I have a “friend” who has recently done many hurtful things to me. It hurts because he was my best friend for six years. I’m trying really hard to forgive him to get all this animosity out of my system. It can’t be good karma. Do you have any suggestions for helping me to forgive him?
Some Grudge-holding Kid
Are you still friends with him? Have you tried talking to him about the crap he pulled? That is my number one piece of advice. Simply letting it go and trying not to get mad works for the small things once in a while, but it builds up and the more you put off calling him on it, the more difficult it gets to forgive him because you’re involuntarily keeping a mental list of all the mean things he’s done.
This doesn’t need to be a super serious talk. Try telling him that you haven’t been too happy with him recently and that he needs to be more aware of his behavior toward you. Just saying this is a sort of release for all those resentments you have bottled up.
The path to forgiveness is a long one. Even when you think you’re over it, you may find yourself fantasizing about backing over his foot or spiking his drink with laxatives. This is normal, so don’t beat yourself up for it. What you need to do to curb these vengeful urges is to think of the decent times you had with your friend. Think about why he was your friend for six years.
Forgiveness is a balancing act. It’s about taking the bad with the good and accepting them as one. He hurt you. You were friends and he didn’t act the way he should have. Consider if you are better off without him. Occasionally, we’ll all need to cut friends from our lives. Romantic relationships are not the only ones that go bad. Ask yourself if a clean break would help you to move on from your anger. Your history with this “friend” shouldn’t tie you to something that’s making you miserable.
Getting over being hurt isn’t exactly easy. It’s a conscious effort. You’re allowed to be mad, but you should also try to forgive. Try talking about the issue to someone. Otherwise there will be a whole lot of bad karma.
L.C. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.