Everyone has certain things they’ve done in the past that they aren’t proud of. It’s amazing how, even after so much time has passed, the selfish and unkind actions we’ve taken can still haunt us. For that reason, I think we owe it to ourselves and others to just spit it out and apologize.

I had a falling out with a friend of mine about 4 years back. Things turned especially nasty due to how close we’d been beforehand. During, and even for a few months after the fight, I thought myself completely blameless. In my mind, my actions were none of her business and I felt she was being nosy and judgmental. Not long after I’d wreaked havoc on a wonderful friendship, I realized she was right. I had acted without regard for others, as if my feelings were the only ones that mattered, and I had seen her criticisms in the harshest light possible, when really she was just reacting with disappointment to what someone she’d had so much faith in had done. After I saw that, I beat myself up for my former stupidity. I cried at random times and got jealous when our mutual friends had a pleasant interaction with her. I even tried to let the guilt go cold turkey. I did everything but what I should have done: apologize.

Guess what happened when I finally did apologize to her. She apologized back! Apparently she had been feeling some similar things, and because we were both open and shared we got caught up on each other’s lives, and it put us both at ease. We may never be the amazing friends we once were (we currently live on opposite sides of the U.S.), but at least we can associate each other with the positive times and let all that stressing and regret go. What a relief!

So, if you’re feeling guilty or estranged go ahead and take a leap! Even if you have to avoid a face-to-face conversation, just do it. A letter, e-mail, phone call, or Facebook message can be just as rewarding without making you shake in your boots. Whichever method you choose, trust me, it’s worth it.

To be honest, I wrote this post to give myself the courage to do some much-needed apologizing, and I think I’m finally ready. I hope this helped someone else do what needs to be done, as well. Wish me luck!

Photo: Mr Flibble

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