What to Do If You Are Fighting with a Close Friend

Fighting with a close friend is sad and upsetting, especially if it seems to come out of nowhere. Unfortunately, I’ve had many relationship challenges, and there have been times when I’ve wondered if my friendships will make it through. The good news is that most of the time, they survived and even grew stronger.

Here’s what helps me get through a tough time in a friendship.

Faith and Prayer

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” — Psalm 51:10
When someone has done something painful, I might not understand the choices they made. And I often feel guilty about my own words and actions that led to our friendship challenges.

In those moments, I have to remember:

  • God cares about me and my friend.
  • No matter what has happened, God can forgive, heal, and strengthen us both.
  • God will work on my heart and help me make the right decisions about how to work things out.
  • I will find peace with His help, regardless of outcomes.

Time and Space

It’s normal and natural to feel angry when you’ve been fighting with a friend. Even if you’re best friends, you sometimes need time and space to cool off and figure things out. Don’t feel rushed to talk to your friend.  Wait until you feel more centered before trying to have a difficult conversation.

Honesty and Openness

A lot of times, fights happen because anger builds up over time and isn’t expressed in a healthy way. This happens a lot when we don’t want to hurt the people we love.

Chances are, there is also a misunderstanding or lack of clarity about what went wrong and what can be done to fix it.
If you want to rebuild your friendship, you’ll have to ask some difficult questions:

  • Where do you feel like things went wrong?
  • How can I do better as your friend?
  • How can we “check in” with one another better to avoid unnecessary conflict?
  • Do you feel like I am a good listener?
  • Do I give you enough space?

Most of the time, I find these kinds of discussions bring me closer to people and help me have stronger friendships across the board.

What if Things Don’t Get Better?

In rare cases, giving things time doesn’t help, and talking things over seems to make things worse, even if you’re calm, cool, and collected.

I’ve found that when people “cut ties” with me, there’s often a lot more going on in their lives than our disagreement. Sometimes, I have to set some healthy boundaries and remind myself that I don’t need to put my emotions in harm’s way. I can move forward and build relationships with people who are more open to connecting with me.

Those moments are painful, but it’s crucial to remember that there are plenty of people who love and care about you, and who are more able to meet your needs.

And as I like to say, there is always hope! Things may get better down the road, or you may meet a new friend whose strengths and quirks are a perfect complement to yours.

Whatever you’re going through in your friendships, we are here to help. You can search TheHopeLine resources for ebooks, podcasts and blogs about relationships, or get help with your friendships from a HopeCoach via chat or sign up for an email. We care about you and want to help however we can.

Looking for more ways to mend your friendship? Read my blog, When Your Best Friend Is Mad At You. 

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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