Monday, March 04, 2013


     So, what do you do after you've stepped in it really badly with one of your best friends?  I'm no good at all with this "human" stuff.  :(  Hurts like hell to hurt other people's feelings, though.


jetfxr69 said...

Apologize and then let them vent. Accept the rebuke, and then ask their forgiveness.

Sometimes works.

Carteach said...

Fess up, or walk away. Only choices.

MonteG said...

A heartfelt blog post, asking for advice on how to correct the mistake seems like a good start. Beyond that, a sincere apology and time/space may be all you can do.

Anonymous said...

What they said: confess you screwed up badly, apologize with promise to avoid doing whatever it was like the plague, listen contritely to any rebuke, and wait for time to cool off any residual anger, acting contrite and sympathetic all the while.

If this doesn't work--well, something tells me if it doesn't work in the medium/long term (emotions might be too dominant in the short term), this person wasn't actually much of a friend in the first place.

(yeah, and I have trouble with the human stuff most of the time, too. My solution is to avoid them as much as possible. But that may not work for other people...)

Bob said...

Seems like you're off to a good start.

TheMinuteman said...

My only advice is advice given to me by my dad which I also heard from others.

Honestly go read that link, it does it it much more detail than I could in a comment. The quick and dirty version:

Proper apologies have three parts:

- What I did was wrong.
- I feel badly that I hurt you.
- How do I make you feel better?

Dave H said...

The one tweak I'd make to TheMinuteman's advice is in the third point. I don't try to make anyone feel anything. That disrespects their right to their feelings, and that's not a good position to apologize from. Respect is the name of the game here. I'd amend the third step to "how can I make it up to you?"

Being a ham-fisted engineer who was married to a lovely and highly sensitive lady, I got lots of practice apologizing. I found that admitting my mistake, showing regret for the hurt it caused, and allowing her to process her feelings freely (usually by taking my lumps without trying to defend myself) was the best response. It's how we managed to stay married for decades. (Plus she usually didn't stay mad for very long once I quite trying to push her emotions around.)

Anonymous said...

If you are sorry, say so.
If it was unintentional, say so.
If you were misinformed, say so.
Otherwise blame George Bush.


Dirk said...


"Cleanup on monitor one. I repeat, cleanup on monitor one!"

Seriously, though, I agree with MM, and with Dave's tweak. You can't (or, shouldn't be able) to "make" someone feel a certain way. I have to constantly remind my children (and myself, for that matter) that we are all in control of our own feelings - or, should be. Others may do things that anger us, or please us, etc... but we choose how we react - they're not "making" us mad, or "making" us happy. We choose to be mad, or happy...or even, indifferent, as the case may be. If we allow people to control our feelings, we've given up a big part of our independence.

Anonymous said...

Agreed with all others: nothing for it but an apology. Given that you clearly feel bad about it, I'm guessing that sounding sincere won't be a problem.

Jennifer said...

Be humble and apologize. Give them the chance to voice their feelings.
It sucks a lot to hurt those you love.

og said...

Everyone has bad days and your friends will overlook those moments you snap for whatever reason. it is not in my nature to apologize, because you're either my true friend and you understand, or I don't need you around. As a consequence I don't have 1200 facebook friends, but the friends I do have are fierce, and their friendship has the strength of the roots of mountains.

Able said...

What's this 'apology' thing everyone keeps mentioning?

I may be forty-mumble but I still regularly rely either on outright denial (I did not say you were fat, just very big boned). obfuscation (I was merely pointing out the spurious and anomalous statistical assumptions the BMI makes in labeling grossly obese people like you as overweight), redirection (When X said you were morbidly obese I had to defend you since we all know you're only a little bit fat), sympathy (I had a bad day at work and haven't had a beer/cigarette in two hours) or 'my brother/sister/imaginary friend did it/made me' as a rationale for my regular size 12 tasting sessions (for some reason my bosses don't seem to accept any of those, although 'he/she did it to me first' and 'it's Bush' fault' works sometimes)

According to the 'Mens Men Handbook' the standard response in your situation is to:

'by them a beer, punch their arm, say exactly the same thing only louder and in a public place, then offer to loan them your car/gun/girlfriend. Should this fail then allowing them to hit you with a fist/barstool/your car [depending on severity of offence] followed by letting them buy you a beer should resolve matters in a satisfactory manner'

Failing that? What OG said.

TheMinuteman said...

Dave's tweak is actually the most correct version. I didn't fully read the version I copied.

Bullet 3 should read:
-How do I make it right?

In the process the person will usually feel better, but that isn't always a guarantee.

Comrade Misfit said...

Know the feeling. I said something I shouldn't have to a really good friend. Apologies could not cover up the hurt and we're not friends anymore.

Larry said...

Ritual suicide.

Seriously, if they really are good friends they will forgive, if not, not. The cooling-off period varies with the person.

We have all said things we wish we had not said. I'm very familiar with the taste of shoe-leather...

TriggerFinger said...

I don't have much to add to the previous, except that you shouldn't sit there letting time pass while you figure out what to say. Get the message out that you know you screwed up, you're sorry, and you still want to be friends.

Don't press it, there often needs to be a cooling off period, just say it so it's there and the original mistake can stop doing more harm.

Then be there when the person is ready to talk again.