I love advice columns. One of my favorites is Dear Prudence in Slate. In her latest column she tackled a situation that I find myself in.
Dear Prudie, I am the flip-side of your letter last week from Bliss in Exile. Many years ago, when I was in high school, I did something very cruel to a friend of mine: I took her boyfriend. Now we are both married to other men. I found her on Facebook and attempted to contact her to apologize for the cruel thing I had done. She took your advice and hit “ignore.” I feel terrible that I was not even given the opportunity to admit to her that what I did was wrong and try to make amends. I also feel a little angry because I think it is immature to hold a grudge or resentment for so long over something that a teenager once did to you. Now that I have been ignored by the person I would like to apologize to, should I just let it go? Or should I take another avenue to try to contact her to tell her how sorry I am? —Blocked
This is me, except that I’m the friend!!! When I was in high school, a very good friend slept with my boyfriend. I was devastated! Now we’re all grown up and obviously I’m over it, but just because I’m over it doesn’t mean that I want to be FB friends. I take issue with the idea that because I ignore your overtures means that I am somehow immature. I’m not holding a grudge or holding on to resentment…I’m simply not interested in being friends with you.
Further, where do you get the audacious idea that you deserve an opportunity to apologize? Let me get something straight…you do something terrible to me and I owe you the opportunity to apologize? I don’t think so.
My back stabber former friend and I have close to 40 friends in common. We comment on the same photos and status updates. We ‘see’ each other all the time. And I am perfectly content to leave it at that.
Here’s Prudie’s advice.
In response to Bliss in Exile, I have heard from several people who were the miscreants in high school and have successfully used Facebook to contact their victims and make amends. But the problem with simply making a friend request to someone you’ve hurt is that the person on the other end has no idea about your intentions. In cases such as yours, it’s a better idea to use your Facebook network to get an address for your former classmate and write a letter explaining that what you did has weighed on you all these years, you are asking for forgiveness, and that you want to reconnect. Give your phone number and e-mail address and add you’d also be happy to be contacted through Facebook. If you don’t hear anything, just be glad you did the right thing now, and accept that there are some people for whom high-school graduation was one of the happiest days of their lives.
Prudie, honey, there is a ‘message’ feature on FB. There is no need to stalk our mutual friends for a physical address or phone number. If my former friend sent me an apology message, I would simply say, “It’s all good. Glad to see you are doing well. Peace!” There is no need for further communication.
So tell me, what do you think?