In every friendship, there will be disagreements or times when we unintentionally hurt one another.
How do we fix it?
Through much trial and error, I’ve discovered two ways that help to check my pride at the door before my friendships fall:
First, I’ve learned that communication is the solution to all problems. Though I’ve run from confrontation in the past, I’ve come to embrace it when I need to own up to my mistakes. When there’s an issue, it’s vital to discuss it and uncover the root of the problem before it gets bigger. It is most effective after all immediate emotions have dissolved and you are ready to put it all on the table.
I know apologizing seems like a give in after we’ve done something wrong, especially to someone we consider a friend. Yet contrary to popular belief, pride frequently takes the front seat and convinces us that all we’ve been to our friends in the past is enough. We use phrases like “you know I love you” and “ you know I would never mean to hurt you” to cover up actually saying “I’m sorry.”
Acknowledge their feelings and express genuine remorse for hurting them. Then, explain your side and try to meet somewhere in the middle.
Secondly, I’ve learned to accept that forgiveness isn’t on my time.
Of course, when we give our most sincere apology, we want immediate forgiveness. Nevertheless, we must be contently patient if our friends take longer than we expect to accept it. Once we admit our transgression, we put the ball in our friends courts to do as they wish with it. If they choose to remain angry for days or let go of the friendship as a result, that’s their choice. However, we cannot carry a burden after we’ve already released it. Just as we’ve apologized to our friends, we must apologize to ourselves for doing something we thought we would never do and keep moving forward.
Today, I encourage us to realize that just because a friendship has a problem doesn’t mean it’s over and think of ways to mend the wound. Reach out to those friends you miss and try to rekindle the spark. Real friends are hard to come by. Don’t let your pride let them go.