Forgiveness does not mean that you forget the incident or relieve the offender from the consequences of his actions, but that you no longer resent your friend.
It is necessary to forgive a friend in order to restore a friendship where one friend has offended or wronged the other.
Take the following 9 steps to repair and restore your friendship once you have decided to forgive your friend, or once he decides to forgive you.
1. Write down what occurred and how it made you feel. Clear your thoughts and be detailed. Be fair to yourself and your friend by looking at the situation both perspectives.
2. Determine if both of you need forgiveness — or if only one of you were completely in the wrong.
3. Accept responsibility for your part in the broken relationship.
4. Contact your friend and ask if you can set up a meeting. Choose a neutral setting that won’t drudge up bad memories or make either of you feel trapped and uncomfortable.
5. Explain how what he did or said made you feel and why it bothered you. Tell him you forgive her.
6. Ask for forgiveness if you are the one who did something wrong. Do not make excuses for your actions or words; sincerely apologize for what you did or said.
7. Listen to what your friend has to say with an open mind. Mentally note how your actions and words made her feel to avoid offending her in the future. Clearing the air is the only way to truly make an effort to restore the relationship. Bottled up and unresolved feelings with destroy the friendship.
8. Allow time for healing and rebuilding trust. Even when someone forgives you, he may never forget what happened. Be patient, as future incidents may stir up bad memories.
9. Schedule an outing that both of you will enjoy. For example, go shopping, see a movie or attend a sporting event. Agree not to discuss the incident again.