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DEAR JANE: I made a stupid mistake that has turned all of my best friends against me

Dear Jane,

I really messed up. In a truly embarrassing and stupid way that I think cost me the people I was once closest to in my life.

To give you a picture: I have had a very close circle of friends over the past four years. I moved from Australia to Chicago for work and actually arrived here knowing absolutely no one, apart from a mutual acquaintance who I was introduced to through a colleague at home.

Thank goodness she turned out to be amazing, and she went out of her way to introduce me to people, show me around the city, recommend restaurants… she even helped me move into my new place and came with me to buy furniture.

We got along incredibly well – and during the first few months I was in Chicago, I also became close to her friendship circle.

Dear Jane, I made an incredibly stupid mistake that will make all my best friends hate me.  I don't know how to show them how sorry I am

Dear Jane, I made an incredibly stupid mistake that makes all my best friends hate me. I don’t know how to show them how sorry I am

One of those girls is getting married in July and we’re all bridesmaids. We’ve had a thousand messages back and forth about the dresses and the bacheloretteand everything else you can think of. My phone vibrates all day, every day. It’s quite overwhelming sometimes.

That’s how this whole stupid thing started.

We were all talking about which rooms we would get in the bachelor pad – and at the same time I was chatting with my family back home.

There is a girl in the group who has terrible breath. We’re talking toxic. It’s not like she just ate some garlic bread – it’s like a medical situation.

And I have a weird thing about smells. She’s so nice, but I can never get that close to her without feeling sick. I never really had any idea if she was aware of it, so I never talked about it except to my family.

My mom had messaged me asking who I was hoping to get a room with during the bachelorette party and I messaged her back saying I would be happy with anyone, just not this girl as her breathing situation was so bad that I thought I would end up vomiting.

But of course I didn’t send it to my mother. I sent it to the bridesmaids group chat.

Within 30 seconds I realized what I had done, but at that point it was too late: they had all seen it. The bride immediately called me and told me over the phone, asking what the hell I was thinking about, how could I be so mean, and didn’t I know that this poor girl had always had a complex about her breathing.

Since then I have been effectively excommunicated from the entire group. I don’t even know if the bride wants me to go to her wedding, let alone be there.

I’ve tried to apologize a thousand times, but it seems all my messages and calls fall on deaf ears. It’s been a week and I’m trying to give them all the time to get past this, but I’m starting to panic that they’ll never be friends with me again.

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It sounds so sad, but without them my life here is basically empty. And I’m miserable.

How can I solve this?

By,

Foot in mouth

Dear foot-in-mouth,

I’m really sorry to have to tell you the bad news, but I’m not sure if this can be resolved.

I know you didn’t mean to send everyone a mean text, but now that the cat’s out of the bag, you can’t put it back in.

You can hope that time will help them realize that everyone makes mistakes, that we all mess up, that sometimes we say cruel things without thinking, especially to our family, but none of that means they will forgive you .

Other than that, you can’t do anything other than send a short message to the bride asking for clarification as to whether you are still invited or not. I suspect the answer will be no, which you will have to accept.

It is painful and incredibly difficult to be removed from a friend group, especially because you know you made a mistake.

The lesson here is to never put anything cruel in writing. Whether it’s in jest or to confide in family, don’t say words on the page or phone that we don’t want anyone to see.

I’m so sorry you had to learn this lesson the hard way, but I guess it’s time for you to find a new one. As disturbing as this is, you’ve done it before, which tells you you’ll find good people again.

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