I don’t want to forgive him

I had a friend who was very close to me, but he stopped talking to me suddenly. This has gone on for three months. Now he has apologized to me for his behaviour. But I don’t want to forgive him because when I really needed him, he was not there for me. Now, when I can support myself, he is back to me. What should I do?
Karen (17)

Dear Karen,

Looks like you feel quite angry with this friend for abandoning you when you needed his support the most. Perhaps you might want to consider thanking him, for his absence made you grow as a person! You are now emotionally stronger, more self-reliant and you have moved from dependence to independence.

Each person is at his/her own level of growth, and we do what we know best at that moment — so did your friend do what he was capable of at that moment. There is nothing much you can do about it. Forgiving him is not so much for him, as it is for your own peace of mind.

It is your choice to hold on to resentment and slow the growth you have achieved so far or forgive him and accelerate your personal growth. And if you choose to forgive him, it is your choice whether you want to move on from the friendship or build a new relationship with him if you feel there is still a bond. You have also the choice to be at a new level — that of inter-dependence —where both are equal and share a “give and take” and can work through any ups and downs.

Nasreen Hashambhoy is a Counsellor, Life Coach and a Facilitator of training programmes for schools and corporates. Through a combination of coaching, counselling and facilitation techniques based on cognitive science and positive psychology, she helps clients achieve their true potential. She is the author of the series Values In Action published by Better Yourself Books.

Nasreen Hashambhoy

Nasreen Hashambhoy is a Counsellor, Life Coach and a Facilitator of training programmes for schools and corporates. Through a combination of coaching, counselling and facilitation techniques based on cognitive science and positive psychology, she helps clients achieve their true potential. She is the author of the series Values In Action published by Better Yourself Books.