We’ve all been there: angry glares shot across the classroom, long texts sent off about “how could she possibly think this is okay?” and lots of emotional uproar. Drama is never fun, but it’s even worse when you’re fighting with your friends, the girls who normally stand behind you when the gossip gets nasty. But with a few simple tools, handling drama can be a lot less, well, dramatic.
Read on for our step-by-step guide for patching things up and getting back with your besties.
When you’re in the middle of a days-long friend war, it’s easy to feel frustrated and fired up.
But shouting is never a good idea when you want to get your point across. While cooling down and relaxing often feels like the last thing you want to do, try not to launch into a major argument while you and your friend are already tense and angry. Go home, put your phone on airplane mode, and go about your normal routine until you feel relaxed enough to have a calm discussion with your friend about what happened.
If you find yourself in the middle of a major argument, don’t be afraid to leave—but do it in the right way. Instead of storming off or shouting “I just can’t deal with you!” pause for breath, look your friend in the eye, and say “I know we have some stuff we need to work out, but this conversation isn’t going anywhere. Can we cool down a little and talk about this later?” Chances are your friend doesn’t want to keep arguing either, and you can both come at your problem later with a better mindset.
Make sure your business is your business
Pulling other people into your argument will only make things worse.
Ranting to your parents, other friends, or even classmates can make you feel better in the moment—like you’re gaining “allies” by showing people how terrible your friend is—but resist the temptation. Pulling other people into your argument will only make things worse. Chances are, your friend will hear what you’ve been saying about her, and that will only add to the problems you two need to work out to get things back to normal. But even if she doesn’t, do you really want to leave people with the idea that your friend is mean and selfish after everyone cools down? Keeping your mouth shut can be super hard, but it will make everyone better off.
If the desire to rant about your friend drama is really burning you up, find one person (not two or three!) that you can trust.
Good options include a parent, aunt or other relative, or a friend who’s completely uninvolved with situation (an old pen pal who lives in another state, or even someone who just goes to a different school). You want to choose someone who isn’t connected to your school’s rumor mill—your rant probably won’t get back to your friend if your mom is the only person who’s heard it. Let off some steam to your designated listener, then stop after that rant and cool yourself down again.
Talk it out…kindly
At some point, you need to have a conversation with your friend about what you’re both upset about. Face-to-face is the best way to have this discussion, because you can see each other’s body language—and if you’re at school or in public, having other people around can make it less likely that either of you will lose your temper. But if that’s not an option, go for a phone call. Try not to send each other long, angry text messages; they’re impersonal and it’s hard to get your point across.
When you start talking, give your friend the chance to talk first. Let her lay out everything that’s upsetting her. Then, tell her what’s going on in your head. Above all, keep everything considerate and civil. You two are friends, and that’s the most important thing to remember.
Go back and forth expressing your feelings, but don’t interrupt each other, no matter how much you want to. If you find that you keep bringing up the same points again and again, you may have reached an impasse—neither of you is willing to be wrong, or you just have a fundamental disagreement about the issue you’re trying to fix.
Collaborate, Compromise, Carry on
Collaborating and compromising can enable the two of you to solve your problem and end up with an even better friendship than before.
Try to work out a solution that will make both of you happy. Collaborating and compromising can enable the two of you to solve your problem and end up with an even better friendship than before. If someone keeps cancelling on plans, she can agree to set aside time that’s just for the friendship. If one of you is drifting away from the other to hang out with a new friend or group, she can invite the other of you along so everyone ends up with more people to hang out with overall.
While you may feel like you’re 100% the victim in the fight you’re having, chances are both of you have at least something you can apologize for and work to change. If each of you apologizes to the other, you’re more likely to be ready to work together and resolve your conflict. That sets up up for moving forward and carrying on with your friendship. The next time you see each other after you talk, smile and say hello. It’ll be awkward at first to be friendly again after a big fight, but that feeling will melt away. Before you know it, your friendship will be stronger than it’s ever been.