Friendship Help: Feeling Guilty After a Fight with a Friend

Fighting with a friend is one of the toughest things we can experience. I’ve had some arguments with close friends that have left me reeling. One of the most common feelings I experience after arguing or fighting with a friend is guilt.

If you’re feeling guilty about struggles in a friendship, you’re not alone. It is possible to get to the bottom of things and to free yourself from overwhelming guilt.

If you’re not sure where to start, I have some suggestions that I hope will help.

How to Handle Guilt from Fighting with a Friend

You care about your friend, and you want to do everything you can to help, but you also have a guilty conscience. I understand if your tendency is to shift the focus entirely to what you may have done wrong and what you could have done better.

But it’s good to remember that every friendship has two people in it. Don’t put everything on your shoulders. There may be something you can do to make things right, but your friend will need to take responsibility, too.

Be Clear and Realistic

It is easy for feelings to overwhelm me after an argument. But not all feelings are true, especially when it comes to feelings that are damaging to my self-worth. When thinking through an argument or fight with your friend, revisit things when you’ve had time to rest. When your mind feels clearer, acknowledge your words and actions.

Can you think of something specific you said, or did that hurt your friend? If so, is there something concrete you can do to set things, right?

This kind of self-examination really helps me sort through complex emotions and come up with practical ways to improve my friendships.

Love and Gratitude

Focusing on what I’m grateful for really helps me get through a tough time. Thinking about why I love my friends helps me work through disagreements. Remembering other meaningful relationships gives me perspective so I don’t despair. I hope it encourages you to remember that all your friendships and relationships are a gift from God, and that you are a gift from Him to all the people in your life.

Everyone makes mistakes in their friendships, and you may need to do some work to patch things over with your friend. But there is a lot you bring to relationships, too. Remembering this can help you regain perspective when sorting through feelings after arguing with a friend.

Never forget that God cares about you, your friend, and your relationship. Reaching out to him in prayer will help you find peace and clarity.

Making a Plan for Healing

Relationships can be tough. Friendships can feel strained and stretched, and we can say hurtful things to one another when we’re angry or stressed.

But a friendship can also strengthen and heal after arguments and disagreements. If you’re worried about talking with your friend, or still feeling intense guilt, our support is available to begin healing friendships. Talk with a HopeCoach at TheHopeLine if you need help now.

We’re here for you and praying for your friendship. You’re not alone, and things can get better.

Are you upset because you’ve been fighting with a close friend? Find out what to do and how to deal with relationship challenges here.

Dawson McAllister
Dawson McAllister, also known as America's youth pastor, was an author, radio host, speaker, and founder of TheHopeLine. McAllister attended Bethel College in Minnesota for undergraduate work where he graduated in 1968, began graduate studies at Talbot School of Theology in California, and received an honorary doctorate from Biola University.
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