How quickly do you act when you’ve learned you may have hurt someone’s feelings? Many of us prefer not to confront conflict but when it comes to a valued relationship shouldn’t you suck it up and take action immediately?

Whether that person is a professional acquaintance or a personal relationship, follow these three steps:

1- acknowledge the value of the relationship;

2- take immediate action to apologize; and

3- recognize it will take time to mend.


Sara and Emma are best friends and see each other weekly. One evening, Sara went to the emergency room and was then admitted to the hospital. When she was admitted, Sara called Emma to let her know what was going on with her health. Sara was in the hospital for one week having multiple tests run to diagnose her condition. During that week, Emma never called to check in on her best friend.

The next time Sara met Emma, she shared that her feelings were hurt. Emma was flippant and replied that even though she didn’t call she was thinking about Sara. There was no “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings.” There was no sincerity – just a comment to dismiss the situation. Sara no longer refers to Emma as her best friend. She’s accepted that Emma didn’t value their relationship as much as she did.

If you’ve hurt the feelings of someone you value, then apologize. It’s okay to say “I’m sorry.” And more importantly, recognize it will take time to mend fences. If you’ve deeply hurt someone, you need to be patient and consistent with showing them that you truly value the relationship. Howard Bragman, a crisis expert, states, ““Relationships are built over years, they fall apart in minutes, and they are rebuilt over months.”


Niv PersaudNiv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Her firm bridges the gap between financial planning and coaching. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, she offers consulting services in three areas: financial review, life strategy and professional progression. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter and as a financial adviser. Her services include spending plan, financial plan, divorce financial review, life strategy and professional progression. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me’.”