I’m worried I’ll lose my best friend over a tattoo – Ask Evie

Hello! I know this submission maybe doesn’t sound as heavy or worrisome as some of your others, but I could still use a spot of advice!
I got a joint tattoo with my best friend about 8 years ago. We have these tiny squiggly clouds on our upper thighs.

We’re coming up to about 20 years of being best friends, so it seemed like the right thing to do at the time and was such a fun experience. It was also a bit of a spur of the moment decision on a night out, but the tattoo itself has featured in so many conversations about us being friends for life.
But recently, I’ve have started to get doubts about whether I want to keep it or get it removed.

I’m also terrified of telling my best friend as I know she will be super upset! 

I can’t decide if I should suck it up and keep it or go ahead and start getting it removed?

I’m really worried it’ll cause a huge rift in my oldest friendship if I do decide to go down the path of removing it and don’t know how to bring it up to her in any case! 

 

Hi there!

Thank you for reaching out with this.
And please don’t think that any concern is too big or small – from time to time, we all need a little advice on issues that don’t seem life changing.

Now, it’s completely okay to have second thoughts about decisions we made in the past, even if they seemed right at the time. You’re also allowed to rescind certain decisions and change your mind, the latter being a totally normal part of life and growth. 

Reflecting on whether to keep the tattoo or have it removed is a personal decision, and it’s important to consider your own feelings behind this urge. Remind yourself that your body is completely under your control, and keeping something permanent (or semi-permanent as I hear that tattoo removal methods are getting better and better) remains your choice, and your choice alone

However, much in the same way that you should consider the pros and cons before getting any permanent changes to your body (although no shame in spur of the moment decisions and ink either!), take some time to understand the reasons behind your doubts and desires to now remove it. Have a think about whether they indicate a deeper shift in your perspective on the friendship, or if you’re merely second-guessing the tattoo itself.

When it comes to discussing this with your best friend, honesty is crucial. Let her know that you’ve been thinking about the tattoo and that you’re unsure about keeping it. Place a great deal of emphasis upon the fact that your feelings about the friendship remain strong and that the tattoo was a meaningful expression of your bond at the time.

In addition, express your concerns about potentially upsetting her, and assure her of the enduring value you place on your friendship regardless of what marks stay on your body. It might be helpful to frame the conversation around your own feelings rather than placing any blame or making it solely about the tattoo alone.

Friendships can withstand many a challenge when there is open communication, understanding, and mutual respect. If she is indeed a lifelong friend, she will likely appreciate your honesty and the effort you put into maintaining the connection. On top of that, you shouldn’t feel pressured into keeping a permanent design on your body purely to appease someone else’s feelings.

She might be a little confused or hurt at first, but after such a long relationship I’m also sure she loves you far more than a tattoo!

(Plus, you never know – maybe she is also thinking about having it removed herself!)

Whatever decision you make, approach it with kindness, and give yourself the grace to evolve and grow within the context of your friendship. If needed, seek support from other friends you two share or family members to navigate your emotions and how to best go about interacting with her.

All the best,

Evie

 

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Ask Evie

Ask Evie

Evie is on a mission to revolutionize relationships and help you sort through your emotional woes. Her popular column helps readers break free from societal restraints and create empowering relationships - both with their inner selves and with those around them. With a wealth of experience in relationship counseling, backed by several professional certifications, she’s open-minded, big-hearted, and extremely compassionate… But she’ll also be completely honest in telling you the (sometimes) brutal truth, so you can get straight to the heart of the matter. Maybe you’re trying to save a marriage that currently feels like a sinking ship? Or worrying that your new friend isn’t quite as nice as they seem? Perhaps you’ve accidentally killed your partner’s goldfish and are weighing up the pros and cons of going to the pet store and finding a doppelganger, or fessing up? Whatever the dilemma, Evie’s at the ready to help sort through the emotional turmoil and guide you towards the next best step. To get in touch with Evie, click here.

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