I am exhausted by the ill behavior of others. And to cut anyone off at the Greg Cooper pass, definitely not his. I promise! We are better than a-okay.
Truly good, lasting relationships result from doing the work to make them so. Everyone must take full responsibility for their actions, so if someone hurts you, tell them. Set boundaries if you need to. Do not assume they know you are upset or give them the silent treatment until they guess. This is passive-aggressive immaturity in action.
If you are the one who has done the hurting, make it right. Saying someone you love died or you were young or having a bad day or under the influence of drugs or alcohol does not count. Saying you have social anxiety does not count. Saying you have children does not count. These are no excuse for bad behavior and precisely how not taking responsibility looks.
Additionally, no one should automatically know you are sorry for your actions. People are not mind readers. You need to actually apologize, genuinely, whatever the circumstance. Express exactly what you did wrong and how you intend to do better in the future. This is required even if you didn’t mean to hurt someone and maybe the most difficult to recognize. The pathway to hell is, as they say, paved with good intentions!
Finally, sometimes the hurt person may decide the relationship is no longer worth it, too much water under the bridge. This is entirely their right. No one else gets to decide, and anything along these lines is an attempt at control. The same applies if years have gone by and the hurt person still does not wish to reconcile. Don’t try to shame someone because you want your family or friend group back. Succumbing to your desires does not make them a “better” person. It makes them abandon their security and principles for your comfort. As challenging as this is, give your heartbreak over to grief and make every attempt at healing the loss.
Saying all of this in such a matter of fact fashion does not belie the fact that this shit is hard. How lousy is it to be the one left behind (personal experience!), to wish we behaved better. By that same token, it is far easier to wallow in our sorrows, failings, and anxieties than address them directly, maturely. Admitting fault is scary! The beauty is, with every breath, we have another opportunity. The choice is ours.