Guest Blog: Continuing a Friendship After You’ve Been Hurt

December 10, 2011

By Guest Blogger MargE Bhola

MargE and Her Mom Margaret

A challenge I’ve recently encountered is reconnecting with a friend when there’s been a falling out due to a fundamental disagreement.  One of the most important parts of friendship to me is loyalty. Almost beyond all else, I value knowing that I can count on my friends, no matter what.

When that trust has been broken, it is hard for me to continue a friendship. But what happens when you are hurt by your friend but you want to continue the friendship? Looking back on my life, I can see times when I’ve been disappointed by friends, and I can also remember times when I’ve been the one to disappoint a friend.  Most of those times occurred around a specific event, and once that event was corrected then the friendship continued.

But what if you have a disagreement and you have to decide whether or not to continue the friendship with that disagreement still in place?  This is the exact problem I’ve been struggling with lately. How do you continue a friendship knowing that there’s a giant elephant in the room – an issue that has just stopped being discussed?

After a lot of thinking, I’ve discovered that you have to let your friend be exactly who they are and exactly who they aren’t. Accepting the whole package is easy when you agree with it.  Allowing someone to have successes and failures is the tricky part.  Being critical of someone else is not only exhausting, but it can drive people away. Mistakes are made. People have less than shining moments, and sometimes it takes them a while to realize that it isn’t their finest hour.

I‘ve resolved that it’s okay to disagree with a friend, as long as it doesn’t continue to affect the relationship. If you aren’t able to separate the event from your friendship, then maybe it’s best to pause and reevaluate in the future.  Ultimately, I have to ask myself, ‘Is this upset changing the actions that I’d normally be taking?  Am I holding a grudge?’ If so, then I’m not only missing out on a friendship, but I’m also being untrue to myself.  For now, I’ve decided to enjoy my friendship and believe that everything will work out for the best.

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