Updated: Apr 29
So, what had happened was, I told my associate Kay* that I don’t have to be loyal to my best friend Monica*. I said that out of anger because Monica was saying some really foul stuff to
me and I was mad…but I didn’t really mean that I don't have to be loyal to her. Monica said she accepted my apology, but she will never forget and that we will never be as close as we were. Can you help me with strategies to break down her walls so we can be best friends again.
I Miss My Friend.
Dear I Miss My Friend,
Rebuilding trust will take time and effort but it’s doable. Try these three strategies to help with re-establishing your friendship.
1) You should immediately take ownership for your actions. This means making your apology sincere, specific and acknowledging that you hurt your friend, Monica. Instead of saying “I’m sorry if I hurt you” try saying “I’m sorry that I hurt you.” The first apology is implying that you don’t know if you hurt Monica and is considered to be condescending and the second is an apology implying you know you hurt her.
2) Show Monica that you are committed to rebuilding the relationship by listening to how she is feeling. The best way to show that you are committed to rebuilding is not to continuously talk about being committed but to show that you are committed. The best way to do that is to listen to her. Listen to how she felt, how she is feeling and she wants to feel. Then ask her what you can do to make things better…and do it! If she needs time, don’t bombard her with calls. If she wants you to keep the difficulties between you two, don’t tell mutual friends about your frustrations with her.
3) Realize that only time and space is going to heal the friendship. This is where your patience will come in. You may want to get over the incident quickly, but she may need additional time to process it…and you have to give her the time she needs. While you are giving her space, check in with her periodically but also respect her if she’s not ready to talk just yet.
Overall, rebuilding trust takes time but you will get through if you quickly take ownership for your actions, show your friend that you are committed to rebuilding the friendship and give her the time, space and patience needed for her to heal!
*Names have been changed