Fiona’s Blog: How to Fight With Your Best Friend

By | February 14th, 2011 | 18 comments

The title of this blog might have initially scared you (“Best friends don’t fight!” you exclaimed, with big, innocent Bambi eyes), but knowing how to argue with your friends is one of the most important aspects of friendship, and in this post I’ll talk about how to go about it the right way.

1. Vocalize the issue. Too often, we keep our feelings bottled up inside. While you definitely shouldn’t pick your friends apart, criticizing them for everything they do, you should speak up if their actions are making you feel hurt or offended. Don’t yell at your friend because she has a habit of smacking her lips when she talks, but do confront her if she has a habit of smacking down your opinion whenever you voice it. I know that if I keep my feelings to myself, I sometimes end up expressing them in other ways—like snapping at the people around me—or having a giant meltdown when my feelings become too hard to internalize.

2. Don’t get too caught up in the moment. You know those arguments (you’ve probably had one with a parent or sibling) where you get so caught up in arguing that you forget to be civil? You might be debating with your sister about Taylor Swift’s new single, but before you know it, you’re yelling stuff like, “You don’t know anything about music! And also, I hate your leg warmers!” Even though your emotions may be running high during a conflict with a friend, try not to say things you’re sure to regret. In debate, this is called an ad hominem attack, which means “to the man (or lady!).” You’re sure to regret something you say about your friend’s appearance or personal character. Remember that you like this person; you wouldn’t be friends otherwise.

3. Don’t leave in a huff.

If you feel that you can’t discuss the issue any further due to location, time, or your emotional state, make sure your friend doesn’t think you’re abandoning her, cutting her off, or belittling what she has to say. “Let’s talk at lunch,” or, “Why don’t we get some sleep and chat in the morning,” are both good phrases to let your friend know you are willing to take up the conversation later.

4. Don’t treat your arguments like a book club. Remember that arguments aren’t for other people to analyze. As fun as it might seem to sit around with cups of cocoa and discuss your argument in detail with other friends, it’s not very fair to the friend you had the fight with, and will probably only make the situation worse. While it may initially make you feel better, talking about your argument with a larger friend group will most likely result in more people becoming involved. This may be especially hard if you are a part of a large group of friends, like I am, but is definitely a rule I found worth following. Making the personal public means that it is very likely the story of your fight will become gossip that gets back to the other person.

5. When you make up, don’t leave out the bad or the good. When you do get around to talking later, make sure you’re honest with your friend and yourself about what bothered you during the fight.

Sometimes when you’re calm, it’s easy to shrug off things that once bothered you, in the hope of ending what may seem like an uncomfortable confrontation. Just remember that if something bothered you once, it’s likely to bother you again if it isn’t resolved.

I know I have a tendency to associate making up with apologizing, but it’s important to only apologize for the things you’re truly sorry for. “Sorry” is only a word, and saying it won’t make you feel better if you think you were wronged. Making up is also a time to look at your fight in the larger context of your friendship.  Tell your friend how much she means to you, and explain to her that her actions hurt you, because you care so much about your friendship. Bring attention to the positive actions she may have taken to help resolve your conflict.

6. Don’t forget the hug!

Fiona Lowenstein is a high school junior, weekly guest blogger and Girls Leadership Institute alumna. Read more of her work here.

18 Responses to “Fiona’s Blog: How to Fight With Your Best Friend”

  • Isabella says:

    So, me and my best friend had a fight and i didn’t even know what it was about. i tried talking it out w her but she started telling me that i was causing drama. she told me to go w the flow and just let things play like they’re supposed to and so i agreed. for some reason, she doesn’t talk to me at school at all, only when she’s supposed to. if i text her at home, sometimes she replies and sometimes she doesn’t,even if she sees the text. this all started when we had made movie plans and then she brought another person unexpectedly, so i said i didn’t want to go anymore cuz i wanted it to be a thing for only the two of us. i apologized many times and told her to be honest w me, if she was mad. she said no. two days later, when i texted her and told her that i wanted to know why she wasn’t texting me back; she told me she can do what she wants and she wanted a break from people(no one else, just me). i was like okay, i’m sorry, are we good? she said sure and then the next day on she still started ignoring me at school. idk what to do about this. i am pretty hurt considering before this all happened. we were really close and would have our moments. but know, every time i try to talk to her, she pretends she didn’t hear me. i try not to care but it’s hard not to. i miss her a lot and i hate being in a fight w her(i’ve told her that too) idk if she’s worth it anymore..

  • Mae Mindo says:

    I have a guy bestfriend….. We have a fight last july 3 and until now…… we’re still not ok…. I apologized more than 20 times in texts and called him but he didn’t answer…. It’s just a small misunderstanding though…. It’s just a night wherein he thought I’m mad but not really….. :'(

  • Brittney Johnson says:

    So my best friend is a guy right? Well.. we have always been super close and ive already told him i like him more then a friend. We both agree we like each other but dont want to date. We also dont want anyone else to date each other. Yesterday he was acting weird, hanging out with people he’s told me he though were jerks and said he didnt like. I asked him, infact me and my bestfriend of our trio asked him. ”Why do you talk to people you dont like?” and he snapped. For the first time ever he snapped at me and told me ”unlike you two im actually trying to make friends”. I was offended. i replied ”Ive known these people since pre-k, just because i know everyone doesn’t mean i value them as friends like i do with you” and Leeann agreed with me. He got up and then sat down and said ”im nice unlike you guys” and i told him ” look we just wanted to know because we care alot about you and we dont want you to make the wrong decision and regret it.”. He then said ”i can be friends with who ever i want.” and so i got up and gave him his jacket back and said ”im sorry i care so much” and i left, teary eyed and hurt. Soon after he gave me back the dinosaur we share. he didnt even look at me or say a word. I burst into tears and tryed to avoid a scene by going to the bathroom. After class i told him i was sorry and i just care about him. I asked if he forgave me and he didnt reply. He said we had things we needed to talk about. But he’s ignored me all day. Im scared to lose him. What do i do?

  • Just Me says:

    Around New Years something happened between the three of my best friends. And somehow I got involved and ended up getting in a huge fight with my best friend for the past 12 years. We haven’t talked in the past 3 months now and I think things are set to how they are now. Us not talking? Everytime we try to resolve it we just end up getting in a bigger conflict cuz she ends up accusing and insulting me. So we’re not friends anymore and the memories hurt but she comlpains to everyone about how I “abonded” her and how horrible of a friend I was for doing that. She says I’ve turned into a monster lately and I just have no clue what to do?:'(

  • jess says:

    me and my friend had our first fight. she just snapped and started insulting/accusing me (about my religion) without any basis. i was caught off guard and when i tried to defend myself, she interrupted me and kept insulting me. i was shocked and couldn’t speak. later, i texted her that i was so hurt by what she said especially after helping her with her problems(this is how she would re pay me?) i told her next time to be sensitive and there are better ways to express her opinions. then she just replied “aw 🙁 next time :)”. i was insulted. it felt like she’s belittling my feelings. the next day, she tried to talk to me as if nothing happened. but i couldn’t talk to her, i was still hurt by her reply. i was really hoping she would say sorry. but she didn’t. and that made me really angry. she couldnt even say i’m sorry? i dont understand. so the next day,(still bothered)i wrote her an(hurtful)email . telling her i was disappointed. the fact that i told her that i was hurt and that she didnt say sorry. it felt like she doesn’t value our friendship. she doesnt value me as a friend. she doesnt care if i was hurt. then i insulted her back-but told her this is how it feels like, to be insulted by a friend. she replied, focusing on why she insulted me and she was still defending it. she said sorry and then blamed me for asking why she said those words to me. so, i was shocked again by her response. and told her that i don’t want to be friends with her anymore. now its been 2 weeks since the fight and we’re still not talking. we work at the same office by the way. so i see her everyday. she sits right next to me. i miss her. or i dont know, maybe am just used to talking to her everyday. but am still turned off. but misses our laughs. is it worth getting back to a friend like her?

  • Dani says:

    My bestfriends alway leaves me out,she is popular and goes to a different school
    Than me and I message her and she won’t message back
    Is this a bestfriend or not

  • Alyssa says:

    My friends all hang out and don’t invite me and they try to blame the problem on me and say it’s cuz I do ‘something’ wrong ( it’s always a different excuse) I don’t know how to deal eighths problem. I can’t exactly apologize because I honestly don’t understand what I have done. But they ne’er seem willing to apologize either.

    • It’s hard for me to tell what’s going on between you and your friends (you probably know more than I do) but I would say that friends who don’t invite you to hang out and are exclusive probably aren’t very good friends. Maybe you can approach them calmly about the way that you feel. Try telling them that it hurts their feelings when they exclude you and that you don’t know what you’ve done wrong. If your friends are unwilling to listen to your concerns, you may want to reevaluate your friendship with them.

  • rere says:

    my best friend and i got into a fight yesterday…we usually solve it in the same day or the next day..but this time it did not happen…:( do you think that we will ever make up??it was a really stupid fight we get into that all the time…

    • Just because it’s taking you longer to solve this fight, doesn’t mean it’s going to be the argument that ends your friendship. Sometimes it’s better to take a little time to cool off. If you and your friend are honest about what bothered you, I’m sure you guys will make up!

  • dunno says:

    What if your friend does not take you seriously and laughs at you?

    • Fiona Lowenstein says:

      It’s difficult to put yourself out there, but hopefully a good friend won’t laugh at you after you express yourself. If she does, she probably isn’t worth your time anyway!

  • Holly says:

    I dont fight with my bestfranndsss tehehe 😀

  • Carole Aksak says:

    You rock, Fiona. I’m sharing our thoughts with the the girls, moms and volunteers at Girl Scouts of Nassau County.

  • Great ideas and points, Fiona.

    I especially liked “Don’t treat your arguments like a book club”.

    And good point about making up being part of the larger context of the relationship.

    {{{{Hugs}}}} are good.

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