5 Tips - What to Do When Your Best Friend Is Mad at You


How to Fix a Friendship

What to Say to Mend a Friendship

When you have been fighting with a friend, knowing what to say to mend a friendship can be difficult. If it's not clear where things went wrong, ask your friend to talk things over. If you've realized you made a mistake or hurt your friend, a clear and simple apology is best. "I'm so sorry I hurt you. I really want to mend our friendship. Will you forgive me? Is there something I can do to make things right or do better in the future?"

If you have been hurt by your friend, let them know. It is a difficult conversation to have, but honesty is one of the things that repairs and strengthens friendships. It may take some time to practice forgiveness and rebuild trust. But when you are both willing to work on your friendship, it will get stronger with time. It's also helpful to remind yourself, and each other, what you are grateful for about one another, and about the unique friendship you have. Focusing on the positives is one way to get over the bumps in the road. If you or your friend need time or space, it doesn't mean your friendship is doomed. You can use that time to get support from a counselor, mentor, or someone else you trust to give you advice about friendships

Is It Worth Telling a Friend They Hurt You?

If you’ve been hurt by a friend, the first thing to do is take a big breath. And another. And another. When someone you love and respect hurts your feelings, it hits differently than when a stranger or acquaintance does. They know you and love you, so how could they have done or said something that hurt you? You might question whether or not they actually love you after all, or even like you! You might question the friendship. That’s why the big breaths are important—don’t make any rash decisions here.

Once you feel a little more calm, it’s time to reflect:

  • Why did their words or actions hurt?
  • Do you think the hurt was intentional?
  • Do you think the hurt was avoidable?
  • How would you have preferred your friend to behave?
  • Had your expectations been communicated to this friend previously?
  • Have your friend’s actions demonstrated love and respect for you in the past?
  • Is this a friendship you’d like to keep?
  • Will this hurt fester and create resentment if you don’t address it?
  • What do you expect from confronting your friend about this?
  • How will your relationship change if your friend isn’t sorry?

When you have reflected on what happened, you need to decide whether or not to confront your friend about hurting your feelings. Sometimes, it’s okay to give a good friend the benefit of the doubt—perhaps the thing they said or did was a total accident, or there’s no way they could have known it would hurt you. In this case, it may be okay for you to let it go without saying something.

Other times, hurt really does need to be addressed before your relationship can continue. Maybe trust has been broken, or you feel you need an apology to re-establish respect. Approach them with the respect you’d want someone to approach you with, explain how their behavior impacted you, and ask them not to repeat that behavior in the future. Hopefully, your friend will respond with love and understanding.

5 Sure Tips to Mend a Friendship

One of life's greatest gifts is having a best friend. If you have one, you are truly blessed. But you no doubt also know how painful it can be when your best friend is mad at you. Many a friend has spent sleepless nights due to a broken relationship with a best friend. Sometimes it's difficult to tell exactly what went wrong - if it's something hurtful you did without realizing it, or if it's just a misunderstanding. Maybe someone told a lie about you to try and drive a wedge between the two of you.

So, what can you do when your best friend is mad at you?

1. Talk It Out with Your Best Friend

When your best friend is mad at you, the first and most important thing you can do is talk about it. Find a place where it's quiet and tell your friend how important it is to you that the two of you resolve what's wrong between you.  Ask what he or she is feeling, and give her the chance to truly express everything, whatever she wants. At this point, it's your job to listen. Really listen and don't break in with your point of view. The more you can feel what your friend is feeling, the better chance you'll have of fixing your conflict. Jennifer agreed: The only way to fix what went wrong is by letting your friend say everything that makes them mad. Try to understand why they feel that way. All the effort is worth it.

2. Don't Get Defensive

The worst thing you can do is get defensive when resolving a conflict with your best friend.  Don't quickly react to what your friend is saying. When you hear your friend tell you what he or she thinks you did wrong, it's natural to immediately feel like you want to defend yourself. Resist that feeling. Remember, there will be time for you to express how you feel as well. Don't forget this is your time to listen.  This is not a sign of agreeing; it is just a sign of listening!

3. Ask What You Can Do

It may take a while for your friend to express everything he or she feels. Some people have a much more difficult time talking about their emotions than others. As your friend tells you what they're feeling, make sure they are completely finished before you start to talk. I suggest you start by repeating back to your friend what you heard him or her say. For instance, "Am I right you're angry that I was unkind to you? Is that right?" This gives you both the opportunity to make sure each of you heard what the other said.

The next thing you might want to ask is "What can I do to help mend the relationship?" Many times, your friend will have an idea of what they'd like you to do. At this point, you can decide if you're willing to do what he or she thinks would help to resolve the situation. Keep in mind, that your hurt friend may have a totally unrealistic solution to the problem. Don't make promises you can't keep. For example, if she says, "I never want you to talk to my boyfriend again." Don't commit to that, for it is totally unrealistic and unfair.

David said, Sometimes your friend has completely unrealistic expectations. You can either decide to find a middle ground or walk away. Most people don't know when their expectations are unrealistic. You might find it helpful to say, "I don't think I can do what you're asking, but I could do this." Finding an agreeable middle ground is a great way to make peace with an angry friend.

Be patient, and keep trying to be loving to your friend, even if he or she doesn't want to respond.

4. Be Willing To Admit You're Wrong

If it becomes clear you have done something truly wrong, you need to take responsibility for your actions. It's easy to think that just saying I'm sorry is enough. But those words can seem very shallow if you don't mean them, or if you don't know why you're sorry. Are you sorry because you got caught? Or are you sorry because you can see how you hurt your friend? If you are truly sorry about something you did that hurt your friend, you need to apologize, and then prove you will attempt to never do it again. Clearly ask your friend to forgive you. Make sure you hear the words, I will forgive you before you assume all is well with your friend.
However, your friend may be slow to trust you again, even after you have apologized. He/she will need to see trustworthy behavior from you over a period of time this will prove to her you really are sorry.

5. Give It Time

If your friend doesn't want to talk about what is making him or her so mad, you may have to just give it time. Sometimes the only way to resolve a problem is by letting time pass. Be patient, and keep trying to be a good friend, even if he or she doesn't want to respond. A blogger, Pumpkin, said she and her best friend have been friends for nearly 12 1/2 years. We have had our ups and downs, but we're still friends. Even when she tried to pull away and we didn't talk much, I made a choice to keep on calling her and trying to help find the friendship we once had.

Sometimes one friend has to make the effort to be there for the friend even when you're not sure they really care if you're friends or not. It's impossible to know exactly why some people hold on to anger and resentment longer than what might seem reasonable.

Sometimes all you can do is try your best to seek a resolution. You can't make anybody else do what they don't want to do. You might want to read this blog I wrote on forgiveness for help learning how to forgive your friend.

Try Your Best

We were created to live in a community with other people.  When God designed us he made us social and relational beings with the desire to love and be loved.  God created us in His very own image, so we have some of the same character traits as God.  And God is relational.  In fact, He wants a relationship with YOU!

God also knows how important it is to have good friends. The Bible talks about the benefits of having others in your life: It’s better to have a partner than go it alone. Share the work, share the wealth. And if one falls down, the other helps, but if there’s no one to help, tough! Two in a bed warm each other. Alone, you shiver all night. By yourself, you’re unprotected. With a friend, you can face the worst. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 MSG)

However, it's important to recognize that sometimes we can only do so much to repair a damaged relationship. In the end, your friend is going to need to want it as well. God knew this and so he wisely advises us just to do our best to find peace. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18)

Sometimes friendships grow stronger through difficult times. So don't give up on your friend just because you are having difficulties, but know when it might be time to move on.

Every relationship will hit a speed bump at one time or another. Because your best friend knows you so well, it's easier for that person to really hurt you. Show your friend you are willing to work through the difficult times of misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Work toward peace and ask God to help.

Further Recommendations

If you think your friend might be struggling with something beyond just your relationship, check out our eBook library for eBooks on all types of issues and every eBook has a section on how to help a friend who is struggling with that issue.

A lot of times, you do have a choice about whom you are close friends with, so choose them wisely. For more, read Choose Friends Wisely.

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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647 comments on “5 Tips - What to Do When Your Best Friend Is Mad at You”

  1. i am in a fight with my best friend right now i was pranking her thinking she'd just laugh about it but instead i was wrong and went to far i kept pranking her till the point she was really upset and than i finally realized i was in the wrong and apolized i said i was sorry and really mean and asked her to forgive me she has been ingnoring me and i am really sad what should i do?

  2. I was texting my best friend whose Mormon and she came to my youth group and I was wondering how she liked it and how my friends treated her and she said that she wouldn’t hang out with my friends because they weren’t her type so I was really mad and hurt so I texted her back saying that when I went to her youth group that I thought her friends were fake and annoying and then we started fighting and I was really mad and hurt I was crying because I hate my school and I don’t like anybody their so that’s why I’m leaving next year and she is going to a different school as well but I don’t want us to stop being friends and I really didn’t mean what I said b4 but after she said that I was really mad because my friends are sweet and kind and mean the world to me and I thought she was being really rude but then after awhile I texted telling her I’m sorry and that I didn’t mean what I said and that I didn’t understand what she was trying to say and we started fighting again and I sent her a sincere apology and she didn’t text me back and I don’t want her to ignore me all day tomorrow but I am still hurt and mad but she did apologize but still idk what’s going to happen and I just everything to go back to normal. Please help me 😕

  3. My friends and I did a prank on one of our other friends. We prank each other often and we thought she would have a laugh but instead, she yelled at us and started crying. We said that we spilt some "tea" when she was away and we won't tell her because it's personal. She got mad so we told her that it was a joke. Now she won't talk to any of us. I need some help.

    1. Well, the best thing to do is talk about it obviously and if you really care about your friendship, then the best thing to do is tell her how much you care about her and how you are sorry and what you did was wrong.

  4. This wasn't a best friend, but more of a "he's my wife's uncle, none of his family goes around him, I feel sorry for him, so I'll hang out with him occasionally. I had spoken to him on the phone one day, and he had asked me to come by later (he had something he needed help moving or something). I said ok and mentioned later I was going somewhere. He asked where, then asked if he could go. I said yes, he could go with me. Time to leave comes and I can't reach him on the phone, so I leave to go to my destination, which is about 30 minutes directly west of my house....her uncle lives about 15 - 20 minutes directly south.
    On my way to my destination, Publix Supermarket, I finally spoke to him on the phone. I told him where I was, which was about 5 minutes from my destination, and that I had tried to call before I left, but didn't get an answer. I told him I would come by after I left Publix, so I would see him in a little while.
    So I get to his house, and he is on the porch, walks down the sidewalk to meet me and ask, "are you ready?". I asked him where we were going, and he started referring to our first conversation that morning when he asked me to come by and told him he could ride with me to Publix, "we're going over there where we talked about." Puzzled, I said, "Tom, I've already been over there." He blew up -"you told me on the phone that you were coming to get me!". I tried to reason with him, and told him, "on our first phone call, yes I did, but I tried to call you when I left, got no answer, so I left. Then when we spoke last time I told you exactly where I was, and that I would come by after I left Publix."
    There was no reasoning with the guy. I finally walks in his house, tell me he doesn't want me around him, and to get the hell off his property, so I casually said, "you are one crazy old dude, no wonder your family doesn't come around you", and left.
    Haven't heard from him since, and as long as he has a mentality like that I don't care to. My point is that sometimes we just have to discard some people from our lives. It's never pleasant, and if it is a best friend it is even worse. In my case it was my wife's relative, and I hate that he is like that, but I'm not gonna live with toxic people in my life. And since I was the only person from his family that would go see him, I was the person he called when he needed a ride to the doctor. To give an example of how I liked he is even by aquatinted people and family, just a few months prior to his glitch I took him to the ER and was his only family member or friend to visit him in the hospital...that speaks volumes.

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