We’ve all been there.
It’s the worst feeling when your best friend stabs you in the back when you thought she had it covered. In the initial stages, it seems impossible to forgive and forget, right? Maybe not. As proven by girls who have all gone through this, you can survive and heal not only yourself but also the friendship you had with her (if that’s what you want). So what are the tricks?
Step One: Work out if you want to keep your friendship
“I thought about whether it was worth continuing being friends with her ’cause if it happens again it’ll hurt twice as much and I’ll feel twice as stupid,” 19-year-old Gabrielle said. It’s better to do this before you talk to her because then you can work out where the conversation is going to go. Don’t forget she’s probably been there for you when nobody else was and supported you for a long time. That’s also most likely worth more than the stupid thing she’s done now, although not for Gabrielle: “I realised that as I began to grow as an individual I didn’t need someone like that in the life I had begun to create for myself,” she said.
Step Two: Talk it out
Yeah, it’s the hardest conversation you’ll have to have, but talking about what happened is the only way you’ll get clarity. If it turns out that it’s not such a huge deal, then great! You have all the information you need to move on quickly. If it turns out that it’s worse, you have all the details you need to think about if you have to walk away from the friendship. One piece of advice for when you do talk about it? Try to keep composed. “It took a lot, but I stayed calm. We assessed who was at fault and I made sure that I stuck by what I believe in and didn’t let her words sway me,” said Lara, 26.
Step Three: Ask how you contributed to the situation
No one wants to believe they’ve done anything wrong, but self awareness is essential and knowing how you might have slipped up in the friendship will help you avoid the situation again and give her a chance to explain her actions. The key here is to not get defensive and to genuinely want to find out how you contributed to the fight. “My best friend of six years completely betrayed my trust,” 19-year-old Rachael said. “When I asked her if I had done something to her that I wasn’t aware of, she told me I’d really hurt her a week ago and she was still angry about it. That’s why she’d hurt me. We both ended up apologising to each other because it turned out we were both in the wrong.”
Step Four: Take some time to think about your values
Ask yourself the following questions: What do you want from a friend and are you that kind of friend yourself? Does she make you and your life better? Can you give her a break this time or is this her third strike? For Naya, 22, she realised all she needed was a friendship timeout to fix things between them. “We got into a huge texting-war over the summer and after I finally stopped responding to her harsh messages, we left it for awhile. Three months later, we gradually rebuilt our friendship. It just needed some space.”
Step Five: Forgive and move on.
If you’ve decided your friendship is worth salvaging, high fives for being the bigger person – it takes strength to forgive and forget. Now consider the fight as over as Lindsay Lohan’s career. – Melissa Henricks
Top photo from Florian Strzelecki’s Flickr photostream.