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.

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).

Activity/Information Sheets

Is This a Good Friendship?
Is This a Good Friendship? (256.66KB, PDF)

This is a list of questions to ask yourself. They will help you know if your friendship is a good one.

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.

Help with Conflict
Help with Conflict

Jared and Ali had a fight. They were both really mad! They asked a teacher that knew them both to help sort it out. The teacher listened to both of them. Then the teacher gave them advice. This helped them to understand each other’s feelings. Getting help saved their friendship!

Getting Over Fights
Getting Over Fights

Josianne and Joanie have been close friends for 12 years. They think of each other as sisters. They don’t often disagree. When they disagree they talk about it. Then they hug each other and things are fine again.

After an Argument, Friends Need to Talk
After an Argument, Friends Need to Talk

Anik and Mimi became friends at work. They have been friends for 9 years. They always spend their breaks and lunch together. They also enjoy getting together with other friends outside the workshop to bowl or go out as a group. Most of the time they get along well, but sometimes they have a quarrel. When this happens they talk about it. Anik says, “After we have talked and made up we feel calm and happy again.”

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Friendship SkillsBeing Thoughtful