Most friendships involve disagreements or fights at one time or another. This is a normal part of friendship. We are not talking about hitting! Never stay in a friendship with someone who hits you. But if you have an argument or a disagreement you can usually work it out. Working it out can make your friendship stronger. But you will both have to put in effort.
Vanessa and Jaclyn - On Getting Along
Sometimes Vanessa and Jaclyn have an argument. Sometimes Vanessa doesn’t hear what Jaclyn is saying. Then Jaclyn can feel upset. But they work things out. Jaclyn tries to speak louder. They try to make sure they understand each other–that they are on the same page. In this way, they keep their friendship strong.Download Transcript
Having a fight with a friend is not the end of the world. You can usually keep your friendship going. But you should not ignore the fact that you had a disagreement. Usually, when friends have a fight they both feel hurt and angry. Below are some things you can do after you have a fight.
What to do after you have a fight:
1. Think carefully about whether you want to keep your friendship. (Complete the Activity sheet below to help you figure this out).
2. If you want to keep your friendship, you are going to have to decide what to do next:
- Think about the fight. What happened? What caused the fight? Be honest with yourself about this.
- Think about how you felt during the fight. Why did you feel that way?
- Think about how you feel now. Why do you feel that way? What do you want to happen now in your friendship?
3. Talk to your friend! This is the most important thing you can do. Sometimes, it is good to wait a few days before you do this. Waiting can give you both time to let go of your anger.
- Explain why you did or said what you did. Tell them how you felt. Listen to your friend’s reasons and feelings too.
- Explain what you would like to be different next time. Ask your friend to do the same.
4. Apologize. Forgive each other. Let go of your anger. If you and your friend have decided to move on, do so. Forgiveness is very important to friendship. Holding on to hurts and grudges will destroy a friendship.
5. Figure out a next step together. Decide together how your friendship will be different from now on.
6. Celebrate your friendship. If you have really forgiven each other, you will feel better. You will both feel relieved and freer. Do something fun together that you both enjoy. Remember why you care about each other. Friendship requires forgiveness, but it also needs celebration to keep it alive!
Remember: Never stay in a friendship with someone who hits you. Never stay in a friendship with someone who abuses you by their actions or words. People like this are not real friends.
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