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Dear Dolores: How Can I Mend Things With A Friend?

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Dear Dolores,

What can you do to get the people back that are pissed off with you and told you [to] leave them alone? Any ideas?

— Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

Generally, I am a big believer in respecting others’ boundaries. If someone’s asked you to leave them alone, I would assume they meant it. However, if you are interested in trying to repair a strained or broken friendship, a heartfelt apology is always a good place to start. 

The components of an apology are as follows:

  • Expressing Regret: Do you know what you did that pissed this person off? Be specific in acknowledging your actions and how they hurt your friend so that they know you understand why they were hurt. 
  • Accepting Responsibility: You understand that what you did was hurtful and that you are accepting the responsibility for those actions and not seeking to pass them off to another person or circumstance. This is your bad. 
  • Making Restitution: This is where you begin the conversation about how you can begin to make things right. What can you do to help this person trust you again? It is important to be sincere and honest here. 
  • Genuinely Promising Change: It is easy to keep in the same habits, and if what you did was a result of “how you are”, detail some ways that you are going to change in order to avoid making the same mistakes again. 
  • Requesting Forgiveness: Ask your friend for forgiveness. If you are genuine in your apology and the intentions behind it, this part may come easy. It is the other person’s choice to offer their forgiveness, but if you have put thought into reaching out and offering your apology, this is the most you can do. 

Relationships are built on trust and communication. This applies to friendships, romantic relationships, and family. I genuinely hope that you are able to repair the bridge with your friend. 

— Love, Dolores

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This is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for medical advice. Please consult YOUR health care professional if you have questions or concerns about your physical and/or mental health. I am not liable for any action you take as a result of reading answers provided to others or to you directly. By filling out this form you are consenting to having your question posted on this page. If your question contains personally identifying information I will remove it or change it to protect your privacy.

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