Am I wrong?
Dear Positive Way,
I have a friend A who I have communicated my hurt feelings with her about another friend B, however they are related. I feel for the past year that this friend A was very helpful in guiding me, however the past few months I started noticing that this person was not comfortable in person (as we communicated mostly on email so I didn’t gage anything before. It is when I noticed this friend A and the other friend B were talking I realize “how blind I was about this situation”. I truly trust this friend A, and I feel I have not said anything wrong about the other friend B, just that “how much I feel a loss of this friend”. I feel friend A is not acknowledging anything I say about friend B and when I ask I don’t really get a response, however I do know this friend A has now built a relationship with friend B. Any thoughts? I have to say a part of me feels betrayed, angry….as I just want acknowledgement, am I wrong? Signed, values, age 39.
Dear Values, you ask “Am I wrong?” There are two answers to this question “no” and “yes.” You already have some insights into the situation and a little more thought and some actions on your part can help make this situation right for you and A and B so you don’t have to continue with problems. Please consider the following.
- “No,” you are not wrong to feel betrayed and angry while wanting an acknowledgement. You have a right to your feelings and your opinions whether or not others share them. You should not expect others to think and feel the same way you do. You do have choices about how you deal with these feelings. I suggest you start with forgiveness.
- “Yes,” you might be wrong in some aspects of this relationship. When you confide your thoughts about another person with someone you place a burden on their shoulders. You give them the responsibility to think the same way you do or to risk your relationship. When you ask someone who is related to another or knows another person to share your confidence, you increase the burden. It is no wonder that “A” might be uncomfortable about what you have said about their relative “B.” How can “A” acknowledge your thoughts about “B” without betraying “B?” They cannot. This puts your friend “A” in a difficult situation.
- The good news is that you can fix this with yourself and your friends. In addition to the article on forgiveness, I suggest you read the response we gave to another question that is similar to yours. How can I rebuild this friendship? You have the opportunity to thank your friend “A” for their support and guidance and to acknowledge that you might have put them in a difficult situation by confiding in them. Let them know that you understand and that you value their friendship too much to let your issues get in the way. Our article on Expressing and Owning your Feelings may be helpful to you as you compose your words to them. As you have discovered, the bulk of communication is non-verbal (body language) so, if you can, you should talk to your friend in person so they can really see your sincerity. If that is not possible write the letter suggested in “How can I rebuild this relationship?”
You have the opportunity to demonstrate how much you value your friendship and to build on your own values and principles about your relationships with others. We wish you good success on your journey.
Please understand you have free will. This advice is given only in the realm of personal growth and self-help. This is not to be considered a substitute for therapy or professional counseling. We wish you well.