Dear Hope: My Best Friend Won’t Forgive Me
My best friend won’t forgive me. I didn’t blame her at first but it’s been a month and she still won’t talk to me. Let me explain what happened. She told me a secret, a big secret. She swore me to secrecy and I promised not to tell. I wasn’t going to tell, but I let it slip out to another friend of ours. This other friend spent the night at my house. We stayed up all night and we were just talking about everything. I was tired and it just came out. I felt horrible right after I said it, but it was too late. The other girl told her the next day and that was it. She has not spoken to me since. I have tried to apologize but she won’t even listen to me. What can I do? We have been best friends for 6 years. Please help
I’m sorry you are going through this with your friend. We all make mistakes. You shouldn’t have told her secret, but you already know that. The problem now is that you want her to forgive you. You need to understand that she may never forgive you. This was a big secret for her and she felt comfortable sharing it with you. She is hurt that you betrayed her trust. Even if you are ready to move on it may still be fresh to her. I think it’s a great idea that you want to apologize, but you can’t force her listen.
Until she is ready here is what you can do:
- Send her an email or go old school and send her a letter in the mail. Say all the things you want her to hear. Apologize. Don’t make excuses. Actually admit you were wrong. Remind her of the good times in your friendship. How much your friendship means to you. Tell her you that you understand if she needs more time. Let her know you miss her and you will wait until she is ready.
Then you wait. She may not read it right away, but it will be there when she is ready. She can read it on her own, privately. Sometimes that’s easier than talking face-to-face.
- Give her space, but don’t avoid her. If she tries to talk to you, keep it simple. Don’t expect things to fall back to where they were. If you see her, smile and say hi. The point is to let her know you are still there, but not pushing.
After six years of friendship, she knows you. She knows you are a good person and a good friend. Everyone makes mistakes and I think if you give her time, she will forgive you. I hope everything works out. Try to be patient with her.
Thank you for being brave and sending in your question.