cant even remember the reason for their being that way. Forgetting is not allowing these emotions have a lease on your future thoughts, feelings actions or inactions.

      My boss made me flaming mad last week. Since then I kept my papers (dailies) from him. Even going as far as hiding it in my bag if I have to get up from my seat. I have been miserable doing this but that has not stopped me. Considering that I am not a selfish person and not one to hold a grudge it has turned me into a petty, gossipy, miserable fella who is now selfish and is holding a grudge.

      Forgetting does not mean denial either. Forgetting provides you with a clear focus on the lesson rather than the hurt, therefore providing you with the presence of mind to remember to proceed with experience from lesson learnt and with caution.

    • Udolisa

      November 28, 2014 at 1:07 am

      Very well put!

  4. Ephi

    November 26, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    My friends often accuse me of having a “black book”. I disagree though, it’s simply a case of adjusting my expectations based on what has happened, you have to learn and adapt. If people choose to call that having a black book, oh well.

    • fyre

      November 27, 2014 at 9:49 am

      Abi ooo….because am being careful about who I wanna be in a relationship with due to what nonsense they call relationships these days, some of my friend said am a lesbian, some call me antisocial, some said two heads r better than one, some said to live a little. I said to the one about the two heads; “yeah two heads r better than one, unless one is a snakes head”. Its not being antisocial, a lesbian or too proud, its simply learning from lifes experiences and being careful biko.

  5. Taiwo

    November 26, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Forgive and forget sounds truly easy, but it takes super human strength to forget what was done to you especially on issues relating to trust. If i let you into my life, trust you with certain aspects and you betray that trust, believe me, I will Never ever forget it. I may forgive you and move on, but the minute something like that starts again, i will distance myself and start taking appropriate measures to prevent it from reoccurring.
    Forgiving is easy, but forgetting? Herculean. (I’m talking from experience)

  6. Owelle

    November 26, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    It’s impossible not to start keeping scores when the offender keeps repeating the offense even after you have nicely pointed out the wrongdoing. Just ended a relationship cos he keeps doing something that pisses me off, then it became a crime when I reminded him that the same thing had happened several times before. Got tired of all the arguments that it resulted to. There’s no one-size-fits-all in these things, so I guess it depends on whether you think that person is worth forgiving cos forgetting is almost impossible.

  7. Honeycrown

    November 26, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    It is good to always forgive but in some cases you just have to forget the offense along with the offender too. This way, you don’t have to keep scores.

    • Grace E

      November 26, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      very well said honey crown…100%

  8. ReeceBlu

    November 26, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Keeping score is never constructive!
    But amnesia can be detrimental.
    Let memory serve as a compass. If you do not learn from a situation you are doomed to repeat it. Judge one so let by actions. If you have a repeat offender, that is who they ARE. No changing that. Good luck!

  9. Grace E

    November 26, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    I do believe the human mind is not conditioned to FORGET…by forgetting, I believe it is not about it leaving your memory but more about u never bringing it up again against someone…For example, with no intention to blaspheme or anything, God forgives..YES and absolutely…he forgets too in the sense that HE NEVER ever uses any repentant sinner’s past wrongdoing against them again in the future..BUT is he doesn’t necessarily forget….at least that is how I see it ‘cos He was able to inspire Bible writers to pen down some errors and past wrong doings of His people of old just so that we can learn from them…

    My mum for example is very kind hearted and forgiving…but she does mention to me what people do to her and have done to her that she chooses to let go…despite all these I do see that she puts their errors behind her like it never happened…has she forgiven? ABSOLUTELY!!!but has she forgotten? not if she remembers things from 5-10 yrs ago..therefore, NO…

    That being said, sometimes, when someone remembers something, I do like to excuse that especially if it is cases of adultery where a spouse cheats and the innocent mate forgives but then they keep doing and doing and doing (in this case for example…u may expect time to heal the wounds like they say..but what about the scars????)…I have learnt not to be quick to blame the one who remembers or keeps the scores…In certain instances, u just have to understand….I see nothing wrong in not forgetting…I do however see something wrong in constant reminders and always bringing things up when someone errs especially If it is very trivial or over frivolous matters or things..and I do believe NEVER forgetting things helps u learn how to approach a certain situation or people in a different manner…at least I have learnt a lot from not forgetting…..sometimes me sef I forgive and forget the error and the person who does can be healthy and refreshing!! my own opinion..

    Have a nice day y’all 🙂

  10. chu girl

    November 26, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    “Deciding when to remove yourself from a toxic situation may be a better solution than being turned into something you are not.” #WORD

  11. Dodolover

    November 26, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    Score-keeping is only bad when it is done too much. We all need to recognize this. Nice article.

  12. toyin

    November 26, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    It is easy to forgive and forget. Forgetting in this case mean when you think of that painful act it doesn’t hurt you anymore. Personal opinion

  13. fifss

    November 26, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    I am pro at carrying akpor. Sometimes I wish I didn’t carry around so much weight, Thanks for the advice anyways will try to do better

  14. fyre

    November 27, 2014 at 9:40 am

    My brother in law is the perfect score keeper…..he told my sister about a guy who did something bad to him in their teens and he still remembers everything as it happens. This fool is the president of the block rosary In their parish. People who keep scores pray more than pastors and priests.

    • Chiugo Akaolisa

      Chiugo Akaolisa

      November 29, 2014 at 1:04 pm

      Very funny comment!

  15. bigspirit

    November 27, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    It all depends on the gravity of the offence. I WONT forgive someone who would intentionally screw me over. Its like saying i forgive a roach or rat for attacking me at night, then go right back to sleep. It doesnt mean im vindictive, I know what to forgive. Its something i would do for me, not cos my religion says so.

    We must understand that not everyone is designed to like us. Some people just want to hurt u, just to see if u can bite. Others just want to hurt u plain and simple. TRUE FORGIVENESS is truly divine. I am not God. They are called ENEMIES for a reason. I will pray for them (for being on the wrong end)… but forgive? Naaah!

    Talk to michael brown or trayvon martin’s family about forgiveness. or the parents of that ugandan kid that was maltreated by the help.

    • Chiugo Akaolisa

      Chiugo Akaolisa

      November 29, 2014 at 1:12 pm

      Thank you for your comment. No matter how grave the offence is, forgiveness is not so much for the offender as it is for your peace of mind. If the gravity of the offence is too much, you can forgive then cut the person off. As the bible says: If your left hand is causing you to sin, cut it off. You can’t say you will never sleep because a rat bit you. You fumigate your house, heal yourself of the past bite and have a sound sleep. No one should ever go through life carrying baggage from past hurt because of the gravity of the offence. Learn to let go.

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