Feel­ing guilty

Jamaica Gleaner - - BUSINESS - Email: editor@glean­erjm.com

Dear Coun­sel­lor

Q : I have had a best friend for many years. She has been good to me, es­pe­cially when I had trou­ble get­ting a job, and with my re­la­tion­ship prob­lems. She even gave me an in­ter­est-free loan and a lot of time to pay it back. There were times she acted as a babysit­ter for me be­cause I could not af­ford one. We have had good times. We have been to par­ties to­gether. We have been to the beach to­gether. Ev­ery year I go to her house for Christ­mas din­ner. She keeps my se­crets. She is my main coun­sel­lor and has re­ally helped me out of some sticky sit­u­a­tions. She has had a good life and re­ally has things to­gether.

I am not sure how it hap­pened, but I joined in gos­sip against my friend. The things said were not true, but I val­i­dated them. I did it a few times and now I deeply re­gret it. It has been one year and nine months since this hap­pened and ev­ery time I see and talk to my friend I feel guilty. I want to tell her what I did and what oth­ers said, but I won­der if this is a wise move.

A: You are a self­ish per­son. You are only try­ing to ease your con­science. You knew these things were not true, yet you not only en­gaged in gos­sip once, but many times. You can­not be trusted as a friend. You had am­ple time to re­frain from such be­hav­iour. Fur­ther­more, she has been a true friend to you. You should have been the one pro­tect­ing her in­stead of stab­bing her in the back. It could be that you are jeal­ous of your friend and how well she is do­ing in­stead of ap­pre­ci­at­ing her.

It will serve no use­ful pur­pose to tell her about some­thing that hap­pened so long ago. You would be pass­ing the bur­den from your heart to her heart. She might have many ques­tions and start to dis­trust peo­ple. She might start to won­der who else is back­bit­ing her. In ad­di­tion, do not state what oth­ers said and be­have as if you were only join­ing the con­ser­va­tion. Join­ing the gos­sip and ini­ti­at­ing it are equally bad.

You are suf­fer­ing in si­lence for what you have done. Ask God for for­give­ness and try to be a bet­ter and true friend. If you still feel bad, talk with a coun­sel­lor.

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