Dear Carol: “I hurt a good friend’s feelings"
One of my best friends overheard me say something mean about her. I’m hardly ever mean—I just can’t believe this happened. The friend has been acting desperate around a guy and I said that to another girl…and she heard. I didn’t know she was in the bathroom when I was talking and, when she came out, she darted out the door without even washing her hands—and she hasn’t spoken to me since. I don’t blame her for being mad, but I also don’t want to lose her friendship. Help!
—Hurt My Friend's Feelings
Dear Hurt My Friend’s Feelings,
You said the wrong thing and now you’re both upset. Can you apologize—or apologize again? Do it in person and own the mistake. Say, “I’m so sorry that I made that comment. That was stupid, and I feel terrible. I want us to be friends again and I hope you will forgive me.” That’s better than, “Don’t be so sensitive” or “I don’t know why you’re still mad” or “C’mon, it’s not that big a deal” or “I already said I’m sorry.” If you do this face-to-face, you’ll have a better chance of hugging it out at the end—and there won’t be a trail of words for her to show her family or analyze with other friends. My hope is that you’ll both feel better after you clear the air.
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