Having friends is important.
They help us through the tough times, they cheer us up when we feel down and they are the people we usually trust.
All friendships go through rough patches. It’s OK to fight with friends from time to time and there are ways to make things better.
Falling out with a friend or a group of friends can happen really fast and it can take you by surprise. Having a fight with a friend can be really upsetting.
Even best friends can argue and go through a rough patch – it’s normal. It’s what you do next that’s the most important part.
If you’ve had a fight with a friend, think about:
- How you felt before and during the fight
- How you expressed your feelings, or what you did with your feelings
- How you feel now about what happened
- How you feel now about your friend
- What you would like your friend or friends to know
- What you would like to see happen next
- Do you want to keep being friends?
Making up with a friend
After a fight or an argument, you may both need time to cool off. Think about how you could talk about what happened, and how you could sort things out.
If you want to try and patch things up, these tips might help:
- Think about how it started or what was happening – What was it all about? Was there anything that made the fight worse? Were you tired or had a bad day? What’s making the fight continue?
- Think about your feelings – Are you hurt or angry about what happened? Are you feeling sad that you’re fighting with your friend? How do you think your friend is feeling? Is the thing the two of you were fighting about worth all these bad feelings?
- Talk it out – Talk it out in private, or talk to someone you trust and ask them to support you. Stay calm and don’t blame each other. Tell your friend what you’re thinking and feeling and listen to their thoughts and feelings too.
- Learn from the fight – This is a good time to learn more about each other. It’s good to consider what you and your friend can change, to stop another fight from happening.
- Say sorry – Think about the part you played in the fight. Did you hurt your friend’s feelings or lose your temper? Saying sorry helps to make things better. Even if you feel you didn’t do anything wrong, you can still say you’re sorry that the two of you are fighting. Make the first move.
Drifting apart or breaking up with friends
Sometimes it’s too hard to make things better. That’s OK too. It can happen because:
- You don’t want to be friends any more
- You don’t trust each other now
- You’re slowly drifting apart
- Your interests have changed
All these things can affect friendships.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. All friends fall out sometimes and it’s normal for friendships to change over time. Think about ways to meet new people – and treasure the good friends you have.
If your friends are treating you badly – bullying, putting you down, spreading rumours, or putting pressure on you to do something you don’t want to do (peer pressure) – think about whether you really want to be friends. Sometimes it’s better to move on.
The end of a friendship can be a sad and difficult time, but if your friends are making you unhappy, it’s OK to let them go.
Making new friends
Sometimes, making friends just happens and sometimes it takes time and effort. Think about what you want in a friend. So long as you accept each other for your differences, there’s no reason not to get along.
- Smile and say ‘hi’
- Start a conversation
- Be kind and helpful
- Find out about their interests
- Ask if they want to hang out
Remember, it’s normal to feel a nervous about making new friends, especially if you’re a bit shy.