You Don’t Have to Call It Quits
If you’ve been friends with someone long enough, you’re bound to have misunderstandings or even full-on conflicts. And depending on the severity, a falling out with a friend can not only be stressful, it can really take a toll on your bond. From hurt feelings to feeling betrayed, even the best of friends can be tempted to call it quits after a serious conflict. But if the friendship is long-standing, or is important to both of you, finding common ground and starting over is possible. Here’s how to recover from a fight with a friend.
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1. Take Time to Think About What Happened
No matter what you’re fighting about, chances are you both played a part in the conflict. You probably both said things you regret. While you don’t want to be stuck on an endless loop of replaying what went down, it’s important to give yourself time to cool off and really ruminate on the situation. Try to see things from your friend’s perspective, while also clarifying, in your own mind, why exactly you’re angry. You have to get your emotions sorted and your thoughts clear before you can find a way to move forward.
2. Resist the Urge to Engage in Digital Warfare
While you’re thinking, don’t engage in any kind of digital warfare with your friend. It’s all too easy to shoot off an emotionally charged text or email, which will only make the situation worse. As we know, texts and emails don’t allow for the nuances of tone of voice, which can make any message you send sound void of emotion, or even cruel, depending on how it’s interpreted. If you need to communicate, communicate in person (or over the phone).
3. Meet in Person, When You’re Ready
Choose a neutral, public place where you can sit and talk about what happened. If you live far apart, consider having a Skype or FaceTime chat. Meeting somewhere public ensures that the conversation won’t get too heated and that you won’t let your emotions get the best of you—which will help you solve the issue between you two more effectively. You could also consider going for a walk while you talk, since the endorphins your body releases as you exercise can keep you calm.
4. Check In With Each Other
After you’ve laid everything out on the table, go home and think about what you each said. If you feel the need to clarify anything, or have questions for your friend, call them. If not, give them a couple days, then check in with a text or phone call to say that you’re thinking about them and you hope you can continue to work on rebuilding your bond. Touching base will lay the groundwork for reviving your friendship and it shows that you care about each other’s emotional well-being.
5. Begin to Start Hanging Out Again
If you two were the type to hang out every day, realize that there will be a period of awkwardness following your falling out. Instead of expecting everything to go back to normal right away, give each other space and gradually build back up to the level of intimacy you once shared. Scaling back your relationship doesn’t mean that you won’t find that same closeness you had before. Rather, it allows you to both take the time you need to heal from what happened between you. Rushing into things too quickly can feel forced, which defeats the purpose of hanging out.