YOUNG PEOPLE ASK
What if My Friend Hurts Me?
What you should know
No human relationship is problem free. Being imperfect, your good friend—even someone you consider to be your best friend—might do or say something that hurts you. Of course, you too are imperfect. So in all fairness, can you not recall a time when you hurt someone else?—James 3:2.
The Internet can make it easier to get hurt. For example, a teenager named David says: “When you’re online and you see pictures of your friend at a gathering, you might start to wonder why you weren’t invited. And then you can start to feel betrayed and sad.”
You can learn to address the problem.
What you can do
Examine yourself. The Bible says: “Do not be quick to take offense, for the taking of offense is the mark of a fool.”—Ecclesiastes 7:9, footnote.
“Sometimes you later realize that what you’re upset about isn’t really a big deal.”—Alyssa.
To think about: Do you tend to be oversensitive? Can you learn to be more tolerant of others’ imperfections?—Ecclesiastes 7:21, 22.
Consider the benefits of forgiveness. The Bible says: “It is beauty . . . to overlook an offense.”—Proverbs 19:11.
“Even if you have a cause for complaint, it’s good to forgive freely, and that means not continuing to hold it over the person’s head and making him or her apologize each time you bring it up. Once you forgive, be done with it.”—Mallory.
To think about: Is the situation really that important? Can you forgive for the sake of peace?—Colossians 3:13.
Consider the other person. The Bible says: “Look out not only for your own interests, but also for the interests of others.”—Philippians 2:4.
“When love and respect are present in a friendship, you have a strong reason to resolve problems quickly because you are invested in this friendship. You have already put effort into it, and you don’t want to lose it.”—Nicole.
To think about: Can you find at least some merit in the other person’s point of view?—Philippians 2:3.
The bottom line: Knowing how to deal with hurt feelings is a skill that will serve you well in adulthood. Why not learn that skill now?