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Thursday, 22 November, 2007

What Do You Do When Friendship Hurts?

When Friendship Hurts

Everybody makes mistakes, even our nearest and dearest friends. That is a truism that can't be avoided or changed. So, what do you do when a friend says or does something that hurts you? Here are some tips.

Keep Things In Perspective

Some days I'm much more sensitive than others. The same comment that hit a nerve on Thursday wouldn't have fazed me on Friday, so it�s important to keep things in perspective. Just as we can occasionally have a bad day, so can our friends. Illness, personal problems, or even lack of sleep can cause people to say or do hurtful things unintentionally. Be quick to give your friends the benefit of the doubt. The �mountain out of a molehill syndrome� has wrecked many a friendship.

The Molehills

Small slights and harmless mistakes happen all the time in every type of relationship. Most of them should be ignored. After all, we wouldn't want someone harping on every mistake we make.

But, there are times when you just can't let it go, no matter how small, or the hurtful thing may be something that is done repeatedly. Well in that case, its time to sit down and have a talk with your friend. Most of the time, our friend may not realize we are angry about something that seems so insignificant, but if its going to cause a rift between the two of you, its best to get it out in the open.

The Mountains

Some errors are mountainous when it comes to the kind of pain they cause, and cannot be ignored. A natural reaction to something a friend does that seriously hurts us may be to walk away and wait for an apology.

Of course, every circumstance is different and that may be the best way to handle things, but I find that the closer I am to the friend involved, the more upset I will be about the situation. Why wait around with your feelings all in an uproar? Talk to your friend about what he or she has done as soon as possible. Perhaps the entire incident was a big misunderstanding, perhaps not. Either way, the sooner you get the matter cleared up, the sooner your piece of mind will return.

Forgive and Don't Hold A Grudge

Whether the problem was a minor molehill or an immense mountain, once you've said, �I forgive you�, be true to your word. Forgive your friend, forget the incident, and don't hold a grudge. Realistically, it may be impossible for you to totally forget something that was extremely hurtful. However, if you've truly forgiven your friend for the error, you won't treat him/ her any differently then before the incident, and you'd never bring it up again.

The Unforgivable

Sadly there are times when a friend says or does something to us that we find unforgivable, and that basically spells the end of the friendship. Only you can decide what type of mistake falls into that category, but when you can, be generous with your forgiveness and others will be generous when forgiving you.

Friendship is important to health and happiness of each one of us, but problems will arise. Things will be said and done that are hurtful, but they don't have to derail your friendships. Talk things over, be forgiving, and don't hold a grudge. These simple steps can help you maintain good friendships that can last a lifetime.