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Dear Dish-It: I Lost My Friends' Trust

Dear Dish-It,


I have this problem. I did something very wrong and even though I tried to cover it up at first I later accepted everything and told everyone sorry. That happened three months ago. Lately, I have been noticing that a friend of mine has been behaving strangely. She doesn’t talk to me much, she's not that friendly … I think my friends have a low opinion of me now. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want my friends to be against me.


Stuck up in corner


Dear SUIC,


Trust is a funny thing. For the most part it is freely given but once it is lost regaining it can be costly both emotionally and physically. Rebuilding trust once it has been damaged or lost is no easy task. It is not easy for the people who have been let down and it is certainly not easy (nor should it be) for the person who damaged it to begin with.


You say that it has been 3 months since you lost your friends’ trust. Three months is not a lot of time and it isn't really reasonable for you to expect them to be "back to normal.” It may take more time to earn it back. It is hard to accept but as the "trust-breaker" you don't get to set the timeline for fixing things. In fact, you don't get much say in anything that pertains to whether or not they will ever trust you again. Chances are that they will come to trust you again but it won't be on your terms.


Your best course of action may be to "grin and bear it.” If your friends have every good reason on earth to feel the way they do the very last thing that will regain their trust is YOU telling THEM when "enough is enough.” Take a big step back to look at what happened. Did you do something they asked you not to? Did you lie, cheat or steal? Did you do something you knew would disappoint or embarrass them? If your friends did the same thing to you, would you be mad? If the answer to any of these questions is "yes" all you can do is sit back and do everything you can think of to show them you are sorry and that you won't risk losing their trust again.


To get things back on track with your friends the first thing you need to do is stop trying to control the healing process. As I said before, you don't get to set the terms. You need to accept their anger and fighting them on it is not accepting it. Second, while you do everything you can to show your friends they can trust you again, try to understand that they are the injured party and that they are under no obligation to accept your gestures of good will. See it from their perspective: you have done something to destroy trust and now that they are mad you are suddenly a perfect angel – would you be in any hurry to go back to the way things were if you were in their place?


If things are really unbearable for you, try to initiate a conversation so that they know how you feel. Make sure that the reason you are sorry is that you lost their trust. Tell them you know you screwed up and did a bad thing. Let them know that you are sorry and that you will do whatever it takes to fix things. Tell them that you are feeling in limbo because they have not given you any indication about what they need from you in order to even try to trust you again. Then sit back and be prepared to listen to a bunch of stuff you won't like hearing. Don't get defensive and don't turn things into a fight. You damaged the trust here and you are the one who needs to deal with the fallout. Don't expect them to rush to closure in order to make you happier. You can't force trust, trying to may make it disappear forever.


If you've got a burning question, need some love advice or find yourself thinking about things like sex, depression, self-esteem, boyfriends, girlfriends, best friends, bullying or peer pressure, don't hesitate to Dish-It here. Send your questions to deardish@kidzworld.com. And if you hang out in the chat rooms with other Kidzworld members who know you by your username, just send in your secret question using a different nickname if you want to stay anonymous – we promise that no one will ever know it's you. Remember: Dish-It gets a load of letters every day so it may take a while to reply to yours. Keep checking back for her reply, or watch for answered Dish-It questions that are similar to your own.


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    Dear Dish-It In The Forums

    Autonomy
    Autonomy posted in Family Issues:
    "StarrChild" wrote: Two years ago my parents broke up. I was never really the same after that point. My mother she began to just not care about anything. She would go out clubbing every Friday and would yell at me for my attitude towards it. Why would I be okay with her doing that??? I didn't really realise it but I began feeling kind of depressed. Of course we didn't fight all the time but when we did I would always end up crying alone in my room. And it would be really painful. One time I cried every night for a week because of her. A week ago, I felt really sick at school so I went to the sick bay but my Mum refused to believe I was sick. She thought I was lying and being over dramatic as usual. I felt really horrible after that, that the teacher sent me to the guidance councellor and almost immediately I burst into tears. I didn't even know why I did but the councellor did a little test on me and came to the conclusion I was slightly depressed and had anxiety. It wasn't really surprising but hearing it out loud just felt really weird. Even after knowing that fact my mother doesn't really act any different. She's not a bad person I swear but she can just be really horrible at times. Anyways, that's technically whats been happening in my life lol. Nothing really interesting Oh dear, that sounds like a dreadful situation. I've lived through similar difficulties in my own life, and my heart goes out to you, truly. May I offer you some advice? I don't have the cure to your problems or a magic wand that can make them disappear, but I do believe that some good can come out of your living situation. The first thing I'd like to make note of, is that everyone makes mistakes. As human beings, we have to make mistakes. There's no way around it; it's how we learn and grow. And as we get older, we don't stop making mistakes. Your parents are no exception. Although we look to our parents for guidance, and direction, and support, we have to understand that they aren't perfect people, and they make mistakes. They may not always lead us in the right direction. They may not always set a good example. They may not always be there for us, to encourage us and support us when we need them most. And that's okay. Everyone makes mistakes, and we have to accept that. But we can't let allow other people's mistakes to hurt us, my dear. And I know it hurts. Your mum might not understand how her actions make you feel. You said you haven't been the same since your parents divorced, and I know how challenging that can be to go through. But you know, some of the brightest, wisest, and happiest people I've met, are people who have dealt with difficult problems in their lives, and used them to grow as people. You can let your parents' mistakes get to you, and make you upset and depressed; or, you can accept that they aren't perfect people, accept that they make mistakes, and accept that their mistakes don't have anything to do with you. So here's what you do, friend: you can't stop your mum from going clubbing, and that's okay. Don't try to. Don't fight with her about it. You can let her know how it makes you feel, but don't get into an argument. Accept the situation for what it is. Your mother is her own person, and she is accountable for what she does; you aren't. Next time you start to get in a fight or an argument with her, just step back, and withdraw yourself. Try it, see what happens. Once you decide not to let other peoples' failings affect you--and you do have the power to do this--then you'll find a sense of peace you probably haven't felt before. And you'll learn from your mistakes, and the mistakes of your parents, and everyone around you, and you'll be a better person. Press on.
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    Dounuts
    Dounuts posted in Family Issues:
    Go to your neighbor's house and ask him/her to call to police.Everything will be just fine.
    reply about 14 hours
    RavenClawRaina
    my ex is going through the same thing. Call the police now. Things will get out of hand. My brothers friend has been living with us for about 2 weeks becuz his dad punched him in the face. Call 911 now. They will help you. Just say you have been abused by your family member and they will take it from there. If you want, add me and we can talk
    reply about 15 hours
    XxRuby_PhoenixxX
    If you are getting abused to the point where you bleed, call the police immediately. This isn't acceptable behavior.
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    MRAP
    MRAP posted in Family Issues:
    Hey, Just wanted some advice to help me on what to do on this. Ever since I was 3 I've been both Verbally, Mentally, And Physically abused. To me, this is normal since it's been happening for so long. But I just can't take this thing anymore. When I get home I always get yelled at for no reason. I have been on Anti-Depressants for the past 1-2 years. Been going to counseling for 6-7 years for family. Nothing has changed yet. I just need help on how to handle this. Thanks.
    reply about 15 hours