Recently I had a very challenging time in my life and my very best friend, in the throes of her own life responsibilities did as she always does, drops everything and was there for ME. Unconditionally, with complete attention, generosity and love, this thoughtful creature gave me just what I needed... we have our friends, our BFF, our rock, our confidant, and yet sometimes, without our realizing it, we’ve allowed an argument, a misunderstanding or possibly a blatant dishonesty destroy the bond we share. Ups and downs, dirty diapers, hangovers, lost jobs, lost loves, they have been your friend for as long as you can remember and now you may find this dear friendship in jeopardy. Before you let poor communication or hurt feelings end your connection to this person, take a look at these tips and mend those fences;
Ways to heal a broken friendship.
1. Take a breath, step back and PAUSE. Vowing to write them off in the heat of emotion is never a win-win. The 30 second rule (OK, sometimes it may take 30 minutes) to gather your thoughts and process the situation can save hurtful words being said in anger.
2. The thoughts in your head feeding your fear and insecurity only help to keep you stuck, confused at not at all empowered. Ruminating and playing the tapes of the circumstance over and over will certainly lead to more frustration - do something; see a movie, go for a run, do a long yoga practice - turn off your head for while to clear space for rational thinking.
3. When I am wounded, lost or feel neglected, I turn now to those men and women who love, support and nourish my soul - they remind me I’m OK; surround yourself with people who fill you up and can be a objective and grounding.
4. Big egos and big voices can be impressionable, but the one with the strongest character will come away the better person. The issue may be too deep to just glaze over, but if you act with graciousness, humility and objectivity, you can remain pleasant and generous no matter the outcome.
5. If for whatever reason after much dialogue your friend is still not moving past the incident, embrace where they are with the situation, let them know you accept this, will adjust and adapt, and that they are valuable to you on whatever terms. Often hurt can take others longer to heal - respect that and be with them at any level.
6. As trying as it can be, when you choose authentic, truthful and unconditional love for the other person and bring your heart to the situation, this hard time will strengthen you beyond anything you could imagine. Regardless of the weight you bear, come to the relationship with only wanting clear, clean communication.
7. Communal negativity is dangerous and will suck you into a empty hole of doubt and insecurity; if you share the situation with someone else and they opt to speak unkindly of your friend, you have just become a conduit to fear - stop the negative interaction and choose to keep the matter to yourself.
8. As the popular character from Seinfeld, George Costanza would say “Do the opposite.” Release your wounded feelings and go out into the world and speak graciously and kindly about your friend. Each moment you start to replay the those ego tapes in your head, call, email or text someone something really positive about this friend - you will feel lifted immediately for doing so.
9. This one is short and sweet; apologize with sincerity, ask for their forgiveness and accept the response, Respect the decision, do not regret.
10. Own your participation in this mishap; acknowledge whatever part you may have played (yes, even when we are the ones that have been hurt or wronged, we brought something to the situation that led us to the matter) and openly, without judgement speak to that place in your friends heart where they intrinsically love you and your words will be received authentically and with clarity.
My dear friend and I have had many a challenging situation, cross words and emotions flying due to impatience, insecurity. Whatever it may be at that time in our long relationship, I can tell you that I would do anything for her and I know her for me and that is worth holding onto, and worth any amount of lessons I might learn in my own growing as HER friend. Be engaged and proactive in resolving broken relationships, strive to have respect and maturity of heart to come to the situation realistically and with the intent to heal and bloom that friendship once again.