Like growing up and becoming an adult, fighting with a friend is part of life. No matter the problem, we've all had some quarrels with those we love, and most of the times we might not know how to best react in this situation. Take my example. A couple of years ago there was a huge feud among my group of friends over a guy. Instead of making it their problem and giving them some space to make up, everybody started choosing sides and naturally, our super group got broken. Only one friend and I decided to stay neutral in the situation, but they also got mad at us for not choosing a side. For some time we remained excluded from our friends until one day we decided to tackle the issue once and for all. We met and explained why we didn’t take any side and that we really missed them.
It was all solved. Well, kind of. They still hanged out without telling us, and it was kind of obvious that our friendship was still fragmented. Now, I’m not proud about this, but some time passed and my friend (the one who had decided to stay neutral) got in a really big fight with these girls. I didn’t choose a side either, but I really felt there wasn’t anything in common anymore, and I just stopped talking to them that much. One of them (whom I had known since kindergarten) called me to see what was going on, and in my most arrogant attitude, I just told her I didn’t feel we had anything in common anymore and just ghosted her for a while. Naturally, as time passes you start meditating on your actions, and I realized I really missed this friend so much, but it’s too late now. I mean, we still talk to each other once in a while, but it’s not the same. The trust and closeness are gone. So, basically, I did all those things you shouldn’t do when you have a problem with your friends. Learning from mistakes is a great guide to solving any issue.
Let the anger pass
Whatever the problem was, you’ll feel really angry at first, and this can push you to react and do things you might regret in the future. You know the saying: you must keep a cool head. So, get angry, yell, throw things, do whatever you feel like, but in your room and not directly at your friend. Once the immediate anger passes, you’ll be able to see things more clearly.
Get some time but don’t silent treat them
Yes, you might need some time to relax and meditate on what happened and what you want in the future, but this doesn’t mean you have to ghost them as I did. Because, believe me, you can really regret it. If they’re looking for you, just tell them that you need some time and that you’ll get in touch once you’ve calmed.
Don’t try to get back at them
Just don’t. It’s quite easy to develop vengeful thoughts and ideas, but please don’t. I mean, yes, getting back at someone who hurt you can be quite pleasant, but only for a while, and you can actually make things worse. Even if you don’t plan on solving things, you’ll always get that bitter taste of what you did. So, leave revenge for a Tarantino movie and that’s it.
Don’t make people choose a side
I don’t think I have to expand a lot on this subject, do I? What my other friends didn’t understand about our neutrality in the situation was that we really loved both of them. Yes, one did a big mistake we didn’t really approve, but the only thing we should've done was to her her how we felt and that was it. Dividing people won’t help you, seriously.
Keep it to yourself
Yes, don’t make things bigger by posting your feud online. No one needs to be involved in this, and you’ll only make things worse. Try to make it as private as possible.
Arrange a meeting
Once you’ve thought things clearly, meet with your friend and talk about what happened and how you feel. Be honest and just remember all those things that united you in the beginning. Talk about those moments you’ve spent together and put in balance the good things against those bad ones.
This is a key element, no matter who was at fault in that particular fight, I bet that even if you didn’t do anything wrong at the moment of the issue, you reacted in some way that only increased the problem. Swallow your pride and apologize. That also includes accepting your friend’s apology and then be happy as always.
Fighting with a friend can hurt us more than we think or want to accept. Perhaps, like me, you didn’t know how to react in a smart way and you think it’s been too long to do something. But let me tell you that there’s always something you can do to revive that friendship that faded long ago. If the situation happened because of a guy or because you don’t know how to deal with your BFF's partner and you want to do something before it turns out into a huge fight, see our advice for when your friend is dating a douche.