You’ve said or done something awful and your friendship is in tatters. Probably you feel guilty and lonely. There may be knock-on effects within your friendship group, with people taking sides or feeling awkward. You’re desperate to put things right, but what can you do?
BE CLEAR WITH YOURSELF
You may wish you could turn the clock back, but all you can do is work with what happened.
- Don’t panic. Even if you think you’re losing your friend (or friends) what’s done is done and the last thing you want to do is make it worse.
- Things will change and even though you feel dreadful now, it won’t last, so keep a sense of perspective.
- Ask yourself why you did what you did, or said what you said. Did you act out of some unpleasant emotion, such as jealousy, rivalry or spite? Or were you acting (although mistakenly) out of a wish to be kind or helpful? And if you were angry, did you have just cause? You may need to talk to someone – for instance one of our readers at The Circle – to be clear in your mind.
- Is this a case of you ‘messing up’? Or is there a deeper issue involved, concerning the friendship? Try to be aware of the dynamics.
- How precious is this friendship to you? Did/does this person usually make you feel valued? Or do you want to keep ‘in’ with them for some other reason – possibly because you have no-one else at the moment, they are key within your wider group, or have some control over you?
- This spot of trouble you’re in is an opportunity to re-evaluate and get to know yourself and your motives and needs. It is always possible that your subconscious is at work here.
- Be clear about what you want – do you want this person back as a close and loved friend, or do you want to patch things up for the sake of peace, and your wider group?
- When you understand yourself and really know what you want, then you can take steps.
APPROACH YOUR FRIEND
If you decide that this friendship really matters, for all the best reasons, then it is very likely that the two of you can build bridges. Sometimes it is good to wait a while – a few days, or even weeks – to let the dust settle and emotions to go off the boil. Ask yourself what your friend is likely to respond best to – is he or she the type to fly off the handle? Or are they more even-tempered and fair-minded? Apologise sincerely, if you really feel you have something to be sorry for – never let silly pride stand in the way. Show that you understand their feelings. If you believe your friend had a part in it, say sorry for your part first. Even if you feel your friend was partly to blame, keep discussion of that for a later time. (However, if it’s important, make sure you do sort the issue, because buried resentment could have a bad effect further down the line.) This isn’t about anyone being right, it’s about positive emotions, caring and being able to share. Say sincerely how you felt, and if your motives may have been difficult to understand, try to explain them. Sometimes a go-between can be helpful, as long as you have the right person. If you know your friend very well indeed, then maybe a well-chosen card or gift will melt the frost – but don’t shower them as if you’re trying to buy them! Meanwhile, get support from wherever you can. We all make mistakes, we’ve all done things we regret. First of all, forgive yourself! You’re only human, and if your heart is in the right place, your friend will soon be close again.
Friendships can cause as much, if not more pain than relationships, and it’s often harder to get support from other friends. Loyalties may be divided, and there may be things you can’t say. That’s where we come in, at TheCircle. Help with your problem is waiting for you. Dating advice and relationship advice are also available with a few clicks, when you contact us at TheCircle. Find clarity with your love and friendship issues, get your relationship horoscope or benefit from psychic insight. There’s no need to cope with your anxieties alone – put in a call today
PUBLISHED: 22 JUNE 2015