“I had a couple of friends. . . Then they started being friends with another girl, and when I approached them they stopped talking. . . . They started cutting me out from everything. It really hurt my feelings. - Karen.
It can happen to best friends. One day the two will be inseparable; the next day they don't even speak. "A friend has to be someone you trust and someone you can turn to no matter what," says Nora, 17. However, sometimes your best friend can act like your worst enemy.
Friendship under attack
What makes a sweet friendship sour? For Sandra, the problem started when her friend Megan borrowed one of her favorite tops. “When he returned it,” said Sandra, “it was dirty and had a small tear on the sleeve. She didn't even mention it because I didn't notice. "What did Sandra think of Megan's lack of consideration?" It drove me crazy, "she said." I felt like I had no respect for my business. . or my feelings. ""
Harm can also be caused when a close friend does or say something that degrades you. This happened to Cindy when she told a group of coworkers that she hadn't read a book for her report. Suddenly her friend Kate started scolding her. “I was embarrassed in front of a group of our friends,” Cindy recalls. “I was so mad at her. After that, things really changed. ""
Sometimes a breakup occurs when a friend begins to live with new colleagues. "I had a good friend who joined this little gang," said 13-year-old Bonnie. “She started to ignore me. Or, in the company of a friend, you may notice hidden reasons. "Bobby and I were good friends," says Joe, 13. I thought he loved me, but I found out that he only loved me because my dad works in advertising and always got good tickets to games and shows. "How is Joe doing now?" I will never trust Bobby again! "He said.
In some cases, a friend can share information with others that you want to keep confidential. For example, Allison spoke to her friend Sara about a colleague's personal problem. The next day Sara brought the subject up in front of her colleague. "I never thought I would be so talkative!" Allison said. "He was angry. 16-year-old Rachel had a similar experience when a close friend revealed something the two had talked about in private. "I was ashamed and also cheated," says Rachel. "I thought, 'How can I trust him again?'"
Friendship can be a source of emotional support, especially when there is a feeling of affection, trust, and respect. But close friends can also experience stressful times. The Bible openly states: "There are companions who are ready to be broken." (Proverbs 18:24) Whatever the reason, it can be devastating to feel that a friend has betrayed you. Why is that happend?
Why friendships fail
No human relationship, young or old, is without problems. After all, as Christian student James wrote, “We all trip a lot. If someone can't find the word they are a perfect man who can hold his whole body. “(James 3: 2; 1 John 1: 8) Since we all make mistakes, we hope that sooner or later a friend will do or say something that offends them. You can even remember a time when you insulted that person too. (Ecclesiastes 7:22) "We are all imperfect and will be angry with one another from time to time," said Lisa, 20.
In addition to human imperfection, other factors can be involved. Remember, like your friends' interests, your interests change as you grow and mature. Therefore, two people who previously had much in common may find that they are slowly but steadily separating. One teenager complained to her best friend: "We don't care and when we talk, we hardly agree."
Of course, it's one thing to just part. But why do some people hurt their friends? Jealousy is often involved. For example, a friend may start to tease you about your talents or achievements. (Compare Genesis 37: 4; 1 Samuel 18: 7-9.) As the Bible says, "Jealousy is rotten to the bone." (Proverbs 14:30) This creates envy and discord. What can you do when a friend hurts you?
"First," Rachel said, "I would look at the person and see if what they were doing was intentional." If you are the victim of a word or deed that you find offensive, you are not just responding to the emotions of the moment. Instead, be patient and think about it. (Proverbs 14:29) Will a hasty reaction to a perceived insult really improve the situation? After considering the problems, you can choose to follow the counsel at Psalm 4: 4: “Be restless, but do not sin. Say what you want in your heart, in your bed and shut up. "Then you can choose to" let love cover a multitude of sins "(1 Peter 4: 8).
However, what if you feel like you can't just ignore the harmful behavior? In this case, it is better to turn to the person. "Meet alone and talk about what happened," says Frank, 13. "If you don't, you'll hold a grudge." 16-year-old Susan felt the same way. “The best you can do,” he says, “is to tell them that you trusted them and that they are failing you. Jacqueline also prefers to proceed personally. "I'm trying to bring this to light," he says. "Usually the person is honest with you and you can get things done almost on time."
Of course, you need to be careful not to approach your friend in anger. The Bible says, "A man who is angry triggers disputes, but what is slow to anger triggers disputes." (Proverbs 15:18) So wait for him to calm down before trying to resolve the situation. “You get angry at first,” Lisa admits, “but you have to allow yourself to calm down. Wait until you are very angry with the person. Then you can go up to the person and sit down and discuss things peacefully. ""
The key word is "peace". Remember, your goal is not to whip your friend with your tongue. It's about resolving things amicably and, if possible, re-establishing friendship. (Psalm 34:14) So speak from the bottom of your heart. “You can say, 'I am your friend and you are my friend; But I just have to know what happened, "suggests Lisa." You need to know the reason for the action. After that, it's usually not that difficult to deal with. ""
It would certainly be a mistake to fight back, maybe gossip about the person and get others to follow him. The Christian apostle Paul wrote to the Romans: "Do not repay anyone evil for evil." (Romans 12:17) As deep as the pain is, struggles will only make things worse. "It's not worth revenge," says Nora, "because you'll never be friends again." On the contrary, he adds that doing everything possible to fix the relationship makes you feel better.
But what if your friend doesn't respond to your reconciliation attempts? In this case, keep in mind that friendships occur in varying degrees. "Not all friends will be close," says Judith McCleese, a family counselor. "Learn that you can have different types of relationships." Even so, you can comfort yourself that you have done your part in restoring peace. The apostle Paul wrote: "If possible, as far as it depends on you, have peace with all" (Romans 12:18).
Storms will happen to even the best of friends. If you can weather the storm without ruining your view of others or your self-esteem, you are on your way to growing up. While some may “want to break,” the Bible also assures us that “there is a friend closer than a brother” - Proverbs 18:24.