3 Ways to Proceed After Fighting a Friend

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3 Ways to Proceed After Fighting a Friend
3 Ways to Proceed After Fighting a Friend

It could be that because of a big disagreement, you and your friend are nervous and hurt to the point where you can't even talk to each other. It's hard to live with the feeling that some matters are still pending, especially when it comes to a friend. However, there are situations where it is important to give your friend some breathing space. Thus, the two can heal the hurts and calm the tempers. When the time is right, talk about what happened, apologize and find a way to move forward. While still dealing with the feelings of the fight, remember to behave with maturity, both in your friend's presence and in your social circle.


Method 1 of 3: Keeping Your Distance

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Step 1. Take time to breathe

If the two lost their heads during the disagreement, the best thing to do is to get away for a few days, until the anger subsides. During this period, take the opportunity to reflect on what happened, the motivations and feelings involved. It will be much easier to talk when you both have a clear head.

  • If you have mutual friends, don't worry, keep seeing them, however, only when the person involved in the fight is not present. Even if they have calmed down, there will still be some tension due to the conflict that has not yet been resolved, and this will leave the other friends in an uncomfortable situation.
  • Do not exchange messages or communicate through social networks. If necessary, hide his posts from your wall until both are fully recovered from the fight.
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Step 2. Try to talk after a few days

Once you've calmed down, take the initiative to come over for a conversation. Go with the knowledge that he may not be ready to talk yet, so be prepared to give him a few more days to compose himself.

  • Say, for example, “Hi, could we talk about what happened that day? I was very nervous, but now I've calmed down. Would you like to talk now?”
  • If he says “no”, say you understand and try again after a few days.
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Step 3. Be patient

Understand that it may take some time for your friend to pick up all the pieces left over from the fight, especially if it was your fault. Every time you try to approach him, take the opportunity to apologize.

Here's a suggestion: “I know you're not ready to talk about the fight yet, but I want you to know that I deeply regret what I said that day. I hope you can forgive me. Let me know when you're ready to talk, please."

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Step 4. Accept your friend's decision, even if it is to end the friendship

Your friend may directly tell you that he wants to end the friendship, but the news may also come through mutual friends or, worse, he may continue to ignore you forever. Try to talk, however, if it's impossible, just accept it.

  • It's painful to lose a friend, so it's normal to be sad and suffer. Spend more time with your other friends and talk to someone you trust about your feelings. To keep yourself busy during this period, look for new activities where you can meet people.
  • Keep being polite and always say hello to your friend when you see him. However, respect his willingness to keep your distance and don't try to re-enter his life.
  • Although they are no longer close friends, they may occasionally come back to each other after a while. It could be that one day they will even be friends again as before. Friendships grow and mature with age and life experiences.

Method 2 of 3: Behaving maturely

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Step 1. Don't involve other people in friction

Don't throw mutual friends in the middle of the disagreement to try and get them on your side. Be the adult in the situation.

If someone asks you something, say: “I don't want to talk about this right now” or “This is my and Carlos' business”. Don't take out frustrations on mutual friends, as they will feel obligated to defend one side. It may feel good to have allies on your side, but imagine how your friend will feel having to fend for himself

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Step 2. Don't gossip

Don't talk about your friend behind his back. Gossip always ends up getting to the ears of the subject of gossip, so this is an attitude that can further aggravate the fight and cause a lot more suffering.

On the other hand, if someone gossips about your friend with you, say, "I don't want to gossip about him right now so as not to make the situation between us worse."

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Step 3. Seek outside support

When you need to talk to someone about what happened, look for someone outside your circle of friends. Or rather: choose someone you don't have daily contact with. Prefer someone who lives far away, who studies or who works elsewhere.

As soon as you find it, say, for example: “Can I talk to you about something that is happening to me? I know you don't know my friend, but your perspective could help a lot.”

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Step 4. Keep Respect

Even if you are no longer getting along, continue to treat him with respect. Start treating him like someone you don't know very well, that is: keeping distance and respect.

At one time or another, the two will be forced to interact, whether on a project or at a party. Concentrate on what you have to do at the time, and if you want to talk about the fight, find another opportunity. If he decides to bring up the subject, say: "We came here to celebrate José's birthday. Let's set another time to talk about it."

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Step 5. Don't try to make yourself jealous

It might feel good at the moment, but it's not a mature way to behave. Act normally and strive not to generate even more drama around the situation.

  • When you try to make someone jealous, you are giving the image of an insecure person. Besides, you're giving too much importance to what your friend thinks about you.
  • In summary: try not to go around showing how much more fun you have been having without the presence of the friend you had a fight with.
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Step 6. Stay connected with friends you have in common

Don't let a fight with a friend spoil your friendship with others. Strive to get on with your social life normally.

  • Go out with friends. Even if the resentful friend is there, find ways to share the same space. Get another friend to talk in a separate corner, for example. Even though it sounds weird, don't jeopardize your social life because of a person who isn't able to forgive.
  • If your friend has turned others against you, inevitably, the feeling of isolation will appear. Defend yourself without trying to do the same. Find a close friend and say: “I already know you're mad at me because Mauro told you about our fight. I didn't want to bring it up because I didn't want to turn anyone against him. But if you want to hear my side of the story, I can tell you…”. If necessary, start looking for new friends.
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Step 7. Increase your circle of friends

When it's getting really hard to bond with your old friends because of the fight, look for new opportunities. Make new friends or get closer to your acquaintances.

  • Make plans to hang out with friends from other circles that you don't have much contact with. For example, maybe it's time to meet gym friends elsewhere as well.
  • Make new friends by participating in new activities and meeting new people. This is the best way to get over friends who aren't willing to understand your side of the story.
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Step 8. Think about your behavior

Take a moment to reflect on the fight and your role in it. Could you have done something to prevent it from happening? Could it have failed to demonstrate some particular type of problematic behavior?

  • Notice if there are any behaviors in your life that have regularly caused problems. If you decide that this behavior contributed to the fight with your friend, analyze it in detail and take steps to change it. For example, perhaps your contribution to the fight was to utter several insults before you even thought about what you were talking about. In that case, look for methods to correct the problem of mindless speaking.
  • To get started, take the time to keep a journal about your thoughts and feelings.
  • Talking with someone you trust about what you are feeling can also be of great help, as the person can give you a different view of the situation.

Method 3 of 3: Chatting with Your Friend

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Step 1. Make an appointment to talk

Once the two of you have calmed down and got your head together, agree on a time and place to meet and talk in privacy.

Make an invitation like, for example: “Hi, do you have a few minutes after school to talk?”

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Step 2. Be prepared to face a stressful situation

It's not fun talking about a fight. Both parties involved can be nervous, uncomfortable, or angry. Strive to remain calm.

  • Speak in a calm, low tone. With this, the two will be able to remain calm, willing to listen to each other and not get defensive.
  • When you feel yourself getting nervous, take a few deep breaths. If you can't control yourself, say, "I'm sorry, I thought you were ready to talk, but I think I'll need a few more days."
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Step 3. Apologize

Acknowledge your guilt in what happened and apologize for what you did. Even if it was a very small thing, it is very likely that you are at fault. Never ignore the fact that you've hurt someone you care about, so get over the difficulties and apologize.

  • Say something like: “I'm very sorry for what I said the other day during the fight. Although I was nervous, that doesn't justify what I did. Sorry for hurting you.”
  • When apologizing, take full responsibility for behaviors that hurt your friend. For example: “I'm sorry I hurt you” shows responsibility, while “I'm sorry if I hurt you” shows that you don't recognize that your actions were wrong.
  • Explain to your friend how you want to change your behavior so that he is not afraid of being hurt again. A good explanation would go something like this: “I didn't think playing those little jokes would hurt him. But now I get it and I'll never make fun of you again.”
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Step 4. Be open to hear what he has to say

Don't get defensive. When your friend comes to confront you, listen with an open mind to understand their point of view.

  • If he says, “I was really hurt when you told me you wanted to spend more time with your girlfriend”; respond, "I understand how that hurt you and I regret what I said." Don't respond defensively, like, "When you got a girlfriend, I was ignored for two months."
  • If you need to explain what happened in the past, speak with great respect: “I'm happy to be able to understand your side and how you feel, but I would like to make a statement about something you said…”.
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Step 5. Acknowledge his feelings

Try to put yourself in your friend's shoes and see the situation as he sees it. In other words, show empathy. With that, he will feel heard and understood.

To do this, say something like this: “I understand how my actions hurt you. I shouldn't have ignored him and made him feel slighted.”

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Step 6. Write a letter

If you're not able to talk to your friend because you're too nervous or being ignored, write an apology letter. However, remember that talking face-to-face is better to avoid further misunderstandings.

  • Be polite and respectful in the letter, just as you would be in person.
  • For example: “I wanted to write this letter to apologize and say how sorry I am for what happened. I'd like to explain my side, but I know why you're mad at me too.”

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