wikiHow to End a Fight with a Friend

Three Parts:Keeping Calm During a FightDiscussing the Conflict with Your FriendApologizing to Your Friend

Friends fight frequently. Usually, disagreements between two pals are silly, minor, and easy to move beyond; at times, however, small spats can erupt into major fights. In order to repair the relationship, someone has to take the initiative. Assume responsibility for your actions and seek forgiveness.

Part 1
Keeping Calm During a Fight

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    Stay calm during a heated argument. Fights with friends trigger a natural range of emotions—from rage to sorrow. While your feelings may be entirely justifiable, do not allow your emotional response to go unchecked. By remaining calm and quiet, you will minimize the risk of escalating the incident.[1]
    • Pause, take a few deep breaths, and relax.
    • Separate yourself from the situation until you have control over your emotions. When you feel yourself getting too emotional, excuse yourself from the conversation: “I am starting to feel overwhelmed, angry, and hurt. Before I do something or say something that I might regret, I am going to pause the conversation. We can pick up where we left off when I am calmer and in control of my emotions.” This method is called “Taking a Timeout.”[2]
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    Don’t retaliate when provoked. Anger, frustration, and jealousy are overwhelming emotions. When we allow these feelings to cloud our judgement, our actions and words can become destructive. Even though it is tempting to “get even,” seeking revenge may ruin any chance of reconciling with your friend or, at the very least, draw out the process.[3]
    • Recognize that your thoughts of revenge are a natural response to your broken trust. When someone hurts us, it is in our nature to get even.
    • Acknowledge that you may regret seeking revenge. When you seek revenge, your actions are coming from a place of anger and fear. Once the anger and fear subside, the satisfaction you got from getting even may be replaced with feelings of guilt and regret. Remind yourself, “getting even may seem like a good idea now, but later I will feel awful for hurting my friend.”
    • Accept that you can control these desires to seek revenge. If you find yourself plotting revenge:
      • Remind yourself that these desires are simply a natural human response to broken trust. You don’t have to act on these feelings, you always have the option to ignore them.
      • Tell yourself that plotting revenge is satisfying, but carrying out the plan will not make you feel better.
      • Choose to resolve the issue in a less spiteful manner, like through a dialogue.
      • Practice radical acceptance—acknowledge what you are feeling in the present moment and choose to accept those feelings with kindness and acceptance. In this instance, radically accept that people are going to break your trust. [4]
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    Vent in private, not on the internet. When you are fighting with a friend, it is natural to vent about the conflict. Today, many people turn to social media to air their complaints. Broadcasting your frustrations or sorrow on social media platforms, however, will only prolong the fight.
    • Talk through the issue with a close, neutral confidant.
    • If your friend posts on social media, don’t reply. You may even want to block them temporarily.[5]
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    View the fight from your friend’s perspective. There are always two (or more) sides to every conflict. While it is easy to convince yourself that your version is the true version, this type of inflexible thinking may prevent you from reconciling with your friend. Viewing the issue from your friend’s point of view may make you revise your version of the story.
    • Remember, you don’t have to agree with someone in order to empathize with them.
    • Consider if your friend is experiencing difficulties in their personal, academic, and/or work life? Do these difficulties reveal anything about their negative behavior towards you?
    • Consider how your actions made your friend feel. Did you do something to upset your friend? Did you break your friend’s trust first?[6]

Part 2
Discussing the Conflict with Your Friend

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    Find a time to meet with your friend. In order to move beyond the conflict, you and your friend need to discuss the issue. Ask your friend to meet with you—invite your friend to coffee, dinner, or a walk on the beach. Your proactiveness will show that you care about repairing the relationship. Insist that the conversation takes place face-to-face—if you and your friend can see each other’s facial expressions and body language, there is less room for misinterpretations.
    • If your friend is not ready to meet, don’t push the issue. Give them a few more days to cool off and then ask again.[7]
    • Decline any offers to talk about your fight over the phone or social media platforms.
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    Remain calm throughout the discussion. When you and your friend meet, both of you may be experiencing very raw emotions. Your demeanor will set the tone for the entire discussion. Don’t let your negative emotions take control over of the situation—yelling, aggression, and defensive behavior will only derail the reconciliation.
    • Exercise self-control. When you find yourself getting mad, stop talking and take several deep breaths. You may find it helpful to count to ten or to repeat a self-soothing mantra, like “I am calm, cool, and collected,” until you sense that you are back in control of your emotions.[8]
    • If you feel yourself getting too heated, excuse yourself for a moment and return when you feel calm.[9]
    • Take a moment to think about why you are feeling angry and upset. Did you misunderstand their statement? Did your friend misunderstand you? Do you have any control over what is upsetting you? Use this time to gather and organize your thoughts—identify the source of your anger so that you can clearly articulate what you are upset about.[10]
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    Explain your feelings and actions. When you meet with your friend, do not make excuses or place the blame on them. Instead, accept responsibility for your role in the conflict. Focus on expressing yourself calmly and rationally.
    • Use “I statements” to identify and take ownership of your feelings.[11]
    • Be as specific as possible. “I felt angry when you left me at the party.”
    • Avoid the words “ought” and “should,” as well as the phrases, “I feel like___” and “I feel that__.” These transform I-statements into You-statements.
    • Avoid yelling.[12]
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    Allow your friend to openly share their feelings. After you have expressed yourself, allow your friend to share their emotions with you. It may be hard for you to hear what they say, but try not to interrupt. It is important that they feel heard and valued. Sit quietly and actively listen to what they are saying.[13]
    • When your friend is talking, put away all distractions, such as your phone or computer.
    • Maintain eye contact with your friend.
    • Lean forwards and tilt your head slightly to demonstrate that you are engaged.
    • Mirror your friend’s body language.[14]
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    Acknowledge that you heard and understand your friend’s perspective. After actively listening to your friend, set aside your point of view and desire to be right and empathize with them. Explaining the conflict from your friend’s perspective assure them that you were in fact listening. It also demonstrates that you are prepared to accept responsibility for your actions and prepared to move forward.
    • ”I can see how my actions made you feel ____.”
    • ”I didn’t realize I hurt you by ____.”
    • Avoid the word “but.” This word indicates that you did not actually see the issue from your friend’s perspective. Instead, replace “but” with “and.”[15]

Part 3
Apologizing to Your Friend

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    Express regret for your actions. Begin your apology with a heartfelt, “I’m sorry.” Express your remorse with sincere and authentic words. Let your friend know that you regret that your behavior negatively impacted them.
    • For example, you could say: “I am sorry that my actions hurt you” or “I apologize that I didn’t give you a chance to explain yourself.”[16]
    • A false apology will not bring your conflict to a happy conclusion.[17]
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    Take responsibility for your actions. You don’t have control over your friend’s actions, but you do have control over your behavior and reactions. Once you accept that your words and deeds, however minor, contributed to the conflict, you will stop justifying your poor behavior. Let your friend know that you recognize your role in the fight.
    • For example, you could say: *I realize that showing up late was inconsiderate and hurtful” or “I know I waited too long to tell you that I felt hurt.”[18]
    • Do not tag an excuse or justification for your behavior onto this statement. Doing so will only negate your apology.
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    Offer to make amends for your behavior. In addition to saying “I’m sorry” and taking responsibility for your actions, you also need to make restitution for your actions. Let your friend know how you intend to make up for your behavior. Make sure your promises are sincere.
    • For example, you may promise to abstain from this behavior in the future, communicate better, or spend more time with your friend. “I will try my best to set aside more time for you.” “I will make you a priority in my life.” “I will do a better job of asking about your life and struggles.” “I will do my best to support you through this difficult time/new opportunity.”
    • Make sure that this promise is achievable.[19]
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    Ask your friend for forgiveness and accept their response. Conclude your apology by asking for forgiveness. When you apologize, use phrases, such as “Please forgive me,” and “Can we move forward.” If your friend looks uncertain, you can reiterate that you take responsibility for your actions and you will strive to be a better friend in the future.
    • Your friend has the right to either accept your apology or withhold their forgiveness.
    • If your friend doesn’t instantly forgive you, give them some space and time to process your apology.



  • Be honest and sincere when talk to them.
  • Be considerate and a good listener.
  • Remain calm.
  • Be forgiving.
  • Don't get back at them. This only damages your relationship, and you may not ever get your friend's trust back.
  • Seek advice from an adult if you need help deciding whether or not you stepped over the line or said anything inappropriate. They can also give advice on whether if the relationship is healthy or not.


  • Sometimes fixing a relationship with a friend takes a few weeks.
  • Avoid accusing your friend. Accept responsibility for your actions.
  • Your friend may not forgive you.

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Categories: Making Up with Friends