I had a huge falling out with a friend a few years back and they said some really hurtful things. They have recently come back around and are wanting to be friends again. We have known each other for so long so I am torn. What do you think I should do?
Oh man, friendships are sometimes even harder to navigate than romantic relationships. If this were a romantic partner coming back around, it would almost be easier to navigate. There is something about having history with a friend that blurs the lines.
With that, it is important to remember that just because you have history does not automatically give this person license to enter back into your life. There are a few things to consider before you make a decision.
- Has this friend taken responsibility and apologized for their hurtful words and actions?
- Have they demonstrated growth?
- Did talking to them feel good in your body? Did you contract and feel tense? Or did you feel a sense of ease and expansion?
- Do you feel having them in your life will add to it or feel more like an obligation?
These are a few questions to ask yourself because it is important for people to take responsibility rather than hoping that the time apart made everything better. If they are not willing to talk about it and own it, it is highly unlikely that they will be able to be the kind of friend that you want.
This ties into the second question about demonstrating growth. We all make mistakes. We have all been in places where we said or did things that we regret. The important thing is to reflect and then grow from them.
The last two questions are ways for you to consciously examine what happens in your body when you communicate with this person. It has a lot to tell you about it.
It is okay to outgrow friendships. It is hard but it is also healthy and normal. At the end of the day, it really does come down to whether or not you want them in your life. As much as we put pressure on ourselves that makes us think otherwise, it really is that simple.