Most people have had a fight with a great friend at some point in their lives, and at times we may feel that we will never win back the friendship of someone we love. Fortunately, most of the time, best friends end up making up because they care about each other. Things might look complicated right now, but stay positive. It doesn't matter if there was a fight, if someone else made it into the story, or if your friend moved to a distant city - you can still regain that friendship!
Method 1 of 3: Talking About Problems
Step 1. Say how you feel
Maybe the other person misses the friendship as much as you do, but someone needs to take the first step and talk about those feelings. Say how much you miss your friend and make it clear that he is still a fundamental part of your life.
- Say, "You're like a brother to me, so I feel like I've lost part of my family now that I don't have your company."
- If your friend has been spending a lot of time with his girlfriend or other friends, let him know that you want some of his time too. Explain that you understand the importance of the other person and that you are not trying to push them away by saying something like, "I'm so glad you found someone to make you happy, but I also miss spending time with you."
- Be honest, even if you're embarrassed. Say something like: “It's been difficult for me because you were my best friend. Before, we talked every day, but lately I feel you've been too busy to talk to me."
Step 2. Don't make assumptions
Don't be too needy ̶ There are plenty of reasons a friend might walk away, but don't take a few unanswered messages and some last-minute cancellations as a sign that the friendship is over. Perhaps your best friend is experiencing a stressful or hectic time and, consequently, has no time for social life.
- Understand that he may be busy with things that have nothing to do with you or any other friend.
- If he's been spending a lot of time with someone else, consider whether he or she doesn't play a different role than you do in your friend's life. For example, you may both be children of divorced parents, share the same cultural background, or have recently suffered from a family member's illness.
Step 3. Apologize
If you've done something wrong, apologizing will be the first step in fixing things. However, simply saying "I'm sorry" isn't usually enough - be detailed and specific. Even if you feel that you are not to blame, be superior and take the initiative to ask for forgiveness.
- Show that you know what you did and understand why your attitude was wrong.
- Say, "I'm sorry I forgot your birthday. I know how hurt you must have been. I would have been devastated if I had been otherwise."
Step 4. Speak in the first person singular
Don't speak for the other person or project your own feelings onto your friend. You may have different perspectives on what happened and each other's intentions, and there is nothing wrong with that. The important thing is that the two are able to talk about their own feelings about the situation, reaching a point of mutual understanding.
Avoid saying things like, "You never listen!" Prefer to say something along the lines of, "I was frustrated because I felt you weren't listening."
Step 5. Take responsibility for your actions
During the apology, resist the urge to try to explain your behavior. Don't make excuses, no matter how much you believe certain actions or events are justified. Just as he has no right to hurt you, nothing justifies hurting a friend.
- For example, avoid saying, "I'm sorry I forgot your birthday party. I had a very busy week and lost track of the days." Even if it's true, the explanation weakens the apology because it shows that, for you, your behavior was justified.
- Say, "I know I did something wrong."
Step 6. Don't blame the other person
Regardless of who started the fight and what was said, focus on moving forward. Reflect on how much you want this person back in your life and remember that trying to put the blame on someone else will only make things worse.
- Avoid saying things like, "I'm sorry you think that," as statements like that place the blame on the other person. You are essentially saying that your friend overreacted to normal behavior.
- If you feel unfairly guilty, say, "You seem to think it's all my fault. Is that right?" If the answer is yes, you can talk about it.
Step 7. Suggest ways to handle the problems
Conversation is a good starting point, but it won't be enough to completely regain the friendship. Suggest things the two of you can do together, including a next step. Getting the friendship back will take a lot of work, and the apology will carry more meaning if you show that you already have a plan in mind.
Invite your friend to the movies. You will be able to spend some time together without having to say anything, and after the session you will have a common topic to discuss. That way, the pressure to find neutral subjects will be much less
Method 2 of 3: Making Space
Step 1. Limit contact with him
Respect your friend's wishes if he tells you he needs to spend some time alone - maybe he needs time to cool off, think things over and recover. Frequent phone calls, messages, e-mails and harassment will not only not help but may also make the situation worse.
- Be civilized. Smile and wave your hand or head whenever you see your friend at school or work.
- Don't confuse limiting contact with ignoring the other person - show that you are receptive and available to talk.
- Don't try to ask mutual friends about his life or ask them to take sides.
Step 2. Don't be sticky
Let your friend decide where you want to go and who you want to spend time with. We are likely to smother a friend with attention when we feel we are about to lose them, but this exaggeration will only make things worse. If you act like he's not allowed to enjoy the company of other people, your friend will try even harder to pull away and get rid of your controlling behavior.
- Find an activity to occupy your mind if your friend is busier than usual. That way you'll be less likely to run after him.
- If the issue is jealousy of his new relationships, remember that you can also make new friends or start dating.
Step 3. Try new activities
Instead of spending all your time doing nothing, thinking about how much you miss your best friend, distract yourself by doing something fun, like an activity you've always wanted to do. If you're running out of ideas, check out a cultural calendar of upcoming events in town or visit a community center to see what courses are available.
Step 4. Meet new people
You don't have to rush out to replace your best friend, but start making more friends. Don't be in a hurry to develop a friendship or go out alone with other people, but be open to the idea of meeting new people.
- Join a club.
- Hang out with other friends.
- Have a party.
Step 5. Recognize when to give up
Sometimes, when a person asks for a break, he may decide that he prefers to leave it at that. While giving up on a great friend is very difficult, you may need to move on. Think of it as a learning experience that will help you cultivate stronger friendships in the future. Reflect on the reasons why the friendship ended, and use this lesson when making new friends.
- Allow yourself to cry. As with death, grieving to overcome the loss of a relationship is important for you to be able to process emotions and feelings. Crying is normal and necessary, so don't feel ashamed of your own tears.
- Even if you can't talk to your friend about the end of the friendship, say goodbye by writing a letter that will never be sent or by doing your own farewell ritual.
Method 3 of 3: Rebuilding Friendship
Step 1. Don't listen to gossip, it will only damage the friendship
When someone starts talking bad about your friend, ask them to stop immediately. If other people say he's been badmouthing you, refuse to listen. Even if it's true, it won't help you fix things.
Say, "I'm not interested in hearing this."
Step 2. Forgive and Forget
Start over from scratch. Don't continue to punish your friend after all the issues are resolved, or act coldly or use past mistakes as ammunition for current fights. Leave the past behind and move on.
- Focus on the future.
- If you start to feel like the problem is back, give your friend the benefit of the doubt and don't jump to conclusions.
Step 3. Invite him to a group event
Things can get a little awkward during the friendship rebuilding process, and group meetings will allow the two of you to spend time together, in a neutral environment, when emotions are still running high.
- Invite all your friends over for dinner.
- Check out upcoming community or school events and choose one that matches everyone's interests.
Step 4. Understand that new relationships are inevitable
Don't think the friendship is over because he's met someone new - either of you will need to be the first to find a girlfriend or other good friend. You may have a hard time accepting the new relationship dynamic if your friend starts spending time with someone else, but keep in mind that it will happen to everyone.
- Don't see change as rejection - he doesn't want to replace you with anyone, he just found someone else he shares a connection with.
- Your friendship may change, but it won't end.
- Talk to the new person. Keep an open mind and try to get to know her better. If it's a romantic relationship, be happy for your friend and show that his girlfriend can trust you.
Step 5. Discover new ways to spend time together
If your friend is away due to a major life change, such as a sick family member, a child, or the additional responsibilities of work or school, find ways to participate in their day-to-day lives. As this person's life is changing, the time you spend together will have to change as well, so show that you still have a place in their life.
- Visit your friend at lunchtime.
- Participate in an activity that he does often, such as a class at the gym.
- If your friend is dating, show that you still need some time together. Say, "Your new boyfriend is really nice, but can we have lunch alone this weekend?"
Step 6. Practice your favorite activities
Take some time to rebuild your friendship by doing something you both love, preferably something special to you. It will remind them of all the good times they had together and help them to overcome the problems that interfered with their friendship. For example, visit a karaoke bar if you two love to sing.
- Show that you really love your friend.
- Calm down before talking to him again.
- Keep in touch and let him know he's your best friend.
- Make it clear that you're still thinking about him, even if you're giving him some time to reflect.
- Take the initiative if you were the one responsible for the fight. Talk to him and tell him the truth. Show that you didn't mean to hurt his feelings.
- Try to see things from the other person's point of view.
- Leave the person alone if they still don't want to be your friend. It's going to be difficult, but it's for your own good.
- If you suspect he's angry about something, ask him what happened and start fixing the situation from there. Maybe you just need some time to cool off.
- Talk to another trusted person, such as your mother or older brother.
- If he found another best friend, don't be mean to the new person. Try to explain how you feel and invite the two of you to an activity the three of you can do together.
- Try calling or texting if you don't have the courage to speak in person.
- Leave your friend alone if he's mad. After a while, come back and let us know how you feel. If he still doesn't want to get back together, give him more time and talk to other friends.
- Do not show irritation or jealousy when talking to your friend about the problem.
- Don't try to make him jealous.
- Don't ignore your best friend after apologizing.
- You'll only get in trouble if you're mean to his girlfriend. If that person is with your friend, he is your friend too.