A: “Why can’t you just understand?”
B:”Understand what? That you’re unreasonable and just domineering?”
A:”What? I’m unreasonable? Fine! Go get yourself a new best friend.”
B:”Oh yeah, FINE.”
Friendship going down the drains because of perhaps a misunderstanding or maybe just falling out over something.
Tensions arise and in the fit of anger, you say something that you never meant or intended to say. And before you know it, the friendship bubble bursts. Now, before you resign to the fate of your friendship – that it’s over, let the spark of hope ignite and convince yourself that the friendship is worth saving and well, attempt to save it!
Here are some steps that I would recommend that you take:
1. Ask Yourself How Much This Friendship Means To You
>> Are you willing to invest time, energy and effort to turn the situation around? Are you willing to accomodate and give way to your friend if needed to? Are you willing to forgive him/her? How much do you want the friendship to continue? What does it mean to you?
2. Deduce If Your Friend Wants To Work Things Out
>> Does he/she want the friendship to continue as much as you do? How do you think he/she is feeling, now that you both have fallen out? Is he/she upset too or maybe, he/she has just given up completely? You should be able to deduce this, given the length of friendship that you have with him/her. If you can’t, well, let’s just say, you don’t really know the person very well.
3. Are You Willing To Discuss The Situation With Your Friend Or Just Going To Pretend Nothing’s Happened?
>> There’s no point in avoiding anything. Ignorance is definitely not bliss. The worst thing that you can do, is just pretend that nothing’s happened and think that things can go back the way they were. It’s delusional. You need to decide whether you are willing to discuss with your friend, come to a compromise and just bury the hatchet.
4. Understand The Words Or Actions That Caused The Conflict
>> Run through what led to the ‘showdown’ and what are the things that you and him/her said, that you might regret having said. Look at the situation from his/her perspective as well, and try to experience the emotions that he/she might have been feeling at the time of the conflict.
5. Listen Carefully And Thoughtfully To Each Other
>> If your friend wants to patch up, listen to what he/she has to say. You can do your part by listening to him/her. At the same time, express what you are feeling thoughtfully so that he/she may listen to you too.
6. Agree To Disagree
>> Well, it’s okay to have different views and it’s good to remind each other about it. Sometimes, the conflict arises from conflicting interests and you both can try to reach an understanding that both of you have different ideals towards a matter.
7. Let Your Friend Know You Want To Stay Friends
>> Drop her a friendly message or email. Get her favourite candies and place them at her desk in school. Ask her for her opinion occasionally. Through little actions, show your sincerity that you want to remain as friends.
8. If Needed And Appropriate, Apologise
>> Saying “I’m sorry” is really powerful. It can change the situation and make things better. Sometimes, I know that a person’s ego may be so strong that apologising first, seems sooo wrong. But you have to think about whether your ego is more important or your friendship is. Well, on the other hand, if your friend apologizes, the most courteous thing to do is to accept it. 🙂
9. Avoid Dwelling On The Matter
>> If you manage to resolve the conflict, good for you! Just remember that you should avoid bringing it up at all costs! It’s no point raking up the past when it makes the both of you reminded of the arguments or anger that you both experienced!
10. Learn To Control Your Emotions and What You Say
>> Often, arguments arise when tensions run high and emotions fly and well, we just lose control over our mouths and tongues and say things which we never meant to say. Always tolerate and control your emotions, especially when they are raging because you know that it’s not really YOU who’s saying all those nasty things.
Well, friends are people who leave footprints in our lives and though there are many who come and go, it’s important for us to treasure every single friendship that we have. It’s because we never know, when we might need a friend’s help or when someone may need ours.
Friendship is something spectacular when cherished. Hence, I urge you never to forget the friends that you had, have and will have. Cherish them!
Food for thought: A poem written by my primary school classmates a long time ago…
“New Friends are like Silver
Old Friends are like Gold
When you get more silver,
Don’t forget the gold!”