It takes a person with strength of character to give an apology or to say “no hard feelings”, especially when they did nothing wrong. It takes an even bigger person to accept it with grace and allow each of you to move on. Not everyone can do both.
Some people can’t say they are sorry, or that it’s okay now and some people can’t accept an apology and some people can’t do either one.
I don’t often happen upon this kind of person because I have become very choosy about who I keep company with now, but one of those rotten apples ended up being tossed in my basket recently. I had taken a quiet exit from the friendship, and after several months this person sought me out just so they could tell me how screwed up they thought I was for not being their friend. I was perplexed at first. I had never known anyone that would go after the person that ditched them just so they could say something mean to them. I allowed them to get it all out and once they made the declaration that I was to “have a nice life” I simply responded that I would do that.
I let some time pass before sending over a short note that I had no hard feelings. I didn’t say this, but I wasn’t terribly interested in being friends again, and I didn’t want them to think I was gossiping about them or saying anything at all, really. The response I got back from this person totally blew my mind! Paragraphs of vile hatred and animosity. Condescending rhetoric about their superiority and how intrigued they were that I would reach out to them now, after all this time. Blah, blah, blah…it was the most overkill I had witnessed in response to a simple “no hard feelings” note. Evidently, they had some hard feelings about it and it was pretty easy to spot the defense mechanism response they employed in order to protect themselves from feeling the hurt.
I teetered between being really pissed off and feeling kind of sorry for them.
To sum it up:
1. I took a quiet exit from the friendship and months later this person sought me out to tell me how much they never liked me.
2. I wait for a cooling down time and send a note saying I have no hard feelings and I wish them well, and this person responds by telling me how screwed up I am for telling them I have no hard feelings.
What would you do right about now?
How would you feel?
I should have learned my lesson after the first antagonistic interaction. All the reasons I took a quiet exit from the friendship in the beginning were now very apparent. Most normal people would just accept the “no hard feelings” and move on. They wouldn’t pounce on you like you were their last supper. No, there was definitely a screw loose here and it wasn’t something I could repair and definitely not something I wanted to explore any further.
Do I regret sending along the thought that I had no hard feelings for the person? No, I don’t regret it. It taught me another valuable lesson and reminded me of why I created new personal boundaries to keep people like this out of my life. Now I have another good lesson to tuck under my belt; Don’t go backwards!
It is admirable when someone can be magnanimous and accept your best wishes with the grace they are shared. There is also something to be aspired to when someone can be the bigger person and apologize. I’ve talked about being the bigger person before and sometimes I think being bigger is bullshit, but I do give it a shot sometimes. I am not the bigger person most of the time. I know this about myself though and readily admit it.
If you truly have no hard feelings, don’t always assume this feeling is something shared by the other person. They may be very hurt that you aren’t their friend anymore and they might jump on the opportunity to hurt you just as much as they are hurting. If you aren’t fully prepared for that to happen, then just keep your “no hard feelings” to yourself and keep moving forward. There is truth in the saying that we forgive people for ourselves. You never need to tell the other person how you feel or what you have resolved, you just have to know it in your own heart and do it for yourself.
The next time you’re feeling pretty good about a bad relationship and you finally have no hard feelings, rejoice in that good feeling, smile about it and keep going. After all, it’s your life and you don’t need anyone’s validation to feel good.
- Selfless or Self-Loathing? (floweredphoenix.wordpress.com)
- Time to get a little honest. (tonybake.wordpress.com)
- When Less is More (realityandlove.wordpress.com)
- Get Over Your Ex!!!! (loveaide.wordpress.com)
- Derek Zoolander and controlling my story (hellosoulblog.wordpress.com)
- Friendships. (prettyinpink228.wordpress.com)
- The Gift of a Friend (jhuynh1.wordpress.com)
- Why I am me!!!! Why I feel alone!!! and why friendships are so hard!!! (tashargent.wordpress.com)
- Make Amends (rewindbackup.wordpress.com)