Even with your closest friendships, you will likely encounter a time when you need to resolve conflicts with a best friend. Fighting with friends is never easy. But dealing with conflict can make you and your BFF better as individuals and as friends. Conflicts can strengthen a relationship, improving your communication and emotional bond once you have resolved it. Whether you are experiencing conflict now or want tips for the future, it’s always helpful to learn friendship conflict resolution.
Address the conflict soon—don’t wait!
If you wait to address the conflict with your best friend, bad feelings and negative thoughts can fester and grow. Like popcorn in the microwave, you let things stay heated too long and it burns up—ruining what you had. Try waiting 24 hours for the dust to settle and then talk to your friend.
Communicate from both points of view.
Try to see both sides. Your perspective is your reality. Your friend’s perspective is their reality. Both perspectives are valid. When you talk to your friend, keep an open mind and an empathetic point of view. See the situation from their side. Avoid statements that begin with “You did” or “You said.” Communicate with “feelings statements” such as “I feel…” regarding the conflict and ask your friend how they feel. Make sure you are focused on the current conflict. Bringing up past conflicts or feelings will only make the situation worse. Stay in the moment and be in the here and now.
Convey your honest feelings and be vulnerable.
Tell your friend honestly how you feel. Even if you aren’t sure you are the one to blame for initiating the conflict, apologize. It’s important to acknowledge that you are sorry for the fight and sorry for your part in it. Take responsibility so you can both move forward. Be courageous by showing your vulnerability. When your best friend hears your honest, genuine feelings, it’s likely he or she will reciprocate positively.
Suggest solutions for moving forward and be a sensitive listener.
Problem-solve this friend conflict by suggesting ways you can come together again. This may involve making personal sacrifices or compromises. Sometimes you can’t both get everything you want. Try to be solution-minded and propose ways you can come together. But along with offering solutions, be a sensitive listen and let your friend speak. Maybe they have ideas for resolving the conflict, allowing you to form a solution together.
Move on from the past.
Once your conflict is resolved, move forward with your best friend and don’t keep thinking about the past. The more you work out these conflicts, the more you will learn and grow together. Mending this rift means you will have the skill set to handle conflicts even better in the future. Healthy relationships take work. But love for your BFF makes it all worth it!
Dedicate time reminiscing about your favorite friendship memories.
Recall your favorite friend moments together and remember why you became friends in the first place. Sometimes recalling these memories can help you focus on the positive aspects of your relationship. Laugh and have fun together! Open up a photo book, or a personalized friend book such as the Book of Us™. A personalized book of photos and loving messages can rekindle the fun and laughter in your friendship.
Resolving conflict with a best friend can be painful, but it’s also necessary in order to move forward and deepen your relationship. Try these tips the next time you have a scuffle with your BFF. Your loving friendships are worth fighting for!