Friends Don’t Let Friends Hit Below the Belt

Dear Way Out Mama,

This guy i know has this friend….they’ve been friends forever, and they both said some things that were probably “below the belt”, and they weren’t friends anymore…. then the guy I know tried to apologize, and tried to tell him that life is too short to be mad at your friends, and the guy snubbed him, gave him the cold shoulder if you will. I know it took alot for my friend to set aside his feelings, and anger, and to be the one to apologize….considering the things this guy had said…personal insults, offensive things regarding my friends wife and kids… weighs heavy on my friends mind…what should he do?

Dear “Below the Belt”,

Friends, especially long time friends, can go through spells like this. We can become almost sibling-like the closer we get with people. More willing to go for the throat (as many siblings can do!). Seems like nothing is off limits until lines start to get crossed. But then it turns into that “I can get meaner than you.” game. It’s a slippery slope!  As hard as it is, all I can really do is draw on my own experience to try to sort this out.

I once had something like this happen with a friend. We had a rift that lasted years. Without getting into too many specifics, there was an incident. And then there were little mini-incidents along the way during the “friend break up”. So, for instance, the way things were handled, not to mention the split up of our entire group as a result. It was a MESS! At first, I just wanted our friendship to be over. Then, all I wanted to do was to talk it out. Of course, then she wanted nothing to do with me. She was angry. Several months later, she tried to come to me, and I was too angry to talk about it! So whereas I wanted to talk it out at one point, I didn’t at another. It took a long time to sort out, but I’ll tell you what- we both had some growing to do. When we FINALLY got it together, and I hate to tell you, it actually did take years, we made our amends and are MUCH better and more grown up friends than we ever were to begin with. In hindsight, there was no way I could do the kind of growing I needed to do with her around. And vice-versa. We were hindering each other’s growth without even knowing it.

Sound like your friend and his friend aren’t on the same page regarding the incident and it’s possible reconciliation right now, and what is to be done about that? Unfortunately all he can do is let it go. If he has examined his part in it and reached out, that’s all he can do at this point. As hard as that may be, it doesn’t sound like the friend is in a position to talk it through.

My grandmother would tell your friend, “Time heals all wounds.” Unfortunately waiting for that to happen is like watching paint dry. When I was going through my issue, I scoffed at that advice. “No way, not this time…” but I was wrong. You never know what’s going to happen in the future, all your friend can do is be the best person he can be and know the difference of what he can and can’t control. I hope this helps and I hope that time heals the wounds.

~Way Out Mama~

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