A few weeks ago, I fell out with a close friend of mine. It wasn’t over anything big, just a silly argument that got out of hand. Up until then, I had never fallen out with a friend, and so, wasn’t quite sure how to deal with it.
At first I was pretty annoyed – we both were. But after a day or two, I started to realize that I didn’t want to lose such a good friend over something so small.
While I wanted to sort things out as soon as possible, I didn’t know how to deal with the situation. I was very aware that if I went about things in the wrong way, I could end up making it worse. I spent a few hours pondering over what I should do, did some research and then came up with a plan to get my friendship back on track.
In case you are going through a similar situation, I thought I would share with you what I found:
Give them time to cool off: Whether you or your friend started the argument, make sure to give them enough time to cool off. Otherwise, the argument could end up being started again. The key to getting your friendship back on track and getting over the argument is being in the right frame of mind to talk things through.
By giving it a couple of days both you and your friend will have enough time to look at the argument from the other person’s perspective. While leaving things to cool off for a couple of days is fine, don’t leave it any longer. Otherwise, the argument could end up turning into something much bigger than it is.
Look at the argument from their perspective: In the heat of the moment, sometimes we say things that we don’t mean. Even if your friend said some hurtful things to you, take the time to look at the argument from her perspective.
Ask yourself why she was so upset about what you were talking about. Was she offended by what you said? Think about what could have caused her to react so strongly to whatever started the argument. By thinking about it from her point of view, you may be able to see where she was coming from and why the argument escalated.
Get in touch: After a couple of days, try to get in touch with your friend. But keep in mind that she may not have cooled off yet, and might not be ready to talk. If your phone calls and texts get no reply, chances are that she is still dealing with the argument. You don’t want to force her to talk to you if she isn’t ready, just make sure that she knows you are there for her if she needs you.
You might feel like your friend is at fault for the argument, but if you value her friendship, then you need to be the bigger person. Regardless of who started the fight, it’s important to put it behind you and move on as quickly as possible.
If your friend isn’t ready to talk to you yet, that’s fine. But to get things moving along, perhaps you could send her a nice bouquet of apology flowers? You might not feel like apologizing first, but someone has to be the bigger person.
Arrange to meet: Once your friend receives your apology, she should be happy to talk. Arrange to meet somewhere that is private, where you won’t be disturbed. When you are trying to sort out an argument, the last thing you want is another friend popping up out of the blue.
After an argument, it’s natural to feel nervous seeing your friend again, but try to stay as calm as possible. You might have fallen out, but you are still friends, so there is no need to feel anxious.
The best way to deal with the situation is to sit down and discuss what happened. Each of you should get a chance to speak and say your piece while the other person listens. Make sure that when your friend is explaining her side of things, that you don’t interrupt. Listen to everything she has to say before you speak.
If you can’t agree on who was in the wrong, agree to disagree. Sometimes arguments can’t be settled because people have different opinions, and that’s okay. Just agree to disagree and move on.
Do something nice together: Arrange to meet up with your friend a few days later to do something fun. The key to getting your friendship back on track is getting past the awkward stage, and the best way to do this is by spending time together.
Don’t make the mistake of avoiding each other, this will only lead to problems further down the line. If you don’t make an effort to spend time together after an argument, your friendship could end up deteriorating.
Invite your friend to spend the day with you so that you can spend some quality time together. After all that arguing, you are both probably feeling incredibly stressed. So why not organize a spa break for the two of you? Or, if a spa break is too long, a spa day could also work well.
If going to a spa isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other things you could do. Perhaps you could plan to go shopping, go out for lunch or see a movie? Whatever you decide to do, make sure that it is just the two of you.
At some point or another, we all argue with our friends. What the argument is about is not important, what is important is that you sort it out and get your friendship back on track.