Mend the Bridge; Don’t Tear it Down

No matter how much you love your friends at some point you’re going to fight. It might be something stupid or it might be caused by a serious mistake or poor choice. Regardless, friend fights hurt. They often split groups and people take sides. They can last a few hours or even a few months and can leave you feeling alone. Don’t think your friendship cannot be saved; it can. If you really want your friendship repaired you will need to be humble, even if the reason behind the fight is not your fault.

The silent treatment is a common practice that may seem like a perfect solution at the time; it isn’t. Being silent is always a bad idea as it never solves anything and only pulls you further apart.  If your friend is trying to reach out and talk to you, don’t ignore them. It’s fine to take a few days to cool off and gather your thoughts, but don’t let that period of time last too long. If this fight is between you and another friend, it’s fine to discuss it with your other pals, but don’t drag them into the fight and get them involved. This isn’t their battleIf you start making your other friends choose sides you are not only coming off as childish, but you are putting your other friendships in similar jeopardy.

Leave it OFF social media! Publishing your anger or situation on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ is the worst mistake to be made. Don’t even think about posting any incriminating photos on Instagram! Your fight is between the two of you only and involving the rest of the world will only make reparations almost impossible. Once it is on the internet it is there forever. No matter how much you delete it. After your problem has been resolved you do not want it coming back to haunt you in the future and, I promise you, it will.

Whatever the fight is about, you each have a side. Take some time and listen to what your friend has to say and do so in person. Once you’ve both cooled off, set up a time to talk. You need to give them a chance to explain thoughts and reasons behind their anger. You would want to be given the same opportunity. Talk everything out in a calm and collected way. Fighting through text or emails will not improve anything. If you have not already noticed intentions, inflections, vocal tones, mannerisms, and gestures that give our words expression and deeper meaning will not come across in text. One phrase in plain words can be harsher than those spoken in a soft voice with gestures of hope and reconciliation.

Always, always, always apologize. It takes two to fight. You may not have been the one to make the mistake, but you were the one to react the way you did or say what it was that was said. Think carefully over how the argument started and the moments or days to follow; do not expect your friend to apologize first. If the both of you are willing to apologize first you are more likely to reach a completely repaired friendship that was closer than previously, because now you know your friendship can weather any problems. repair

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