When Friends Fight: How to Resolve Friendship Breakups

It’s commonplace for friends to fight or have trouble getting along. Though fights aren’t easy to move forward from, they can make your relationship even better. Small battles can sometimes turn into big ones and you might have to work hard to sort it out. So it’s not surprising that a fight with a friend can be as heartbreaking as an argument with a partner. But conflict doesn’t have to lead to a “friendship breakup.”

The greatest interpersonal skill you could ever have is learning how to resolve misunderstandings, conflicts, quarrels, fights and issues that arises with time in every relationship. It’s not whether you fight or not; it’s whether you resolve your issues or let pride from both sides separate the bond. The best fights don’t occur between strangers. They occur between friends who trust each other. Once you learn how to resolve conflicts, you will no more fear that one could ruin everything for y’all. Let’s talk about some two things we lose sight of that could lead to such a breakup;

Stop Avoiding the Issue by Pretending Everything is Fine

Small misunderstanding can turn into a big friendship breakup in the end if you pretend the disagreement never happens, so keep the lines of communicaton open. Talking through the situation is best because letting the situation linger can develop into feelings of neglect, disrespect, or even anger. Before you get heated with a friend, take a mental step back and really listen to what he says. If you’re not mature enough to respect other’s opinions, then perhaps breaking up a friendship is best. But if you would like to mend the friendship, then apologize, and listen to the other person’s point-of-view. At the end of the day, people want to be heard.

We all make mistakes, but we all don’t admit that we do. Model how to be humble and how to talk about problems, and be bluntly honest about your own thoughts and feelings.” Express concern for the problem at hand and take responsibility for your own failures while learning from them.

It is Not Just About Having Good Intentions

I promised to send Bernice out on a date to KFC. I was so damn late and kept answering her calls with reassurance that I am already close by. Upon my arrival, I had a good excuse about how stressful my programme of study was and how I couldn’t finish my tasks on time. I apologised but Bernice was still mad. Not only did my explanations not soothe her, they seemed to make things worse. That started to make me angry.

You know what the problem was? I was stuck in my own perspective. I didn’t mean to be late, but that’s not the point. The point is that I was late. The point — and what’s important in my communication with her — is how my lateness impacted Bernice.” In other words, I was focused on my intention, while Bernice was focused on the consequences. She and I were having two different conversations. In the end, we both felt unacknowledged, misunderstood, and angry. The more I thought about the issue, the more I recognized that this battle—intention vs. consequences—was the root cause of so much interpersonal discord.

As it turns out, it’s not the intention that counts or even the action that counts. That’s because the other person doesn’t experience your thought or your action. He or she experiences the consequences of your action. When you’ve done something that upsets someone—no matter who’s right—always start the conversation by acknowledging how your actions affected the other person. Save the discussion about your intentions for later. Much later. Maybe never. Because in the end, your intentions don’t matter much.

What if you don’t think the other person is justified in feeling the way he or she does? It doesn’t matter. You’re striving for understanding, not for agreement. What I have found is that once I’ve expressed my understanding of the consequences, my need to justify my intentions dissipates. That’s because the reason I’m explaining my intentions is to repair the relationship. But I’ve already accomplished that by empathizing with her experience.


Misunderstandings are inevitable in life. Look, no two people will always think or act the exact same way. You will not always see eye-to-eye with friends. It’s necessary to place value on the friendship. Remind yourself that there is one in a billion chances to meeting with such a person and connecting in the first place. You are not friends by chance or because you see them five times a week. You’re friends with Rhoda because you respect and value her.

Remember, everyone changes—including you. Basically, you’re not perfect, and they’re not perfect. Chances are, you’ve inadvertently hurt them as well, either past or present, so own that emotion and recognize it, which may make it easier to forgive. It takes two to tango, even in a friendship. 

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