Manners Matter: Apologize When You Injure Someone

Dear Mary Pat,

My friend and I were sending texts back and forth to each other, complaining about another mutual friend and how annoying she can be. After a few messages, I realized that the friend we were complaining about was on the same text feed. 

I instantly felt sick to my stomach. I reread some of what we had said, and it wasn’t even remotely kind. At all. I’m mortified and embarrassed, and I don’t know what to do. It’s been three days, and she hasn’t said anything. Should I reach out to her and apologize? Or is it better to pretend it didn’t happen, just like she seems to be doing? 

There’s no way she hasn’t seen it by now. I didn’t say anything quite as rude as our other friend, but that’s not much of a comfort.


Texting Glitch

Egg Harbor, Wisconsin

Dear Texting Glitch,

You absolutely need to reach out and apologize. Immediately. Is it going to be awkward? Yes. Will you have to grovel? Most likely. Is there a reasonable explanation you can give? Nope. 

Your friend was probably very hurt when she realized that two of her so-called friends were talking behind her back and calling her annoying. Think how bad you would feel if you were in her place. I hope she forgives you. And I hope you earn her trust back by being a better friend in the future.

Good luck,

Mary Pat

Miss Pat was educated at the Finnish Finishing School for Fine Ladies. Eloquent in edifying etiquette, she is fluent in seven languages, including the language of love. Mary Pat has generously extended her counsel to you and will answer any and all inquiries. Email Mary Pat at [email protected].