Betrayal is always hard, but understanding the steps to take when you can't forgive a friend will help you decide whether the friendship is worth saving. Sometimes it's impossible to truly forgive and forget. You trust someone and suddenly they betray you. The steps to take when you can't forgive a friend may help you find peace, even if you can't remain friends.
1. Take Some Time
One of the first steps to take when you can't forgive a friend is to take some time away. The more you're around the friend, the more you focus on their betrayal. Taking some time apart helps you calm down and think things through. After all, constantly fighting about it isn't going to help. Try to spend at least several weeks away from your friend to clear your mind.
2. Involve a Mutual Friend
When you feel ready to talk to your friend again, it might be best to ask a mutual friend to mediate for you. Plus, you have a witness to prove what was said so there can't be any issues later. Try to calmly talk the friend about what happened and why you can't forgive them. It may take multiple conversations to get through everything. Remember, the mutual friend is there to listen and help both of you remain calm.
3. Think about the Betrayal
Take a moment to really think about the betrayal. Was it really as bad as you first thought? For instance, maybe your friend told you the love of your life was cheating. That may seem like a betrayal until you realize they actually were cheating. Write down all the reasons why you feel betrayed. Sometimes it's not as bad as you thought. Once you break it down, it becomes easier to forgive.
4. Remember Your Friendship
Even the closest friends may betray each other at some point. It could be completely by accident. The important thing to remember is your friendship up to that point. Were you extremely close for years? Can you imagine living your life without them? While it may still take time to truly forgive them, if the friendship is worth saving, then it's worth the work to start over.
5. See if They've Done It before
Odds are, you probably know some of your friend's older friends and acquaintances. Is there anyone who suddenly faded from their life? Talk to friends from their past to see if the friend has a history of betraying those who care about them. If not, then maybe the betrayal wasn't on purpose. If so, then the friend isn't worth keeping around and you should forgive them and walk away.
6. Do Something Fun Together
Is there some hobby the two of you absolutely love? If you've reached a point where you can at least be civil to each other, gather a few friends and ask them to join the two of you for a fun night out. Sometimes it takes doing something fun to remind you how much you actually like your friend. The laughter helps relieve tension and often leads to healing conversations.
7. Let It Go
If you can't salvage the friendship, it's time to simply let it go. Holding on to the anger and suspicion doesn't hurt anyone but you. Forgive the friend, but let them know you no longer want anything to do with them. You'll feel better and you won't have to worry about them betraying you again. You should only do this if nothing else works.
Betrayal happens even between the best of friends. Forgiveness takes time and sometimes it's not enough to save the friendship. Take your time and give yourself time to heal before confronting them and you just might be able to keep your friend. Have you ever forgiven a friend who betrayed you?