Woman feels ter­ri­ble af­ter she in­sulted an ac­quain­tance of hers

The China Post - - TV & COMICS -

DEAR AN­NIE: I have a close ac­quain­tance who is a fit­ness in­struc­tor at the health club where I of­ten work out. Two years ago, I saw her at a lo­cal peace pa­rade and got very worked up over some­thing she wrote on the signs she was wear­ing. I be­came so crazed over it that I for­got my­self and said some aw­ful things about her. I also stopped go­ing to her work­out classes for a month and deleted her Face­book pages. Then I found out her hus­band had had a stroke the day of the pa­rade.

I re­al­ized how hideous my be­hav­ior had been. I re­turned to her work­out class and in­tended to apol­o­gize pro­fusely to her, but she wasn’t there that day. When she fi­nally came back, I told her I’d been pray­ing for her and her hus­band.

Some­times it seems she has for­given me and ev­ery­thing is the same be­tween us, but on other days, I’m not so sure. I apol­o­gized to her, in a gen­eral way, in a hol­i­day greet­ing card, not men­tion­ing the pa­rade. I’ve lost count­less hours of sleep cry­ing from guilt, shame and re­gret. I’ve fi­nally de­cided I have to do some­thing. Please print this so she can see it and we can talk about it.

— Dis­traught

Dear Dis­traught: Print­ing this in the pa­per and hop­ing she sees it is a copout. You need to put your spine in place and talk to her di­rectly, no mat­ter how hard it is. A semi-apol­ogy in a hol­i­day greet­ing card doesn’t count, and telling her you will pray for her is kind, but in­suf­fi­cient.

Ask your friend whether she is avail­able for cof­fee, or find some other time when nei­ther of you is rushed and you can speak pri­vately. Here’s what you say: “I know it’s been a while, but I need to tell you how sorry I am for my be­hav­ior at the pa­rade and af­ter­ward. I don’t know what came over me. I value our friend­ship a great deal, and I am hop­ing you can for­give me.” What­ever hap­pens af­ter that, at least you will know you truly tried to make it right.

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